Sunday, November 29, 2009




All this stuff going on in my head all the time.

All my fixed constellations changing like fireflies.

All the burning ladders of my unsuccessful siege of heaven

lying down like crosswalks at the feet of the mob.

And the stars that seemed so aloof and untouchable

settling like dust on my eyes.

I want to go home but home itself is gone

and there is no one waiting for me.

I live in these nomadic tents of my breath

that the wind blows through day and night

and everything I touch

though I long for the will of a pyramid

turns into quicksand.

I observe the life within me going on,

this flux of intimate intensities

as if I were no more than the container

and sentient window of a stranger’s house

looking in out of the darkness

of my uninhabitable homelessness

that has always been my last known address.

Nothing is ever what it seems

in this shell-game of themes and memes

that shuffles me around like a hard pea

gullible enough to deceive itself

it might one day turn into

the new moon of a black pearl.

But I’m chained by my vertebrae to a slaver

in a caravan of all my wild sides

being dragged like a jungle

toward these civilized coasts

that put everything asunder

that God has joined together

and brand what they sever

with the savage logos of an enforced belonging

that death is the only escape from.

My private cloud of unknowing

with the occassional black lightning bolt of insight

that sets my roots on fire

so that the whole tree becomes its own funeral pyre

and sheds me in flames.

And trying to fit me like a shoe

to the newly washed foot of God

is a vain waste of time for both of us

when you’re life’s got a hole in it

I keep patching with poems in the cold

or keep stopping along the way to take off

and dump out the pebble of the world

I’m walking on with a limp.

And it’s as foolish for a river

to ask where its youth has gone

as it is for me to lament the passage of mine

that I sent on up ahead like water

to keep something flowing behind me.

I don’t look for grey hairs in the wind

when it’s as clear as grace

that time and space

don’t encroach upon the stars like cataracts

and everyone we’ve ever been

lives on in each of us forever

like water waiting in the open mouth

of the frozen moonskull

for me to swallow and thaw

so that the blossom can flesh the dead branch again

that trembles and bends before the wishing well

that all men drink from like a bell

in this mirage of fire in a desert of stars

to taste the lightning-tongued elixirs of life

that frees the serpent from its scars

like a discarded straitjacket of skin and pain

to go witching for water in hell again.















Friday, November 27, 2009




I don’t care what you believe or espouse,

show me what you eat

and I’ll know what your ideology is.

Capitalism, for example,

like a great hog at the Wall Street Trough,

the Toronto Stock Exchange,

eats its own young down to the marrow.

And communism descends like a plague of locusts

out to reform the sheaves of the people like wheat.

And the worst world fanaticism,

the Islamofacists and Zionazis,

and the flies who rule Africa,

who promise milk and honey

and houris around the fountain of Salsabil

to anyone who murders in their name,

puts everything on the menu

and makes anyone anywhere fair game.

And it’s free enterprise for the poor

and it’s socialism for the rich

who get the biggest welfare cheques

while the middle extreme between them

lives on the trickle-down economics

of the leftovers that fall off the table

of politicians throwing scraps to the hunting dogs

who move among the legs of their masters

like lobbyists among the pillars of the banks

knee-deep in the blood of the abbatoir

in which they sit down like cattle-prods to give thanks.

Consider the collateral damage

of children killed like footnotes

or amendments to a bill

that would permit the sale of landmines

to the lords of famine who plant them

to shatter the flesh of the farmer who’s learned

to plough with a sword.

Bumper crops of body parts.

And look how the indifferent and the evil

wash their hands of blood

in the bottled water of the highest ideals of the mob

mouthing off to the pundits of popcorn

to secure a place on the Great Cob

of the American nightmare.

And it’s good to have a big heart with a big dream

that knows enough CPR

to thump on your chest to revive you

but how long can it survive in a world

that’s got a sewer for a bloodstream?

And what can you make of a Republican party

parsing the purity of gangrene

to block health care reform

like an election with a saw in its hands?

And you may think you know Christ

and organize like the Templars of C-Street

with great crosses of blood on your adulterated bedsheets

to protect the holy land from Democrats

but you better look twice in the mirror

at the skidmark you are in his eyes

when you stand up like the atrocity you are

to toast the good life with a grail

expecting to be rewarded

for all the sick children you denied a cure

by a healer who loved them beyond death.

