Curiously, I opened their creaky door|
"Come in" she waved me to her table
with a giant crystal ball at the center.
"Horoscope? Palm Reading? Tarot Cards?"
Psychic with Crystal Ball
Zodiac Horoscope Reading
Tarot Cards Reading
After retouching the photos and restoring the "Psychic Cleaners $2.50" sign and the stores that moved away from
75 West El Camino real, I fantasized going to visit the psychic in writing this poem. Some earlier poems involving
Tarot card: "Nine of Pentacles" (1-11-2011) and
"Galactic Birth" (12-22-2014). Chakras are mentioned in my poem
"Most Evil Man in the Universe" (4-1-2009). I've not used Tarot Cards for fortune telling, but read
many books on the Tarot to study their philosophical symbolism. I bought a book 1001 Nativities from
Anthony Damiani's American Brahman Bookstore in 1968. This book had the planetary positions of many famous people,
so it was easy to cast their horoscopes. I found Beethoven had many squares in his chart, hinting at his struggles
in musical compositions. However Michelangelo had lots of trines in his horoscope, suggesting his prolific genius.
When Buddha's disciples wanted to visit an astrologer, Buddha said "Every day is propitious for a person who does
a good dee." That's when I stopped studying astrology (circa 1970). It's more important to live well and help others
for good karma.
Image Sources: Psychic with Crystal Ball (e-tarocchi.com);
Zodiac Horoscope (zodiachoroscopesigns.com);
Palm Reading (flickr.com);
Tarot Cards Reading (vivala.com)
She told me her chakra cleansings|
a girl's throat chakra cleared for opera,
a hedge-fund manager's third eye opened
for faster and better pickings of stocks.
|Chakra (Sanskrit cakra, "wheel") is thought to be an energy point or node in the subtle body. Chakras are
believed to be part of the subtle body, not the physical body, and as such, are the meeting points of the subtle
(non-physical) energy channels called nadi. Nadi are believed to be channels in the subtle body through which the
life force (prana) (non-physical) or vital energy (non-physical) moves. According to the tantric texts, there are
seven chakras that are considered to be the most important ones.
Image Sources: Chakra Chart (ayurvedayogashram.com);
Girl Singing Opera (3.bp.blogspot.com);
Hedge-Fund Manager (hedgefundsblog.com)
A monk requested crown chakra cleansing|
She confessed "If I could do that I'd become
a Buddha myself with millions of followers."
She asked me "What can I do for you?"
Crown Chakra: Thousand-Petals Lotus
Buddha with Crown Chakra
|Crown Chakra or Sahasrara is the 7th and highest chakra in Hindu tradition. It is situated four
finger-breadths above the top of the head and has 1000 petals, arranged in 20 layers, each of the with 50 petals. Also called
Brama-randhra, it is the meeting place of Kundalini Sakti and Siva. The petals bear the total sound-potential represented by
all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, 50 in each layer. The chakra synchronizes all colors, encompasses all senses and
all functions, and is pervading in its power. The Crown Chakra symbolizes detachment from illusion, and experiencing Cosmic
Consciousness, seeing everyone and everything as oneself. When a yogi raises his or her kundalini, energy of awareness, up
to this level, Samadhi, or union with God is experienced. It is often related to the opening of the third eye or pineal gland
and related to the color violet andd the thousand-petaled lotus. The Crown Chakra image shown above if from C.W. Leadbeater's
The Chakras (1980 paperback of the original 1927 edition)
Image Sources: Meditating Monk (wikipedia.org);
Crown Chakra (minhtrietmoi.org);
Buddha with Crown Chakra (infinitynow.files.wordpress.com);
Psychic Consultation (pinterest.com)
I came for your $2.50 cleaning|
pointing to the sign outside her store.
"Ha!" she laughed, "that's the price pressing
a shirt in the Dry Cleaners next door!"
Psychic Cleaners $2.50 Sign
Facing Bay Street
Psychic Cleaners $2.50 Sign
Ouside Psychic Store
$2.50 Dry Cleaners
I complained her room is too smoky|
"Misty!" she countered, "We psychics like
to work in a mist." I joked whether steam
was piped in from her next-door neighbor.
Smoky Room of Psychic
Psychic & Crystal Ball
$2.50 Dry Cleaners Store
|Of all the photos gathered from Google Images for Notes to Poem: "Psychic Cleaners", it took
the longest time to find "Smoky Room". So it was a delight to find a
blog post of October 30, 2010 at weirdbird studio
this photo with commentary:
"There was a fortune teller set up in the living room. Once again, the smoky look comes from
actual smoke machines. Soooo cool!" Because the psychic's neighbor was the $2.50 Dry Cleaners,
I joked that steam was piped in from next door.|
Photo Sources: Smoky Room of Psychic (weirdbirdstudio.blogspot.com);
Psychic & Crystal Ball (allday.com/post);
$2.50 Dry Cleaners Store (wisdomportal.com)
I told her the word "fog" (nebbia) appeared
four times in Dante's Inferno, five times
in Purgatorio, but none in Paradiso
so enlightened eyes are not dimmed by mist.
