DON’T OVER-READ THE SYMBOLS
Don’t over-read the symbols,
don’t see a street-sign
and turn it into a novel,
don’t add the effluvium
of all that irradiated meaning
to clean water, don’t
slag the clarity of the water.
There are things and things and things
myriad, translucent things
trying themselves on like shapeshifters
in the five mirrors of our own senses
to adjust their costume
to the play of infinite events
that have nerved space into us.
Isn’t it always a big night, a sell-out,
lines around the block
whenever you’re truly you?
I like those big, expansive nights
when I feel at home
in the homelessness of the world
as if I were everywhere
at peace with myself like water
that is wholly and discretely undone.
My blood unspools
to follow its own wayward longing
like a stream into a valley
where I dodge my own head
like a fallen stone
that can’t bruise the flowing.
Night or day, it’s impossible
to sever the light from its lamp.
We’re not the knower.
We’re not the known.
We’re purely forever now
and before we were born,
the imperfectible act
of a mind without witness
that is the knowing
that is this life without a that
because what could ever be missing
or retrievable, abundance or dearth,
in the empty siloes of the inconceivable?
You might think you’re
the pivot of the scissors
from the crescents of the moon,
shears at the throat of the mine,
and that you were only born once in time
with a tape-measure for a spine,
and the universe won’t fit
through the doorway
but the truth is
into the roots of things,
through every crack and crevice,
out of your eyes
into the grapevines
and down the tongue of a leaf
like the silver syllables of the moon
that fall from rising wings.
If you listen to yourself at night
like a stream you can hear
but not see
as it lingers over itself in the swamps
or surges through the grass
like the whisper of a snake
divining its own path without a polygraph
as it fountains and falls and evaporates
into clouds and underground themes
you will come to realize
how foolish it is
to try and select the music
when the snake has wings
and you are what the water sings.