THE BLITHE SURFACE OF THINGS
The blithe surface of things is the worst scar.
Putting a smile on everything
as if nothing were worthy of darkness or sorrow
and the night that grows stars be sanctioned
by the one-eyed judges of the postive thought police
who are as blinded by their own blazing
as black holes are, grazing on light in the dark.
There is no holy war between the negative and the positive,
the mother and the son,
one wing of the bird and the other.
You want the waterlilies and the blue hyacinths
but you don’t want the swamp they grew out of,
you want the flowers and the wine
you love the blossoms on the vine
but not the mangers of sheep shit
that cradle the seed and warm the root.
Is it postive to be negative about negativity
or are you just trying to keep up appearances?
Is anything made brighter by your denouncing of the dark
or are you just another sunny puritan of noon
trying to bleach the stars out
like stains on the bedsheets
when you shake the nightbirds
out of the bedsheets like shadows and crumbs
from your queen-sized skies?
We are humans. We suffer.
We break like trees in an icestorm
and sometimes the untethered kites of our minds
burn like kamikaze loveletters in the powerlines
after the big disconnect
and we just fucking well hurt.
And there are spaces so vast and impersonal within us
that even the silence is afraid of the answer
when gods die like tigers in an abandoned zoo
and all that is left like the last insurgent in Bagdhad
is you waiting to go off like a bomb
to begin the universe again, without pain
like the child that was just identified
by her left foot
stuck in the blood and the flowers
splashed across a new running shoe.
And I know at any moment
you’re ready to tell me how many angels
are dancing on the head of a pin,
and that the darkness can only be conquered with light
when I’m afraid of being me in the night
opening my eyes
and looking down into the ocean like a wave,
but how many wombs does it take to fill a grave?
Or do you distinguish one emptiness from the other
as if one were the recipient, and the other, the organ donor?
Is birth on one side and death on the other side of the door
or is nothing given so nothing can be taken away
like the renewable virginity
of this maculate whore of a moon
that beguiles us with the beauty of her fangs
and the way she kills us into life
by unlocking the bolt on the gate
and releasing the bullet from its chamber?
But if I tell you that rape is the atrocity a la mode of genocide
being waged against the tribal chromosomes of the Congo
even just to nudge a thought like a stem cell toward the issue
that might grow the other half of your heart
you sour like ice cream
and change the theme
to flowers and babies that are born like fists
as if you were the only nurse
on the midnight shift of the nightward
and I were the resident gravedigger for the nursery
always knocking on things like wombs and skulls
to see if I can raise the dead in the rosebed
to make room for more.
Life may well be a form of emptiness
shaped and turned, effaced and urned
like a lump of wet clay on a wheel,
the starmud of a squalid planet,
celestial leftovers on a dirty plate,
but you approach it like a potter
with two right hands
trying to avoid turning left
to the far side of your brain
and when you do
you damn it like original sin
and then go around trying to milk the moon
as if you could separate
the positive snake serum
from the positive toxin
that unspools like honey
from the crescents of your lipless grin.