Did you know there are state suppers in hell

where demons drink the blood of children

from a church bell

and draw lots from your skull

to see who gets to eat your heart today?

And spit it out like a fly

that corrupts the choicest wines

of the infernal and divine alike?

Even in hell as you are on earth

you’re bad meat down the well,

and some have noticed lately

even the fire that cooks you

is tainted by the smell.

Do you really think the sublime intelligence

that suffuses creation with love

like the dark mother of us all

and frees us like rivers of insight

to return to her like bright waters full of life

would affirm your offense to existence for long;

or that Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha,

or the decency who lives down the street,

knowing the children, the uncles, the brothers,

the lovers, the fathers and mothers,

the friends who have died

because there was a cure

a remedy, a redemption

for what killed them

but you denied them,

would condone

the electoral greed and cunning

of a petty slumgod in the senate

as an excuse for so much pain?

Or that the croaking of toxic toads

on corporate lily pads

rooted in the muck and swamp gas

of your obnoxious morality

that scabs the snapping turtles

waiting like backroom ceo’s below

would pass through their ears

like the clefs of angelic choirs

swanning their way through murder on Moonlake?

Or that the way you turn the prayers of mothers

all over the earth tonight

that their wounded children might live,

that they might walk and see and hear again,

that there be an end of the suffering and the illness,

that they have shelter and food,

school, play, medicine

and time to explore their innocence,

the way you pervert their prayers

into the new rhetoric of liars

crushing compassion

under the jackboots

of your fanatically uncommon sense,

as if you spoke from one bush

for many fires,

or looked at Christ’s wound

as he hung on the cross before your committee

as you choked the neck of the microphone and said,

Physician heal thyself.

There are no fiscal limits on your pity.

Or funding for universal coverage to resurrect the dead.





































Don’t be afraid to look your dragons in the eyes.

Their fires are full of seeing.

Don’t be afraid to stare down your fears.

You’re not a bird.

They’re not snakes.

Look at all the darkness it takes

to make a single star shine

or how much death there is

in every breath,

in every drop of blood,

in any drop of wine.

Don’t play the orchard in spring

as if you didn’t have roots

that still grope in the starmud

like distant relatives

it’s pain for you to acknowledge.

You’re not a glass slipper born from rubber boots.

And not all blessings are white.

There are black beatitudes beyond the light,

dark jewels that weep mirrors of compassion

to show you the eyes of your most intimate fears

are your own looking back at you

like a child that’s been left by the side

of the long road home alone

as night comes on.

And when I say that

I know there are dark, terrible wounds,

black holes

that gape like mouths back at the moon

lifting itself up over the hills

like the unaccusing skull of someone you’ve known.

Things that can’t be fixed or healed.

Slashes of fate that sever and mutilate

the innocent’s animal trust of life,

blood on the smile of the knife

and love the word of a broken sword.

Intensities of pain

that keep on burning through you

like stars of white phosphorus

you were born under like a bad sign

making starmaps of your skin

and eyeless dice of your bones.

What poultice of a word

could draw the stinger out

or lift the veil of the poison

pain weaves on the loom of your nerves?

And only the silence knows how

to run its fingers over its scars

like a dead language

on a gravestone

no one can decipher.

So I won’t leave little sweetcakes of mercy

outside the eastern doors of your burial huts

or try to sew the mouth of the haemmoraging rose shut

with its own thorns.

Life has horns

and even the golden matadors

who hide their blades behind a cape of blood

like the flashing plinths of the sun

and brave every agony

have had their hearts gored by the moon.

All I can do is sit beside your body all night

like a candle in a morgue

and say nothing.

Or tell you I don’t know.

Or that great pain has no colour

a compassionate chameleon can mix on its palette.

And it may well be

that the worst virtue of the abyss

is that it doesn’t explain away anything

by trivializing our tragedies

in the soul-shaking profundity of the silence

when you ask from the other end of the telescope

why so little has come of so much.

But the flights of the dragon

are not guided by the lamps of the fireflies

and sometimes the only way

to get out of the coffin that grounds the world

is to pull the nails out from the inside

with your teeth.

But is this agony less ours,

less human, less faceless

than the danger

of any other angel in the way

we’ve had to wrestle with

to advance our humanity by losing?

There are mirrors so cold with the truth

that when you look into them

your face shatters like a chandelier,

and scales in the darkness

witching for blood

with tentative threads of lightning

that are trying to find you out.

