Wednesday, June 6, 2007


This flux and fusion of thought and emotion

that flows through me like the wind at night

through a window wider than space,

this auroral lifelight that flares through me

illuminated by what it illumines,

that moves as if it doesn’t know me

like the widening wake of a phantom ship

absorbed in the resonant musings of the fog,

as if the blood didn’t know the body,

or the stream the life of the banks

it nourishes and reflects,

this incessant carding and unravelling

of currents, clouds, and tides

looming and undoing the tapestry of the moon

without revealing the whole of what it weaves

as if the only eye of the visions it conceives

were the womb of the cauldron that stirred it into being,

and I no more than a sigh of smoke

that stains the clarity

of the flame that burns beneath it,

the vagrant afterlife of something unconsumed,

this night, this light, this life

of fireflies, lightning, eclipses, and stars

is the disembodied voice of the mystery

that proposes there’s a me

below the salt

at the foot of the mountain

that everything flows down to

like a tear in the ocean of the eye that nears the sea.

And how should a man follow himself

like a lantern through the dark

when it’s the road that shows the way,

the eye that guides the star,

the blood that maps out the veins and arteries

and fashions this terminal of a heart

like a town or a station

at a crucial junction of the journey

to facilitate its arrivals and departures?

I have stood on this platform for years

without any luggage,

scanning the faces that come and go

to see if one might prompt me into knowing

who it is that greets them with farewell

as if I were the occasion

that summoned them like a leaf on the flowing

and they were the unmastered familiar

that casts me back upon myself

like the spell of my own seeing,

or this binge of being

that draws me up from my own watersheds

to sit down on the earth with it like a well

under the intimate influence of a willow at night

and drink from the eyes of my own face

like seas that have long eluded the moon,

ebbing and neaping alike,

strange intimates

of this cup that we share like a bell.



No one has freedom of choice

because choice isn’t necessary.

But that doesn’t mean

you are not free to choose.

Look at the leaf in the window,

turning. Is it choosing

what’s best for it; is it deciding

to bask in the radiance

that charms it like a shy snake,

or could it be,

because there is no separation,

not the severance of an eyelash between them,

that the light and the leaf

are all one continuous action,

the leaf, like the muscle of my arm,

embodying the light

that doesn’t just illuminate the world,

but creates, stirs, and sustains it out of itself

and makes many mouths, many eyes, many people,

one life? Each of us

the light of the world

and its only creator,

as we walk in the garden

musing like tides

among the flowers

that open their hands like oceans,

and realize in silence, in blood, in seeing,

in the prelude of the first word

that announced the world into being,

we are the herald, the trumpet and the echo

of that beginning, that saying,

we are the said and the unsaid of everything,

and there’s no need

to select heartbeats, no need

to grow a second head

and split the snake like a thread of hair

you’re jabbing into the eye of a needle

to patch a sky on a sky that doesn’t need mending,

no need to look upon yourself

like a tear that disappears like a bird

in the incredible outpouring of your vastness

as if the otherness of it all,

the dark matter, the dark energy

the dark gate that mothers the light,

and blinds it,

were not also you

as your dreams and nightmares are,

as the blood that grew out of you,

above and below,

like a rose in the garden is.

Do as you wish. Let it go. Or let it stop you;

But the moment you choose the choosing,

you will look upon yourself

the way a woman late at night alone,

wearing a deserted face,

looks upon a knife

by the sink

under the kitchen window.



Sex is a mushroom, a gilled fish,

a burning bush

that says pick up your staff

and go unto pharoah

and throw it down like a protean rod

that will glut on the snakes

of lesser magicians.

Sex is a Jesuit casuist

counselling a wealthy, young widow,

the sinister tine of the serpent’s tongue

and a fang of fire in a heart of ice

until it thaws like a phase of the moon,

or the overly-obsessive demands of a loveletter

defused like lightning

by the moister air of a suppler compliance.

Night-dew and broth of life,

sex is the ghost of a dragon

released by the mortal flame

of a funeral candle,

the stump of a black fire hydrant

listening for sirens

and waiting for hose,

a mermaid in a see-through wetsuit

that sings to everyone

in the key of their own voice

lyrics of dark bliss

shuddering like swans

opening like white peonies

in the eye of the lock.

Apocalypse, ecstasy, sparagmos,

sex is a millenarian,

a rapture freak,

a spiritual kidnapper

with Stockholm syndrome

waiting to be ransomed by his captive.

Sex is an underage medium

molested by demi-urges

trying to implicate Eve again

in their botched creations.



