Saturday, November 29, 2008



Free already and it doesn’t cost a cent

if you’ve got the courage to live it.

It’s the high price of maintaining your chains,

iron and golden, the ones

that have convinced you they’re lifelines,

the ones that moor you to the bottom like anchors,

the ones you collect like silver umbilical cords

looped like rosaries through the eyes of your keys

to various spiritual experiences

you once occupied like celestial rooms

that enervates you,

the ones you think you look good in

when you’re blinged out like a constellation

for a sleazy night on the town,

blood-chains, daisy-chains, thought-chains,

the chain of your vetebrae

that connects your ass to your head,

and the chains that are holding you up like a bridge

streaming with rush-hour traffic,

that lift you up and let you down

like a valve over the moat of your heart

that’s chained like a kite to the wall of a dungeon.

It’s thinking the chains are solid,

elemental and necessary

that binds you to them

in a linkage of circumstance

that weeps like solder all over the real.

You’re hammering out iron ellipses

on the anvil of your heart

you’ve poured your blood into

like a sword of light you’ve melted down

like the stone you drew it from

to chain the music to its notes

like a wharf to a gaggle of lifeboats

knocking their empty heads together

in a squall of bad weather.

And you’re blinding real water

in an eyeless mirage

if you chain yourself to freedom or the void

or bind yourself to the exigent absurdities

in the abyss of enlightenment

mistaking nullity for the way

to delete the dark incumbent

you carry around like a sail

you keep breathing into

as if a nose-ring could enslave the wind

or the looms of the spiders teach the angels to weave.














Free already and it doesn’t cost a cent

if you’ve got the courage to live it.

It’s the high price of maintaining your chains,

iron and golden, the ones

that have convinced you they’re lifelines,

the ones that moor you to the bottom like anchors,

the ones you collect like silver umbilical cords

looped like rosaries through the eyes of your keys

to various spiritual experiences

you once occupied like celestial rooms

that enervates you,

the ones you think you look good in

when you’re blinged out like a constellation

for a sleazy night on the town,

blood-chains, daisy-chains, thought-chains,

the chain of your vetebrae

that connects your ass to your head,

and the chains that are holding you up like a bridge

streaming with rush-hour traffic,

that lift you up and let you down

like a valve over the moat of your heart

that’s chained like a kite to the wall of a dungeon.

It’s thinking the chains are solid,

elemental and necessary

that binds you to them

in a linkage of circumstance

that weeps like solder all over the real.

You’re hammering out iron ellipses

on the anvil of your heart

you’ve poured your blood into

like a sword of light you’ve melted down

like the stone you drew it from

to chain the music to its notes

like a wharf to a gaggle of lifeboats

knocking their empty heads together

in a squall of bad weather.

And you’re blinding real water

in an eyeless mirage

if you chain yourself to freedom or the void

or bind yourself to the exigent absurdities

in the abyss of enlightenment

mistaking nullity for the way

to delete the dark incumbent

you carry around like a sail

you keep breathing into

as if a nose-ring could enslave the wind

or the looms of the spiders teach the angels to weave.


Thursday, November 27, 2008



for Joanne, thirty years late

but not a lifetime too soon

If your heart is a burning house

you keep running back into like blood

to save someone you’re not even sure is there

like the perfect flame

of the dangerous stranger who set you ablaze

you might pray for rain, and rain might fall

and put the fire out

and mercy flood in like an ocean

but you will taste the ashes the rest of your life

like the bucket beside the stove

of a kitchen philosophy

that roars at the stars

but ends up shovelling the words

like an avalanche of urns out of its own mouth

it will later throw on the roots of the roses.

Thirty years since we last saw each other

when I woke you up in the morning

and said I was leaving and afraid

and you with a smile

that can still bring me to tears said

don’t be such a coward.

And in that last moment of our life together

everything I had ever loved about you

pierced my heart like a spear

that had been dipped in the flaming exlixir

of your long, auburn hair, Irish lava

flowing over the side of the bed

like the coast of a new island

I would be marooned on for the rest of my days

like a lifeboat scuttled on the moon

I keep trying to patch with fire

and launch on the next high tide

that comes in like a bride

and throws herself down upon me

like water on my funeral pyre.

