Saturday, September 20, 2008


Estranged in my normalcy

am I mocking myself by living this way,

nothing to achieve,

everything to explore?

And it can be spiritual quicksand at times

to realize that no one experiences the seeing

because the seeing is us,

and lonely and cold and older than weather,

well beyond eyes.

And there’s a different kind of light

that illuminates the stillness with its dark clarity

and expands the frequencies of awareness

throughout its perfect creation

with a silence more horrific than love

and sometimes I think

I have annulled my being in that.

And the leaves fall

and I wonder about everything

and listen to the mystery and the sorrow

in the squalls of the Canada geese overhead at night.

It’s not so important

that they mean anything anymore,

the beads of the rosaries they were broken and scattered;

the muezzin on the minara merely the wind

that blows incessantly, but still,

they’re as sacred as they ever were

and I am awed like a well listening to the stars

by their passage

and the beauty and brevity of mine,

inflections of the same unknown endeavour

by the indiscernible doer

who may or may not be us.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

and in two days

the ecliptic will intersect

the celestial equator at the equinoctial colure

and it’s autumn again

and it’s hard to be cynical and incisive in the afterglow

of things that don’t last

when you’re one of them.

I miss every woman I’ve ever loved.

I wish I’d been kinder to my dead friends.

Where have my children gone?

Did I give it my all, and my all

amount to nothing?

Asters in the yellow grass.

Waterlilies on the further shore.

Forgoing knowledge and provision and place

I have come to compassion

by deepening the profundity of my insignificance.

Low orange moon among the willows,

I am a sad fool

looking for lightning and fireflies

in the benign extremeties of my ashes,

licking the rims of these bells of wisdom

I carry to my grave

to taste their iron for wine.

My nature is radiant

but I assess things like an eclipse.

Of all my mistakes

freedom is the most intolerable perfection.

Of all my perfections

freedom is the best flaw.



Sixty years. Serious time.

The spark life of a star. The flash of a firefly.

Am I old? Does energy age?

Should I become the accolite of drastic change?

Pursue the pathos in the mirage of some dangerous young woman

I accord the power to destroy me

just to witness the clarity in her eyes when she does?

Should I revert to my homeless dream

of being an artistic Zen mendicant

shedding poems and paintings like leaves?

Is my emptiness nihilistic or enlightened,

and does it even matter,

does it truly matter,

why should it matter

but for the fact that it does?

Are biochemicals the engines of my perception

and if they are

has my life merely been their hidden agenda?

Dark thought. Dark thought. And another.

Will the rain taste a little of my eyes when they flow away,

will the flower be tempered by their hue?

How will the child in me fare without fingertips?

Last night. Full moon. More beautiful for its passing and mine.

Death made its beauty gape

and I contaminated the clarity with the longing and fear

of a little man who knew he was wrong.

Humbled in my own eyes that I couldn’t

hold it all inside of me with serenity like the sky

or a man who deeply realized

his tears would never green

the rootless desert he wanders through,

his next breath a smudge on the wind,

less than sand on a furious gust of stars.

So be it. I am nothing. That said. Though I focus my will

to enforce my own extinction

there’s always a part more than I can release,

an angry, stubborn echo beyond the reach of my voice,

a bird more than the sky can tally on its rosary of worlds,

a crucial intimacy with something that can’t be detected.

What’s left when everything else has been answered.

This big I don’t know that keeps walking me away from myself

wondering what it might want

that I haven’t already given up.

But there’s no point in trying

to stare the moon into water

to prove you’re a dragon of rain

when the last of the flowers has already fallen

and we’re all heroic flies, each

at its futile windowpane,

falling like spent match-heads

out of the cuffs of our crazy flames.

I have been a star and played for the applause of the cemetery

and know the sound of a single gravestone clapping

like my own tongue

over the mordant oneliners

that bed my mindstream with comics and pebbles.

All my life I have tried not to be so serious a clown

I wasn’t profound but now

I am disgusted with the stench of my own meaning

as if it were bad meat thrown down a good well.

There’s no frenzy of the moon in a painted tear.

So much is cold. So much alone. So much

terror and mystery

in these beginnings without end

that lead us like roads to nowhere through ourselves

as if we were snakes threading the eyes of our own needles

to patch what can’t be torn.

I have been gored on the horn of God

and pricked my thumb on a thorn

to watch the roses bloom like drops of garish blood.

And I have been as sincere as water

in the darkness of my own depths

where devotion carried me like a current

when courage could not

and I watched the eclipses bloom

in the clear radiance of a seeing without a seer.

The quixotic chaos of an encyclopedic hallucination.

Who would have thought clarity so amiguous?

Or that I could push the hook of the moon all the way through?