A poem inspired by Billy Collins
Introduction to Kata and Bunkai
Torture devices (Credit: Peter Bechthold)
I ask them to take a kata
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a kata
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the kata’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a kata
waving at the shihan’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the kata to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Coerced confessions are notoriously unreliable. Try seduction instead.