But the only thing that ebbs and neaps here

are these shadows and eclipses

in the fierce silence of a mouthless scream

and a face that’s always turned away from me

when I look for you among the planets

like the longing of a chromatically aberrant telescope

trembling with stars and rainbows

high atop its rickety tripod footstool

with its head in the noose of another birth

and there is no earth.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008



If you want to lie apart from your lover

like the Red Sea in bed

there’s no need to thrash the water with a sword

when the tone of one word will do it.

If you’re angry and dispossessed as the full moon

and you’re holding your lover like a viper to your breast

because he appeals to you like death

and no one could guess how good it feels

to slough off his mortal coil like skin

no need to cauterize your constellations like tatoos

and vex the moonlight with the ashes of doves

rising from the smoke of the angelic X

you painted on your door

to text you away from contagion

because no one lives there anymore

and the hex of a whore

is a stronger medicine

than the exlixir of virgins

that come running with a cure.

Time to wash the watercolours out of your eyes

that run like blood in the rain.

Time to realize even the universe

can’t keep it together

and everything is flying off into space

like a fifteen billion year old tantrum

and no one knows why.

Maybe God was a hidden secret in his solitude

who wished to be known

and committed suicide

just to see his own life

flashing before his eyes

in the company of you and me

before he returned to himself like death

on the last breath he let go of like creation.

Point is: it’s time to stop looking for a suicide note

he might have left you like a sacred text

of his hidden gospel by the Dead Sea

and realize that just being here

is enough of a cosmology

to get you through the night

and the only direction

you should heed in the light

are your own eyes. It’s time

to stop thinking you showed up in the world

like some kind of unlooked-for surprise

and that your life is a bonus

that puts the onus on the lucky to be grateful

because you know better than I do

how hard it is to love the unlucky

when sad luck turns into the hateful

and the falling stars of scar-crossed lovers

pit and pummel the moon

until it swells over the horizon

like a palatte of black and blue

to smudge the bruises on its face

in the mirrors of the lakes and the dew

with ontological cosmetics

that indelibly paint the view

over the broken window

that murders the birds with lies and illusions.

Those aren’t lovemaps on your cheek.

They’re contusions.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Why do so many comets of women

fall in love with men

who have firehydrants for hearts

or burn their faces off the lucidity of their blood mirrors

like the sunlit exorcism of the mist off a lake in the morning

streaming away like the ghosts of swans

or the stars through Cygnus

as if they were diamonds leaking out of themselves

in a palace of coal as old as the darkness

where they finger their faces like braille

looking for flaws in the moonlight

or wait for some drunk to come home

like a black sail on the angry seafoam of a beer?

And again, he declared war on your eyes

as if your face were some sort of disguise

for the way you truly see him

and again, your ruby lip

is chipped like the saucer

you keep slipping under him like love

to catch what he spills from his toilet-bowl heart

when he pours you out.

It’s three in the morning

and you’re shaking with terror

there might be a lonelier truth in admitting the error

than working with lies to get it right

and you’re crying as if there were no bottom to the night.

Don’t you know, baby, when the chicken’s been eaten

all that’s left is the wishbone

and yours has been broken like a harp

stuck in the throat of an angel

who still thinks she can sing to the beast

of softer ordeals than all these savage thresholds

you keep crossing like a lop-sided weathervane

as if happiness always lay to the east?

And you don’t want to call the police

and you don’t want me to cruise the streets

and find the fuck

and beat the shit out of him

until he’s shyer than a sex change

and there are reasons only you know

for why he snorts the Milky Way like blow

and raves like a little god on a late night talk show

about the premiere of the opening act of his next comeback

that always ends like an air-raid siren in a blackout

sitting here like you with nothing to say

as you hang the dead oceans

of your starless emotions

like bloodied bedsheets

over your bruised windows and pray

as if you were downloading stars into a telescope like a gun

that might go off like God in your mouth

over London during the blitz.

Walk away, walk away, walk away,

and let your eyes heal like waterbirds

that efface their flowing in the distance

and that bow of a lip that was split by a fist

be feathered by the fire of a poison-tipped arrow

that stings like a kiss good-bye

when it comes up like the Queen of Cups

on the dark side of the Tarot

and you stop letting yourself be pushed around

like the moon in a wounded wheelbarrow.