But don’t deny your fears, your horrors

the atrocities you afflict upon yourself like a voodoo doll

that’s just turned Christian,

give them sky, give them time, give them wings

to break out of the cosmic egg you keep them in

and unleash the span of their fierce energies

like supernovae screaming

like unhooded hawks of light across space.

Don’t try to make pygmies of the dragons

you haven’t mastered yet

or you’ll end up shrinking your own head.

Even when the moon’s just

a spoonful of ashes

or plundered feathers on the water

it draws the same shadows

out of everyone alike

as it does when the harvest is ripe.

Get the inside out like a seed

and flower

if you want to turn the poison

in the stinger of the bee back into honey.

Be the black rose that blooms like blood

in the heart of your eclipse

and look beyond what is good and bad about the night

when after all these billions of years

it still hosts the light so generously

like a window in tears

that can see what is broken

through the star-filled holes in the glass.

Should you be grateful to one hand

and not the other

of the potter who turns you

like clay on his galactic wheel

to give a shape to the emptiness

whose sole function in life is to be filled

by the myriad wines of experience

whose ultimate high is us

like a rush of being

through heaven and hell

they could never come down from?






































Sunday, November 22, 2009




You can call it an emotional life

but all you’re trying to be

is someone else’s weather.

Right candle. Wrong flame.

You want to blow their clouds away

and reorganize their hurricanes

like daisy chains to make it all better.

You can come on like a Gulf Stream

getting warmer and wetter

as you approach these continental coasts,

but I’m an older ice-age

than you are a spring thaw

and irrepressibly colder than you are hot.

And it’s not much of a planet

that hasn’t got deserts on it

no one can survive.

Your body is full of grace

and there are wings for the serpent

who drinks from your well,

and all over the moon

aromatic fires flower in your oases

as if the night were a season of its own.

But I can remember when the sphinx could cry

and if you were to know me

as truly as you say you do

you’d know why.
















Saturday, November 21, 2009




Spare me the inky, thinky glue

and matchstick rafters of your philosophy

piled like a pyre to proposition a corpse

or I’ll show you what a snappy Zippo can do.

And don’t pour honey all over my head

trying to turnpike a tarpit

into an asphalt highway with a toll booth

when you know there are all kinds of extinct species

I like to keep like memories to myself

and I don’t have a sweet tooth for candied stars.

There are dark truths in the night

that keep the light to themselves,

occasions of insight

whose light has never fallen upon anyone

who could see.

The sun at midnight

isn’t blinded by its own lucidity.

And when reality sits down to play with me

there are no eyes or mirrors up its sleeve.

Average out the crucials as you wish

and believe whatever you want to believe,

order the trees to pull themselves up by their bootstraps,

conceive and be conceived by life

like the dawn of a book you haven’t written yet.

Wash the night off your butterflies like soot

changing shifts at the small factories

they’ve adapted to like pollen

or pin them like poppies and medals

to the chests of the fallen as loss requires.

Who knows?

You might make a choir

out of the orchard in winter yet

and raise all that roadkill like a messianic vet

alone in the wilderness

listening to the bush wolves and racoons

like angels and demons

howling in the bowels

of the maggots and turkey-vultures

attending to caloric conversions of their own.

But you can’t add to the lustre of the dark mirror

whose clear light is the eye of the void

by washing mud off with mud.

It’s one thing to see things in the light

but it’s wholly another

to see them illuminated

by the light within the light

that is their dark mother.

Anyway, it’s not really crucial

whether you have the eyes for it or not,

because the way things come together here

where we stand in unknowing wonderment before the stars

like rootless trees still swinging from our own branches

of feeling and thought,

is all ways at once.

So it’s as good a medium as any

to express yourself

by going into hiding.

Deus absconditus.

Gods do it to conserve energy.

As it is to go off like the Big Bang

and squander yourself like atoms

on the minutiae of creation.

There are infinite centres in the eye of the void

falling through space

like uncradled angels of rain right now

to give birth to the boundless circles

that are growing you like a tree

by expanding your radii

all at once in every direction

like a pulse, a star, a wave, a snake, an insight

riding its own sentience like the sea

that finds it one and the same

to walk on stars

without burning its feet

as it does to walk barefoot on water like you

leaving your shoes on land

where all journeys end in their own beginning

like mangers of fallen fruit.

