by Charles P. Ries


I’m tired of being a good Buddhist.

I’d like a few of my old attachments

back. Wrap a tasty wad of anger

around my fist and pound it home.

Just one compassion-free day.

A day without detachment,

discernment, impermanence

and right action. I’d let my ex-wife

know that someone is alive in

here and “Hell if I care you’re

a young soul with a tortured past!”


Compassion in the hands of a novice

is like wearing a sign on your forehead

“Please beat the shit out of me.”

So, come to think of it, I guess I do

have a few attachments dangling

from my purified psyche. Maybe

I ought to kick his holiness in the God

Damn Ass for putting me in this prison

beneath the Bodhi Tree.


Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing. He is the author of THE FATHERS WE FIND, a novel based on memory and five books of poetry. He is the poetry editor for Word Riot ( He is on the board of the Woodland Pattern Bookstore ( and a member of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. You may find additional samples of his work by going to:

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