A Concordance to
the Divine Commedy (1966)
Dante's spiritual journey has inspired my own quest for wisdom. His vision of the cosmos has given|
me much energy in my research on protein structures, nature's language of life. Dante's poetry has
helped me in teaching poetry writing to students in the California-Poets-in-the-Schools program,
as well as uplifting my creative writing. I was introduced to Dante's Commedia by three wonderful
Dante scholars Etienne Gilson, Charles Singleton, and John Freccero at Dante's 700th Birthday
Symposium at Cornell University. Singleton's image of Dante's Commedia as a work of reflective
symmetry, a crystalline snowflake has remained with me all these years that I approach Dante with
much awe and humility. I was fortunate to take Professor Freccero's "Dante's Divine Comedy"
at Stanford in 1991 which provided much insight to this great poem. I took Freccero's Stanford
class again in Spring 2001 on "Dante's Paradiso". Wrote
"Dante's 55 & the Platonic Lambda"
paper and composed a web site Dante at Wisdom Portal
to share with lovers of Dante. While doing postdoctoral research at Brandeis University (1970-1977),
and living in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
I went to Pangloss Bookstore opposite Harvard Widener Library.
There I bought A Concordance
to Dante's Divine Comedy for $15. My marginalia on page 352 (7-25-1990) showed my epiphany
in finding zero citation of nebbia
("fog") in Paradiso, so enlightened eyes are not dimmed by mist.
Image Sources: Nebbia Citations (wisdomportal.com);
A Concordance to the Divine Commedy (wisdomportal.com)
I offered her an Abe for our session|
but her consultation fee is a Ben.
She said "We're even" when I gave her
the lyrics to Mick Jagger's "Fortune Teller"
U.S. $5 Bill "Abe"
U.S. $100 Bill "Ben"
Mick Jagger: "Fortune Teller"
"I said I didn't see nobody
Why'd she made a fool of me...
While looking at the fortune teller
I fell in love
Now I'm a happy fella|
I'm married to the fortune teller
I'm as happy as I can be
Now I get my fortunes told for free."
"Fortune Teller" is a song written by
Allen Toussaint under the pseudonym Naomi Neville and first recorded by
Benny Spellman in 1962.
It tells the story of a young man who is pleased to learn from a fortune teller that he will find love
"When the next one arrives". Next day he returns, angry that nothing has happened, but falls in love
with the fortune teller. They get married and are as "happy as we could be", and he gets his "fortune told for free".
Rolling Stones recorded this song in their album
Got Live If You Want It! (1966).
It's the last song on side one, 2:09 minutes long. The last song on side 2
is their bigger hit "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" (3:45 long).
Image Sources: Allen Toussaint
Benny Spellman (wikipedia.org);
Got Live If You Want It! (wikipedia.org);
"Fortune Teller" 45 rpm recoecord (45cat.com)
Notes: Attending Rolling Stones Rock Concert at Cornell (October 30, 1965)
|On Saturday, Oct. 30, 1965, I went to a football game at Cornell Schoellkopf Field,
where Cornell defeated Columbia 20-6. As a senior at Columbia,
quarterback Archie Roberts
defeated Cornell's Gary Wood 25-21
at Baker Field (11-3-1962). After coming to graduate school at Cornell in 1963,
Cornell has beaten Columbia 18-17 (1963), 57-20 (1964). After the game, I walked back to
Baker Chemistry Lab to do
more research. (Just learned that George F. Baker
financed Baker Field & Baker Lab both in 1921). Passing by Barton Hall, there was a long line of students.
When I inquired whether a basketball game was scheduled, they told me it's the Rolling Stones concert.
A girl told me "The Stones are hotter than the Beatles!" I've never heard of Rolling Stones,
but bought her extra ticket for its original price $2.25 (since her boyfriend had gotten her one).
I sat around the third row and had a good view of the stage. When the rock group appeared, several students
danced in the aisles, and I did too. Mentioned to a student sitting next to me that the Stones' music was rattling.
He tells me "Those are just the warm-up performers. The Stones haven't arrived yet!" When the Stones arrived,
pandemonium broke out as everyone stood up and cheered. I enjoyed Mick Jagger strutting the stage singing
"I Can't Get No Satisfaction". I bought their 1966 LP album
Got Live If You Want It containing
this hit, but it was "Fortune Teller" on the other side which I enjoyed more. While looking for date of
the Stones Concert, found Cornell Daily Sun October 5, 1965
issue "Rolling Stones to Perform at Barton Hall Concert". The Stones were paid a flat fee of $10,000 for the 5:30-7:30 pm October 30, 1965 concert.
7200 tickets were on sale at $2.25 apiece. Mick Jagger was 22 at the time,
now at 73, he's still performing, with ticket
prices over $500 each.
Additional Note: I read the poem "Psychic Cleaners" at
Waverley Writers Poetry Reading at Quakers'
Friends Meeting House
(957 Colorado Avenue, Palo Alto) on Friday, June 24, 2016. It received a warm ovation after I sang the last two stanzas.
Mary Marcia, editor of Waverley Writers' Fresh Hot Bread published
this poem in the October 2016 issue.
Image Sources: Cornell-Columbia 1965 Football Program
Rolling Stones 1965 Concert Ticket (ebay.com);
Rolling Stones Oct. 30, 1965 Cornell Barton Hall Ticket Stub @ $259 (picclick.ca);
Rolling Stones: "Fortune Teller" (youtube.com)
Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 12-7-2016
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