Whether you’re looking for God

in the spirit’s lost and found

or the the true undemonized nature

of reality and mind

behind the veil of a faceless dimension

that mans and unmans the measure of all things

in the lightmirrors it takes a thought to cross your mind

from the perennial beginning,

haven’t you noticed how the needle of the compass

you’re using to grope the curbs of your own coasts

like a blind man witching his way with a stick

across a street when the lights turn

keeps pointing back at you

like a crosswalk following the maps

you’ve laid out to explore the topography

of your own used thresholds?





























































You never became a memory.

You remain as you are in my life.

A living compassionate presence.

I have forgotten more of me

than I ever could of you.

Whenever I want to see beyond the light

I see through your eyes

everything you wanted to show me

that was not petty or tragic or cruel.

I was a profound fool

but you taught me how

to add my darkness to the night

to enhance the shining.

And even now

when things aren’t flowering well

I still reach out for you by deepening my roots.

As if I could touch your face again

like a muse of water

lost in her own reflection.

As if I could ignite the same fires again

that blossomed on the dead branch

of the witching wand

that inspired the stars

who thought they had seen everything

to marvel at their own perfection in you.

Inspiratrix of the blue waterstars

that burned like chandeliers

among the constellations of the lilies

pluming themselves like swans

in the feathers of the moon,

how I long to be eclipsed and enlightened again

like a chameleon reflecting the mood of your beauty

as I did before these windows came

like glass-eyed calendars between us

to prove that time isn’t space. It’s pain.

And change is an absolute

that doesn’t like its relatives.

My angel misses you.

My demon misses you

so badly at times

I can’t look into the abyss for long

without impeaching my mind

for its awareness of an emptiness

that aches like an existential absurdity

to be put out of its misery

for being born blind deaf and dumb

about whose wind on the waters is rocking

the cradles and crucibles of creation.

The Medusa holds her tits out

like snakepits and grails

and I never know which one to drink from

or if the poison and the antidote

are just the opposite fangs of the moon

as it grows through its waxing and waning

as if a physician found a way

of healing herself

by sloughing her wounds like skin.

The mindstream weaves its way at night

like a garden snake

through myriad blades of grass

like the shuttle of a loom

that doesn’t know what theme of life

unspools in the flowing.

And my eyes miss you like light.

I’m a lighthouse on the shore of a dead sea

trying to walk on water like the moon

as the waves chip away at me

like shale flakes off the cold stone

that edges slowly through my heart like a thorn.

And it may make a king of me

to draw the sword out of the stone

but that doesn’t close the wound

of having first to fall upon it

to vacate my throne with honour.

If life is the truth

then lying is the only way

to describe death to a god

who doesn’t understand it.

What’s a church without gravestones?

Aspiration without an expiry date?

And so many different kinds of death

not enough generations of humans

have been born yet to know them all.

Death tries to trivialize the relative

as if the things I miss most about you

had never been.

But your mindwaters are mingled with mine inextricably

like the shoreless starstreams of space

panning for planets in our flowing

we might live on

and have our being and our breath

unblighted by loss. Separation. Death.

And there is no more of the sadness

I used to see in your eyes

as if they were my own

that I still see everywhere in the eyes of all living things

when I know as you would have had me know

as clearly as you did

that even though the neverness

of implacable circumstances and lost last chances

may have separated us like the threads of the rope

you used to climb up to heaven before me

like one who took the short-cut

and one who took the long way home through these starfields

taking his painful time

like the unfulfilled hope of a child

he’s not alone when he opens his eyes

like a dream within a dream

that looks but can’t find him,

you can polish the missing into a mirror

and wait like a fox by a black hole for things to appear

that will never be the same again

or you can open your tears like windows

and let out the birds of pain

that I have kept as close to me

as the whisper of your voice

in this cold, dark chimney

telling me to let you go as I do now

to rejoice on the dead branch and the green bough

like the flower and flame

of what became of us.

We cannot be the song or the singer

for very long

as our voices dim like candles in the darkness

that have given it all away.

And as you used to say

as if it would always be today without you

and all we have given is all we could keep of each other

like water returned to the river

we raised to our lips to taste

the sad, last drops

of these eyeless elixirs of the moon

that linger like vapours

in the empty goblets of the morning glory,

and I need  to believe you more than I do

in this neverness of now

that has come before me without a beyond

or a word from all that has irrevocably gone.

Yes. But the singing. That goes on.