Wednesday, November 19, 2008



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.