Thursday, October 2, 2008


Counting the beads of the geese returning

as if they were the rosaries of time

as the night deepens into the mercy of its roots

and silence is the name of a god

that buffers its urgency with smoke.

I want to appeal my life like a bad trial

but the jury’s been out for sixty years

and no one ever sees themselves

with the same eyes twice

so it’s hard to know

if I’m the plaintiff or the defendant

but I put on a mask

and execute myself regularly just to be sure.

A human mind at night alone

is beyond the reach of the heart

that comes running in at the last hour like inadmissible evidence

to humanize the emptiness that appalls it.

Sometimes I look at the howl on the moon’s face

like Edvard Munch’s Scream

and feel the agony and the isolation

of the universe giving birth to itself in everything

through ordeals of transformation

that can baffle even pain

with the intimacy of its excruciations

like an animal suffering without knowing why.

Always, inside of me

this vacuity that’s never fulfilled,

this longing and taste for the indefineable,

as if I could give pain a face and a shape

that would let me know if it were blind

or could see,

and what its blindness revealed

and what, if there’s a secret to it all,

its eyes concealed.

I have drunk mystic eclipses from unholy grails

and lit candles in the shrines of the moon

as if they were the sockets of my own skull

and smeared my awareness across the nightsky like stars

and been diminished beyond brutally

like a feather the wind left behind.

There’s an art to stringing arrows to the snake in your hand

that’s eyeing you like the music of a warm target

and I’m a long way from mastering it yet,

hopeless as a bone,

and my seeing has failed me so many times

there’s a constellation of black holes

weighing the dice with astronomical odds

against the farcical profundity of my destiny

as a sidereal archer,

but I’ve grown fond of the relentlessness of the clown

in this compassionately infernal way

and rush to every emergency

like the fang of the antidote,

knowing there isn’t a cure.