Monday, February 16, 2009



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.