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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

James L. White - Oshi

Oshi has a very large Buddha in him, one that can change the air into scented flowers. He used to be Tommy Whalen from Indianapolis but he had his eyes cut to look Japanese. He got started out in San Francisco in the early days when Buddha consciousness was just rising out there and people were still slipping pork in the seaweed soup.

 

At seventeen he did drag in a place called The Gay Deceiver and was billed as ‘The Boy With The Face Like The Girl Next Door.’ The owners paid him almost nothing and kept him strung out on hash in a little room above the bar, like a detective novel.

 

Somehow Oshi found the Zen community and started sitting za-zen. He collected ‘mad money’ from the state for being strung out. It’s free out there if you’re crazy enough. Oshi breathed hash and gin through the Buddha. Buddha breathed light and air through Oshi. It all changed his mind to indigo. Buddha consciousness rose in him until he didn’t feel like the broken piano at the bar anymore.

 

Now thirty years later he has a permanent room at the bath house and prays for young boys. Doesn’t sit anymore. Said he became realized ten years ago with a young hustler from Akron, Ohio who told him he could stop flying, just lay back and touch ground.

 

Old Oshi, very round now, jet black wig, looks like a retired Buddha in his cheap wash-and-wear kimonos. He’s graceful old gentleman Buddha. Buys everyone drinks. Gives away joints. Always high. Always lighting joss sticks. As he says, ‘Giving things is just a way of getting on with everyone, you know, the universe and everything. It’s like passing on the light.’

 

He told me once when he sang Billie Holiday’s ‘Blue Monday’ at The Gay Deceiver they used an amber spot and he wore a strapless lamé gown, beaded on his eyelashes, lacquered nails, and the people cried.

James L. White - Making Love To Myself

When I do it, I remember how it was with us.
Then my hands remember too,
and you're with me again, just the way it was.

After work when you'd come in and
turn the TV off and sit on the edge of the bed,
filling the room with gasoline smell from your overalls,
trying not to wake me which you always did.
I'd breathe out long and say,
'Hi Jess, you tired baby?'
You'd say not so bad and rub my belly,
not after me really, just being sweet,
and I always thought I'd die a little
because you smelt like burnt leaves or woodsmoke.

We were poor as Job's turkey but we lived well—
the food, a few good movies, good dope, lots of talk,
lots of you and me trying on each other's skin.

What a sweet gift this is,
done with my memory, my cock and hands.

Sometimes I'd wake up wondering if I should fix
coffee for us before work,
almost thinking you're here again, almost seeing
your work jacket on the chair.

I wonder if you remember what
we promised when you took the job in Laramie?
Our way of staying with each other.
We promised there'd always be times
when the sky was perfectly lucid,
that we could remember each other through that.
You could remember me at my worktable
or in the all-night diners,
though we'd never call or write.

I just have to stop here Jess.
I just have to stop.