Black sapphire on the verge of blue

what image now is this of you

gathering out of the night air

like the light of the stars

or a ghost beginning to breathe?

I’m not waiting like a host in the darkness

for company, not longing

to be anywhere with anyone, but alone.

Haven’t I tasted your sorrows enough

to know the grief that marrows you like a bone

as if it were my own?

And it may be a bell-shaped planet

that poured out of its own volcanic forges

wobbling on the clapper of its axis

like a drunk at a wake

to toll its way around the sun

mourning the death of everything born in the light

that swings between spring and autumn,

but I’m not crying to sweeten the night with my tears,

or deepen my solitude

by summoning back the leaves

that were torn out like the pages of a book

at a heartshaking seance of the lost years

when a black harvest moon cut out my tongue.

Despite the cliches applied like poultices and placebos

to draw the infection out as if age were a disease

and not the glory of an old painter

still standing at the easles of the trees

shedding himself like portraits and leaves,

I am not young anymore

and there’s more behind me than ahead

worth dying for.

No one can ever be sure,

but I think I’ve died enough for one lifetime

to walk alone in the woods far from home

through my own leaves

rather than the duff of spiritual junkmail

that lies about the violets under it

on the thresholds of a graveyard’s horizontal doors.

Now is a moment unborn, and now

is the breathless sustainer its own unperishing

and effortlessly I have become everything

that wears my face like the universe

I just breathed out of my lungs

and speaks in one voice like me, like autumn,

in many tongues, of the mystical affinity

of a human divinity to identify itself with everyone

and still not be able to give itself a name

or say who it really is

when it tries to pluck the flame from the fire.

Then again, it’s not hard to admire the tact of the fact

that sometimes life is a liar

and a snapping turtle rises up

from the murky bottom of the starmud

and rapes the swan of the moon

like a choir in a feather bed

and then sinks again like a bell with a penis head

that’s just converted gold into lead

like a heavy noun back into the dark dream grammar of the dead

who lie there like children trying not to move

for fear of alerting the nightmare

and pretend not to feel anything.

But I haven’t been looking for you

like the continuity of a lifestream on the palm of my hand,

or this theme of simulacra in a waking dream

that might lead me back to you like an island in the fog

to the coasts of the empty lifeboat

you left me like a suicide note

I’ve been trying to write ever since

that might make some sense out of your death,

out of the abysmal absence

I keep trying to live up to

like my next breath.


Sunday, November 23, 2008



I can remember you screaming

like a shattered crackhouse window

something obscene to the last john on death row

you railed like a comet in passing.

Your mind was a mirror

that had suffered one too many exorcisms

not to weep on the dark side

like an exhausted eclipse

when you cracked like a wishbone for the boys

and I could never imagine

what you said to yourself

when you picked yourself up after them like toys

they had forgotten they had wished for.

When you pulled the shower curtain closed

like a bruise on a nun

were you in a cloister or a confessional

or are there other vows

that can only be broken by a professional?

You were all gates to everyone

but no matter how many they passed through

they never made it as far as the garden.

But I can remember one night with you

before we both grew up through the concrete

when the angel with the flaming sword

blew herself out like a candle

and there was more to the beginning

than just a word.

Everything sprang up like mushrooms

and in every one

I could taste you like the moon.

And San Francisco in the sixties

showed us both what the world could have been like

if it had been created by a woman

but it was you alone

in the silence of our mystic complicity

that revealed what could be revealed

of your plans for paradise.

Are you in it now?

Are you dabbling your toes

in the salmon-enchanted rivers of the dawn

or leaping over the obvious rainbows upstream

to heal your urgency in the sacred pools of Goldstream

as if the sea depended on it?

The last time I saw you

the drugs had made you so thin

you looked like a ladder going down into a deep hole

and there were no demons or angels on it rungs

and the stars in your eyes had turned their dancefloors

into the heads of tiny pins and celestial syringes

at the other end of the telescope that makes things small.

