Monday, October 27, 2008



When I look at people and things, my own life,

when I turn the light around

and catch myself at work in a backalley

like an open window stealing thieves,

it’s easy to understand

that nothing exists as a thought, a dream, a form, or a person

that isn’t a protocol of the emptiness

that shapes us like flowers and cups and stars.

This morning, for example, I’m as clear

as a bottle that’s never tasted the wine

or a windowpane, the rain,

and last night I was the underpainting

of a darkness deeper than the face of a clown

before he wakes up and puts it on.

For the moment my mouth is a chrysalis

pieced together from my own duff and detritus

and bound by the glue of an ancient grammar

with bloodroots in the night

that mingle with lilies on the moon

and want to bloom like anthracite and dragons.

The highest and the lowest come together

like snakes and wings

and my penis flys!

But that’s probably

an oxymoronic overstatement

as most truths are just before

they’re absolved by their own extinction.

What’s the sound of one orgasm rapping to itself?

I’ve been blooded like a bell

to know the phoenix of grief

that rises from the fire

when gasoline weeps.


I’ve been rounded by the moon

like a pebble in a tide,

the black pearl under my tongue,

to exorcise myself like a ghost

left holding on to life like an ostrakon.


My heart squanders me

like confederate currency

on union collection plates

and nothing is set free

and it’s getting harder to budget being me

and I’m running out of continents and coastlines

where the ships I hoped would discover me

don’t come in like bills

where even my name

isn’t the native I was when I was young.

And it’s all relentlessly and perfectly O.K.

More leaves have already fallen from the trees

than will fall in the autumns to come

and the valleys are never very far

from the mountains that climb out of them.