Monday, October 6, 2008


And it’s funny how we carry each other

within ourselves like mingled waters

that taste of the moon,

that taste of bruised orchids

in the shadow of all those glass greenhouses,

Eden in a masonjar,

that learned to throw stones,

and mysteriously engaging

that we go on creating each other as we have

forever inseparably each on his own

alone together with everyone

wondering why we exist

to know one day we won’t.

Gates and roads and miles and whispers away

and a longing that can only be measured

in the lightyears of a star

and all the eras, all the trances of time

of passion and extinction,

of despair that turned on hope like a toxin

and hope that flared like the third man on a match

learning to brighten the stars

by deepening its darkness,

I have lived from eclipse to eclipse

like an unintelligible abyss who misses everyone

for the quality of breath and death and emptiness

that makes me me

when I want to be impossibly alone

and the memories have issues and agendas of their own

like a dead branch trying to witch for water at a window.

Where are you now?

Who were you?

Have I survived?

Whose ashes are these?

Now I am the tree. And you are the wind

and the pursuit of nothing flows on endlessly like life and water.

And all the lovely deserts that enhanced the moon

and coaxed me out my old delirium

into a deeper one

by drinking the viper in the grail

they lifted to my lips like a gate

that everyone comes to like a stranger

prodigally returning to his own homelessness,

following the wind like a siren of sand

have slipped through my fingers like music,

though my voice still tastes of them

when I drink from their reflections,

not knowing whether I have become

a darkness in the light
or a light in the darkness

but grateful for the grander perspective

from the bottom of the well

where they showed me their stars at noon

and the sun at midnight

and how the fires that nourish love

cannot be put out like torches

in their own shadows

anymore than a bird can fall from its feathers.










Not an opinion, not a lie, not a truth,

blood that clings, blood that sings like a whip

in registers of pain that not even the angels could screech,

I wake up this morning wearing Darfur like a straitjacket, like a burn

as if the stars had been poured into a gash

or the moonlight talced my corpse with powdered lime

and I feel another’s wound as if it were not mine

and realize how much seeing can be an asylum

from feeling it as if it were

and there’s a reek of obscenity

under the subtle cologne of my cynicism

that is amused by the polymorphous perversity

of an empathic innocence it hadn’t suspected.

How many doors and walls and windows and gates and countries there are,

how many ingratiating perspectives,

how much luck of the delusion

and credit cards and passports and bureaucracies away I am

from the roar of the slaughter I read about

in the volcanic shales of hell,

opening the morning paper of my heart

like a refugee tent in Darfur.

So let me be clear. This poem

is not a loaf of bread that can be broken

to feed the distended planet of a child’s belly,

not a messiah of medicine anointing with a syringe,

it feeds nothing, it cures nothing, it kills nothing

that needs to be killed

nor brings the dead back to life

and it despises itself

that it’s not an ambassador or bubble

you can find sanctuary in

bobbing irridescently on an ocean of rabies,

that it isn’t lowering arks over the side of the planet like lifeboats

or sinking wells on the moon like mothers to drink from.

It’s as irrelevant and stupid and vain as most of us here

preening rainbows on the palettes of our feathers

like pimped-out parrots nipping at ideological lice

while a young woman is trying to learn to walk normally again

in front of her stigmatized shadow

after being ideologically raped like oil.

And should I subsume the expedience of her violation

under the necessitous tolerance of collateral atrocities

in a shifting global market

that arrays its statistics like maggots?

What is it that we find so difficult to admit

when we look upon a young black boy, four years old,

starving to death, and it isn’t sadness in his eyes

that have given up imploring, not anger or blame

as he sits like a big-headed buddha in his own filth and vermin,

as if the silent ucoiling of his Darfurian genes

had written his destiny on flypaper?

Do you see that numbness in his eyes

like an eclipse with nothing to cover,

an unholy nakedness deeper than skin,

and the concession of impotence beside him

that was once his mother, more accustory

than Amnesty International or the U.N. or CNN

because she doesn’t accuse? Do you feel

how the moon has been ripped from the bride

and hear how she breaks like the limb of tree,

and understand how her every step and breath and pulse

is an exhausted intimate of horror

that took her like gangrene on her wedding night?

Do you know she lies in your driveway like roadkill?

Did you wake up this morning as I did

feeling as if I were living her honeymoon?