And then the ferry pulled away from the wharf like a planet

and left me standing dwarfed in its wake

and I remembered you, so unafraid and golden

insisting I push you higher and higher

with every return of the swing

as if you couldn’t do anything

without coming full circle,

and then you jumped like a stone from a sling

or a comet from its dark halo

and I saw the moon fall out of your ring

like an opal, like an eye

and by October when you left for Mexico,

the little we had of a belated childhood was over.

I wanted to call and tell you

I still loved you like that summer

you turned, and laughed, and raised your shirt

and showed me your breasts at the end of the walkway

like something of you

you wanted me to remember.

And I do. God knows I do, by the way I hurt

like a road you didn’t take

or the face you kept hidden for my sake

that still keeps on using me like tears

when you asked me in jest

but listened for the answer like a bell

if after all these years

I would still die for you

and for a few hours one afternoon

you were Josie again, happy and vain and glorious,

whenever I answered yes

and there was no chain in hell

that could bind you like a swing or a well

to the pendulous clockwork deathcart axles and oxen of anything

and no pain in the silence that followed the news of your death

when I said it again

and true as a comet to its calling

or the map of a star to its falling through fire,

you streamed out forever like your hair in an exaltation of glee

lacing summer stars through the darkest places in me

screaming, higher, Patrick, higher,

push me higher than I’ve ever been

as if I could pick up where you had left off

like a kite on the wing

a girl on a swing

and the world was not dirty and mean.


Saturday, November 22, 2008



Here. But I can’t say where this is.

Now. But it’s hard to determine the time zone

when the sun shines at midnight

like an X-ray of my skull.

Obviously, I’m thinking of you,

but I’m mapping myself like a lie detector

that’s trying to forge my neverending signature

on a pardon that didn’t come through.

And when the priests come like the last rites

to my holding cell

to compare confessions,

I’m wired to the night like a buddha

with his hand on the switch to enlightenment

and I burn for things God did on his own

though I’d be the last to throw the first stone

or plead like a judas-goat at the foot of a tiger-throne.

There’s no honour among thieves

when the shit hits the fan

and the only loyal man

is not a man born of a mother

but there are codes that you can keep to yourself

like ashes in the urns of the constellations

that have never been fingered out

like a suspect in a line-up.

I’m not rolling around in myself

like a thumb in ink

to see what I think

through a crack in the cup of the case,

and I’m not trying to conceal myself

behind the surgically-altered face of the moon

that sags like an old movie-star

over its reflection in the eyes of the morning dew.

For years I lived in isolation

like a message in the eye of a bottle lost at sea

but now I’ve forgotten what it was

I was meant to reveal

when the seal was broken

like DNA on the shard of mirror that slashed my throat

to keep me from singing

like a bubble of light in a lifeboat

or the last flash of a breath in the depths

from the mouth of drowning messiah

who mistook his feet for waves and stairs

and burnt them walking on stars.


Friday, November 21, 2008



Just look at you now,

bound and blindfolded,

prodded by the point of a sword

to walk your own erection

like the plank of a pirate ship

out into the depths of a woman

who receives you like the ocean

as you, who never played fair,

plead like the gulls in your wake

for the garbage she throws from the stern.

Those who live by the woman

will die by the woman,

but little brother,

you’re falling on your own sword

long before she’s even

flung herself fly fishing

from the starboard side

like the grappling hooks of the moon

to pull herself in close

until you’re both bumping hulls

and she’s swinging from the masts to board you.

And I know you’re in pain, it’s got to hurt,

dying like this for a cliche

that ripped you off like a skirt.

But you never stopped long enough

to look at the moon and notice

how it keeps changing the skulls

it superimposes over its tripleX crossbones

like the negative of a stranger

she never finishes developing

and that one of those gaping icons of doom is yours,

but then you always thought

you were the ultimate g-spot

on the Whore of Babylon

and now it’s got to itch to be wrong.




Longing over-reaches itself

when it turns into a request

so I’m not asking for anything from the stars;

I’m not standing here looking up at the night sky

trying to identify you among all that is shining,

waiting for your light like a remote gift

on this bridge without a past or a future

where a man in the vastness of his solitude

is still not enough of a zenith

to illuminate his passage to the other side.

I don’t keep myself on like a nightlight in the darkness

or churning in the lifestreams

of these immeasureable depths

pretend someone’s saved a seat for me

in a lifeboat that’s already full.