Younger than the stars; older than the night, a sapient prodigy of darkness and light, I am amazed that more people are not amazed by being here at all; are not astounded by their mere presence in a world arrayed by their awareness. What a waste of wonder. Look anywhere you want: the dust that wears a crown, the bee, the black benediction of a solar eclipse, the boat-tailed grackle in the lilac tree; all these forms and events that are the sum of your seeing into what you call you, each of them, and therefore you, when looked into without the patinas of knowing clouding your eyes like cataracts and college educations, as deep as the universe, the sea at the bottom of every tear. Walking on the bottom, at those depths and intensities, there is a chill to the wonder that awes the familiar and the rote out of the heart and leaves it shrineless in its eternal beginning. No dragons of mystic terror guard the gateless way. Your breathing is the hinge. Reality, as most would have it, is merely a consensus of refugees in the spirit’s lost and found. Hosts of water and earth at a feast of fire and light; who’s not be invited who doesn’t want to stay home among his chipped crockery and thrive on the denial? Wonder is the pearl of the moon within that is spun around every particle of dust that is saturated by the intelligence of the sea like flesh. Lightning, the roots of the family tree, our lives are elations of fire in a mouth of fire, water teething its way into a bell of water with a pulse that is a tide among stars. Let your eyes hang like water at the end of a blade of stargrass, and do not be impressed with yourself like an exemption among bacteria, because you ride them now like a flying carpet. Your oldest features are under your knees. Let your eyes for once open you. Let your sorrows change the sheets like clearing skies in the guest-rooms of your funeral pyre. Realize you must be more than space and time for them to unfold their dimensions like wings within your boundlessness. How could you perish; how could you have ever begun, if the lenses in the telescope you scan the heavens with to discern your effusive beginnings are the sidereal devotions of your own eyes washed up like a sail on these shoreless oceans of light? Not how we are here, but that we are here at all. No wisdom that wasn’t first a fool, and no fool that doesn’t make a mask of his enlightenment to amuse the children. Why mourn like a current of water six feet beneath the surface of the river that you are separate and alone, the vapour of a funeral ribbon in the wind, when union flows into union, mingles and merges with union all around you so that you can exist to lament your delusion. No more than you can separate sound from the pigeon of air that carries it, or light from the anvil of space that bends it, every ray continuous with its source, the hive and the honey already in the cone of the flower, you’re always alone together with everything, every face you see, a blossom on your own bough. Take me. I am the man in the marble that was chipped away, the dust that was blown off like genetically deranged pollen. It would not be hard to vindicate my extinction. But the upshot of it all? I learned to root on the moon among the outtakes of the stars. And in the last fifty years I have never been less than astounded and grateful. Why live like the understudy behind the curtains of your next breath, waiting for a star to fall so you might prove you know your lines and how to act someone else’s emotions out on stage, when you’re already the fruit behind the blossom that turns the next page? In every shattered goblet, the wine of the world; over every continent of the broken mirror, all the stars of the inimitable, boundless, countless nights that feed on the flame of your awareness.



You can wear the stars like tattoos when space is your ultimate skin. Or maybe they’re genes, macroverse Pax6 Hox genes, all those aeons of light just to position your eyes. How small I am. How irrelevant. Flux. Flow. Fusion. Fission. Where the saltwater meets the fresh, in the primordial atom, was it a flowering out or a coming apart, particle or wave, or is the question as stupid as asking if water can drown? And there’s no point in trying to climb the logarithm of the profundity of my unknowing. The moon is fine where it is. Or I’m a lump of boorish, pasty, wadded matter masticated into a cud of grass and grazer, doomed to be transformed through seven stomachs. And it’s not likely that a blade of grass fed in at one end is going to be pulled out a feather at the other. Or maybe I’m just spooked a bit by time. Or there’s nothing more meaningless than a meaningful life. Anyway, why exhaust yourself like a fly at the pane of the sky, trying to swim through glass, harping on the incommensurable stations of your transformation into a repeating decimal? Values and meanings, but who interprets the interpreters? And there are sediments of metaphor under the river bottom, pages and pages of hidden icons like the fossils of covert programmes that boot me up every morning. And viruses that spam my thinking with artificial erections. So I resort to words the way a dam resorts to run-offs. I leak out of myself like the sea in a bag of skin to avoid being punctured by my own insights like the doll of a darker magic. How can the mindstream neglect its maritime ablutions? Black sail, white sail. Easy enough to understand. But what if, standing here on your headland, you spot one that’s striped, or grey? If the curse and the blessing are blurred? Or worse. My third eye needs glasses? Was love the first mover of life, or does life have a black agenda for love of its own? Two lungs of the same hourglass breathing sand in and out. And the whole of my life, a mirage in a desert. Who needs to go looking for a broom to sweep it away?



It’s important to let the words sink deeply into the page, an unribboned current of ink let loose in the blood until it merges indistinguishably with your most intimate emotions and thoughts if you want to write from the inside out. I’m sick of the mispelt writing on the wall glyphed out in the cursive script of comets that turn out to be nothing more than burning kites. Sometimes I put off the serious business of the boy to attend to the childish needs of the man, but mostly I am dunced by a genius that labours absurdly by the mindstream for profundities in the pan, unsayable things, gleaming insights that might root a rootless man. If it’s all absurd, then what’s the point of sending absurdity to school? So my discipline is absurdly free. My eyes can supersede the speed of light, and the relative nowness of my seeing is the past, is all available dimensions of the future that will establish me on either side of the Atlantic Ridge of my nose. And yet nothing is divided. Even when my third eye is used like a ball in a lacrosse game. My focus is primordial. Sometimes I see what the snake sees; sometimes I’m an ocean of eyes, and once, having made it as far as the precipice of a genuine abyss, I looked out into space and saw that the emptiness was one face with billions of eyes looking back at me like a gathering of rain just before it falls. What else could I do but flower? What more could I be than I was in that visionary hour? Since then, the best has been to work at things that are not threatened by achievement. Affairs of the heart. Affairs of the spirit. And, at the end of the day, there is no one so squalid that can’t wash the world off in their own unattainability.