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.