And for all the eternities that I have spent looking

like waves out on the open eye of the sea

for a constellation of my own,

when the moon breaks like a wine goblet

over the stone of my skull

to launch another continental shipwreck

I still don’t think I taste of stars

or that my dick is a reliable lighthouse.

And sure, it’s a lot of bluff and brave talk

when you get punched in the heart

by a bareknuckled squall

and you’re buried at sea

under the black flag of an indelible eclipse

after someone suggests you say something over yourself

as you would for the dead

and it’s lifetimes later

and you’re a dangerously different coast

but I’m beginning to remember what I said.

That you are life is certain.

That you are love

is the wind in a curtain

fishing for fireflies in an open window

as if you were trawling for stars.

And if I were caught like the gills of the moon in your nets

would you haul me up onto your decks

and choosing me like a coin from your purse

to put under my tongue

like a full moon for the ferryman

throw me back into my own resurgency?

I’ve been to the top of the prodigal mountain

that looks into its own heart

like a ghost returning home

only to stand before the scuttled gate

of a dead sea that had wept away its waters.

And I have heard the sirens scream

like poppies in their sleep

rushing to their own emergencies

like blood in the water

waiting for the jaws of life,

but there was nothing I could do to wake them

and they slept through me like an afterlife

that had come to the back door

of someone who doesn’t live here anymore.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008



The blithe surface of things is the worst scar.

Putting a smile on everything

as if nothing were worthy of darkness or sorrow

and the night that grows stars be sanctioned

by the one-eyed judges of the postive thought police

who are as blinded by their own blazing

as black holes are, grazing on light in the dark.

There is no holy war between the negative and the positive,

the mother and the son,

one wing of the bird and the other.

You want the waterlilies and the blue hyacinths

but you don’t want the swamp they grew out of,

you want the flowers and the wine

you love the blossoms on the vine

but not the mangers of sheep shit

that cradle the seed and warm the root.

Is it postive to be negative about negativity

or are you just trying to keep up appearances?

Is anything made brighter by your denouncing of the dark

or are you just another sunny puritan of noon

trying to bleach the stars out

like stains on the bedsheets

when you shake the nightbirds

out of the bedsheets like shadows and crumbs

from your queen-sized skies?

We are humans. We suffer.

We break like trees in an icestorm

and sometimes the untethered kites of our minds

burn like kamikaze loveletters in the powerlines

after the big disconnect

and we just fucking well hurt.

And there are spaces so vast and impersonal within us

that even the silence is afraid of the answer

when gods die like tigers in an abandoned zoo

and all that is left like the last insurgent in Bagdhad

is you waiting to go off like a bomb

to begin the universe again, without pain

like the child that was just identified

by her left foot

stuck in the blood and the flowers

splashed across a new running shoe.

And I know at any moment

you’re ready to tell me how many angels

are dancing on the head of a pin,

and that the darkness can only be conquered with light

when I’m afraid of being me in the night

opening my eyes

and looking down into the ocean like a wave,

but how many wombs does it take to fill a grave?

Or do you distinguish one emptiness from the other

as if one were the recipient, and the other, the organ donor?

Is birth on one side and death on the other side of the door

or is nothing given so nothing can be taken away

like the renewable virginity

of this maculate whore of a moon

that beguiles us with the beauty of her fangs

and the way she kills us into life

by unlocking the bolt on the gate

and releasing the bullet from its chamber?

But if I tell you that rape is the atrocity a la mode of genocide

being waged against the tribal chromosomes of the Congo

even just to nudge a thought like a stem cell toward the issue

that might grow the other half of your heart

you sour like ice cream

and change the theme

to flowers and babies that are born like fists

as if you were the only nurse

on the midnight shift of the nightward

and I were the resident gravedigger for the nursery

always knocking on things like wombs and skulls

to see if I can raise the dead in the rosebed

to make room for more.

