THINGS I MUST DO AND DON’T
Things I must do and don’t.
Things I shouldn’t, and do.
The world world wanders off by itself
like a periphrastic who’s who of a storm
that doesn’t make any difference
to anything I am
that is being generated spontaneously
like this morning
out of everything I am not.
I can feel the silence
honing its tongue on my solitude
like the sweet knife of the crescent moon
it found in the grass beside the mindstream
where I unfurled my blood last night
like the flag of a vagrant nation
in a bombed-out palace of water.
So I might be writing this to you
out of some delirious afterlife
I’ve woken up in
like the broken rosary of a waterclock
that no longer mistakes time
for the prime theme of my awareness,
but you can no more call me back
from my undoing
than you can the geese in the fall.
Not to trivialize the dream,
it’s the same way
I’ve approached women over the years
like an unruly desert wind
fiercely trying to score its heart
for a choir of stone-deaf sphinxes
that might turn into sirens worth listening to
as they lured me up onto their rocks
like the cornerstones of an Atlantean generation.
And wherever they kissed me
my pores were jewelled with eyes,
but in some, life before life,
you could taste the flavour of heaven,
before it had a past,
while in others,
life after life
followed me into the future
like a sequence of stations in hell,
each a more exquisite excruciation than the last.
But no one reflects on the innocence of the flowers
until the storm has passed
and the fields they once walked through together
when they were the only weather
have been torn and renewed.
Things done, things left undone.
Eventually you come to realize
that only the road moves on
making things up along the way
to keep it company
like the beginning of songs
it never finishes, like
me and you bound like a bridge
or a yoke over the oxen shoulders of the water
that reflects our dark opposites
in the weeping mirror
of the same mindstream
as effortlessly as it fields the stars
between the circular shores
of its long empty bowl.
The more abundant the silo
the deeper the echo
even when it’s full.
So there’s no need to run around
like the scythe of a crescent moon
trying to harvest mirages
or cut the throats of doves
before the snake-infested shrines
of the oracles that riddle our hearts
with symbolic wormholes
that keep digging deeper for water
wave after wave, word after word
like tongues and shovels
trying to excavate our own remains
from the deserts where we buried God
when we all lived happily together
in the same cramped grave
and there was nothing one to save
and no one who needed saving,
no bones of tomorrow
buried under the fires of today.
Things were that way once
when every chance we took was new.
And it’s not that the risks I take now
have grown blasé
or every urgency opens like a parachute
when I fly too close to the sun
or I’ve forgotten how to jump from the flat earth
like an unwanted child at birth.
Yesterday is not less than tomorrow
in the egalitarian boundlessness of the moment
that includes us in our own death
like the next breath
or the viewer in the view
or spring in a Babylon of fallen apples
that still sing like drunken bells
in a tavern of unsquired steeples
that have learned to get along like trees.
Autumn still slips its loveletters late at night
under the door like leaves with a calling,
and even under the eyes of the dice when they sleep
you are the still the dangerous dream
that is deeper than any afterlife
I could ever wake up from.