1. A countless or extremely great number
2. A unit of ten thousand
“The name, once introduced, becomes the Mother of the Ten Thousand Things.” –Tao Te Ching, Verse 1
Thought is not a sensory experience.
This pain, this breath on your chest, this caress, this steaming coffee, this pen as it stutters across the page, this claw of nails, this clench of jaw, this sigh, this leaning towards another body as if you both are large enough to collapse into each other by the force of gravity alone; drinking deep of the sensory experience.
Generations ago, they shifted the structure of atoms – broke the bonds between the building blocks of reality. Now there is nowhere (in reality) we can hide. The desert still glows where they tested the theories: made ideas into a sensory experience.
There is violence in my mouth – I found it waiting here when fear erupted from the swollen vessel carved into the core of my body. Fear is not a thought. Violence is a sensory experience.
And then yesterday, when a laugh cracked the shell of my lungs and a zeppelin of joy rose like a flaming banner through the ruin of my mouth, I thought of your hundred arms, your thousand eyes, and the Ten Thousand Things that you birth with each breath.
Kaleidoscopic nightmares of the gnawing teeth of decay. Kaleidoscopic nightmares of ringing phones. Kaleidoscopic nightmares of gaping wounds. Kaleidoscopic nightmares of tongues covered in thick black hair. Kaleidoscopic nightmares of stock prices. Of neglected children, of suicides, of garbage heaps, of bodies left on the street, of mobs of men, of sewn-shut eyes, of my skin peeling away, of courthouses, of corporate jobs, of the vast emptiness of space, of my total helplessness before the wheel of time and the loss of language.
(through the lips of myriad mouths that are longing to be kissed back into namelessness)
I am calling your bluff.