Life may well be a form of emptiness

shaped and turned, effaced and urned

like a lump of wet clay on a wheel,

the starmud of a squalid planet,

celestial leftovers on a dirty plate,

but you approach it like a potter

with two right hands

trying to avoid turning left

to the far side of your brain

and when you do

you damn it like original sin

and then go around trying to milk the moon

as if you could separate

the positive snake serum

from the positive toxin

that unspools like honey

from the crescents of your lipless grin.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008



Maybe if I try to understand it

I can forget what it means, maybe

these breakdown, blasting cap tears

I’m wired to like a beaver dam

about to wash out the road

like blood at a crime scene

as the sky lies down upon me

like a collapsed lung, or a mattress

that enslaves rubber tires in chains

to deaden the explosion,

might leave something clean

like the glowing fields in the sunset

after a thunderstorm.

And if I’ve been trying to train my diamonds to flow

it’s only so I can take a bath in my own grave

to rinse myself off the shining like coal.

But it’s bad form to throw the world

down your neighbour’s well at night

like bad meat

so I keep my horrors symbolically discrete

by sowing stars in the wounds

to cauterize the pain

and pretend that everything is sweet.

I write poems about waterlilies

and float them downriver

like paper boats on the moon;

or I set myself on fire like the origami rose

I folded out my bloodstream

just to add a little colour and class to the ashes

or run my tongue along the sabre of the crescent moon

to hone the eloquence of the mad slasher

into something more than a papercut

and a comma of blood on my thumb,

but it’s hard to get chatty in Auschwitz

when everyone around you is playing dead or dumb

and the afterlives of the Nazis

are the cornerstones of the new millenium

they’re building for my convenience down the block.

And I want to talk, I want to say myself

wholly and unholy as I am

but my muse has turned into a Medusa

who thinks she looks good wearing

that snakepit on her head

and trying to say anything

is like trying to turn my tongue into a jackhammer

to get down to the bottom of my emotional life

like this nameless gravestone on the moon

I keep carving out of bedrock.

So I seep back into my self like blood on a sword

or a shadow at noon

or the frown of an eclipse

in the facepaint of a starless oilslick

that swims in its own skin like a snake across the moon

as if it were the sad path of a road

that never makes it home

and drown my rage like a torch

in the fathomless silence of a black mirror

to burn like the afterlife

of a dragon in an urn,

or swallow the moon whole

and drown myself in the rain

like a candle that blew itself out

to keep from boiling like a heretic in its own tears

and keep the farmers at their prayers

happy for years.


Monday, November 17, 2008



Overlapping bullseyes of the rain

that never misses the mark,

each bullet, each arrow of water

its own target

as if subject and object were none

or seeing the inseparable locus of being

like puddles in the parking lot

and then the gust of a shapeshifter in passing

and every drop turns into a tuning fork

that resonates out of itself like a solar system

or a bird whose wingspan is the duration of every note.

And then someone passes me

like a loveletter they found on the street

under the door of a chameleonic threshold

or a flower down a drain

and I’m alone again

trying to hang on like the last leaf on the tree

to a delusion that has already let go of me

like an address on an aging piece of paper

that’s forgotten its way home.

The mindstream is glutted

with the wrecks of November

and there’s no way across except on the skulls

of these stepping-stone moons

that cling to my emotions

like greasy moss on a moodring

but I’m urgently savage enough

to scalp my own comets

as they venture out of their dark haloes

and exultantly fling their topknots across the sky

like reruns of a warning to an extinct species.

New feathers and fur for old scales, perhaps,

but I’ve always tried

to forget the future before it happens

in order to live now with the assurance of a dangerous dinosaur

and as all the enlightened know

like a jewel opening its eyes

in the back of their brain,

there isn’t any effort to evolution

or floral agenda to the rain

because everything is utterly keyless

when the water guitar strings its own ripples

over the great abyss

and thumbs sad music

for all the missing links along the way,

all the starring parts I never got to play

that undo me like a food chain.

But in a world so elegantly free

even the rain is a mere gesture

of the eye-growing sea I bubbled up from

to explore the terrain like a wheel

until it turned from solid to real

living with purpose

is just a shortcut

to living in vain.

Go ask the rain

falling like tears

from these visions of being

back into its own eyes.

Even the hardest crystal ball

you’ve ever huddled around like north

convinced you could find a passage through like light

will eventually ride its own melting

like an icecube back into the seeing

and you will be the journey

that puts on your body like a shoe

and walks you out to clarify the view

of your own transformative mysteries

until you’re as free and as expansive as the skies

that attach themselves like wings

to the emergent exclamations of the dragonflies

and washing yourself off

like the stain of an indelible eclipse

in billions upon billions of eyes

you will taste the light like honey

in the flower-mouths of all your metamorphoses

and gathering yourself up

like the gods of roots and rivers

who enshrined their passage in everything

as if we were all survivors

of the mysterious gifts of the life-givers,

you will give yourself away to everything alike

without distinction for the demons and the divas,

and the warm compost

of all those undernourished divinities

that distemper your lucidities,

and like a god

among the shining myriads

without anything on your mind

you will bead like light

on the branches of the autumn trees

and falling to the root

like jewels and fruit

you will see what the rain sees.


Sunday, November 16, 2008



I couldn’t have lived it any differently

than it lived me so inseparably

like the moon’s reflection on the water

there’s no point in trying to lift my life

like an emerging face by the corners

out of the developer in a dark room

to see whom I’ve been saying goodbye to

all the years it took to grow into me

all the years I’ve been following myself

like a wanted poster I cut two holes in for my eyes

and wore like a mask into an allnight casino on the moon.

When I look back sometimes upon my life

like a shadow who’s tagged along for the ride

it’s been a long, long getaway to the other side of nowhere

as I’ve lived through these eyeless deserts of myself

from one well to the next

like a slut of water.

And maybe I would have surrendered

if I had found anyone to surrender to

but when I turned around to give myself up

there were no posses in the light

no stool or noose of stars hanging over me in the night.

And everything after that has felt

like the random solitude of the wind

without beginning or end

blowing on the stars

like the heater of my cigarette

to pass the time

and see if I can make them brighter.

But at night the desert turns the mike over to space

and my emotions have a chance to expand

like a herd going over a precipice

or a heart clinging to the moon

like a barnacle on the side of a pyramid sunk in sand

and when I listen to myself

there’s always a left-handed afterlife

living me like a holdup I hadn’t planned.

And then there are times

when I am uplifted by some stray gust of stars

like a dusty fingerprint on the trigger of the moon

I’m pointing like some suicidal holy man at my own temple

trying to convert the thief in me to a new way to steal

from the serpent’s purse that strikes at my heel like a bank alarm

in the desparate attempt of a fading mirage

to prove I’m real.

And then those nights, those long hideous nights

when the darkness hardens like a lump of coal

and shatters me like a windowpane

when I am the least convincing argument

for the existence of God

that I’ve ever met

and the only way that I can forget,

the only way I can keep from going insane

is to live in vain

as if my life depended on it.


Friday, November 14, 2008



You don’t do crack or speed or heroin;

you’re not lifting the moon like an eyelid

to find a new place to shoot,

but you’re boiling your heart in a spoon,

you’re thawing the six rocks of your emotions,

boiling away the seven oceans

that will get you through the night

as if you were another sign of global warming.

And now you’re weeping and raging in my living room,

violently shapeshifting through your withdrawal

like an exorcism gone wrong

because the latest hot lover

you got hooked on like a dealer

proved to be a snakeoil salesman in paradise

who convinced you the scales of your daring

would turn into feathers

and your falling take flight.

Not everybody who jumps from heaven makes hell;

for example, your heart there on that rock

you’re kicking around at your feet

like the skull of the world,

isn’t that the sun on your horizon

pouring out of its broken shell like the yoke

of another tragic casualty of spring

fallen like Icarus from the embryonic wax

of your exaggerated wingspan?

Love is not a form of substance abuse

and I’m not the local, walk-in rehab centre

you can duck into anytime

you’ve spent your last dime like a bullet

on a dealer that’s not reloading,

but pain is pain and I can feel yours

chaining itself to all your emergency doors

so that no one could ever get out

when you go hunting for yourself

like a contract you’ve taken out on a highschool.

But it isn’t the object of your longing,

the focus of the star, the shining

that you’re addicted to

like all those placebos and soothers

you keep calling boyfriends,

faking you’re better

everytime you take one:

you’re addicted to addiction.

You’re addicted to the promise you mean to keep.

And you can keep on taking your clothes off like Christmas

and suffering the usual unwrapping depressions,

but you’re addicted to being a gift that was meant for someone else

and it’s never your name that follows the to or the from on the label

when you give yourself to Santa Claus

like a pimp in sable

and he addicts you to the starburn above the stable

that keeps making an ass of you

when the wise men take back their gifts.

So here you are again

before the perilous depths

of these preciptious cliffs

trashing your afflictions like female newborns

that were born of all that genetic junkmail

you once opened frantically like a loveletter

that wasn’t addressed to you

on the rocky threshold of the shore below

that looks up at you like the sickle of a smile

that reaps what you’ve sown,

but I know what you’ve always known:

that you’re addicted

to being unmarrowed by the moon

when the hummingbird who sipped honey

like gold from a cold stone

finds herself out of money and alone.

I can help you out with the cash flow

and though I know I’m not your drug of choice

measure my feelings out like methadone to ease the abyss,

but if you want my advice,

being addicted to addiction

is like trying to step into your own bloodstream twice

or drowning while diving for pearls

that have already risen like the full moon

and crossed you off the calendar

like the X that sucks the poison from the kiss.

Everyone longs for a night, a face, a space

they knew once even if just for the glance of a moment

when joy spiked the wine

and what was singularly human

rushed like a flashflood through the valleys

of the universally divine

and rain that had fallen like tears for years

on an ocean of sorrows

with no hope of flowers

suddenly bloomed like the moon’s corals

in the meadows of a mystic sea

and everything that could possibly be, was.

I knew that moment, for instance, once with you

but the inconceivable eventually flows down into the believable

like stars into mountain streams

and we end up panning for the irretrievable

like a nugget of night we lost in the moonbeams,

and impeaching each other like credible constellations

that can’t shine out of the box,

we check the locks on the mine

and go our separate ways

like abused metals,

mutants of gold and lead

that couldn’t turn the one into the another

once the alchemy wore off

and the glass alembic of another transformative cocoon

was shattered by the harvest stone

of an unphilosophical moon

and the pain was a change of species.

And you’re still the anti-muse of the butterfly effect

that inspires my chaos theory

of postdeconstructive poetry

when I strike one planet against another

like your heart against mine

looking for a spark

that might keep the universe warm for another night

but I know I can’t light the same fire again

or shoot the moon like silver

into the same exhausted vein

now all that matters is the next homeless hit

and this infinite choice of elixirs

that don’t quite do it

whenever I go looking for my voice

like a small word

in the ashes of a burning bush

or that bird of your phoenix heart that once sang in me like you

and fell like an autumn cradle from the lullaby tree

that still calls to me sometimes

and still keeps me up

like the ghost of an albatross

wailing off the coast of a lost art

wounded like the black sail of a loveletter on an unlucky wind.

But that doesn’t mean

I wait for you like a widower on the moon

for the last lifeboat that overturned in space

when the seas evaporated like the eyes in your face.

I’m not rummaging through my heart

like a medicine chest

for the three bells of the last all’s well

I can crush like the moon into a paste when I cry.

I’m not flagging my heart like a fit

sucking up the tranquil shadows of the moons’s dead oceans

as if I could bind your heart again to me like a barrel,

a clown in a shipwreck he’s wearing for pants,

and go over your falls again as I once did

in a Niagra of love potions.

We’ve had that dance

and the music we heard in each other

was wine unique as night

to the glass that contained it like a body,

and I don’t need to seek again

in these lotions of rain that fall gently now

what was so wholly and incommensurably once

that in every drop of water I feel you like the sea.

A truly enlightened junkie

only needs to hit once

and it’s good for a lifetime

so there’s never really any chance

of coming down from the people we’ve loved

who poured the stars into our abandoned wells

like a nightwine that shunned the sun

so why all this talk about kites

that caught fire and crashed

and the new space shuttles

you keep wheeling up to your gantry

like all these love affairs you keep trying to launch

like a rave on ecstasy,

trying to swim with the stars

when you’re already flying

with the whole of creation

like the nightsea of a black rose

that can only be seen

in the depths of its darkness

with eyes of wine

that have shed their petals and waves

like a sky that has let go of its lifeline?