Wednesday, March 18, 2009



The imperious shame of a self

that isn’t susceptible to compassion

is a garden that refuses to root,

is ice that doesn’t know how

to thaw into itself

and exhilarate the flowers.

The fleets of the paper-boats

that get sent off in the spring

like poems and blossoms

don’t arrive with a cargo of apples.

Even the sun at midnight

can’t open your eyelids

and I’ve heard

some of your most seasoned constellations

who signed up for life

are having their tatoos removed.

Bright as you are

it’s hard to understand

why you haven’t caught on by now

you can’t drink water from a fist.

Ah, yes, the ladder;

I forgot about the ladder

you’ve been trying to walk on for years like stilts

and you’re always two rungs down

from where you think you ought to be,

but going forward

isn’t always the quickest way up

and it must be hell

leaning up against

the burning window of the world

with no one to rescue but yourself.

Besides, what happened to your feet?

Do you and the ladder ever go dancing

or the birds ever build in the rungs

or a leaf ever grow

on the dead branch you cling to

like autumn afraid to let go?

Your bitterness

is the impotence of vanity,

your ego

an egg that keeps growing bigger

to avoid escaping from itself

that nothing can fly out of free

to feather the wind

with the joy of its vagrancy.

Why don’t you lie down like a chromosome

or a bridge sometimes,

show a little spine

and let someone cross over

the abyss between you and the other

so that ditch that surrounds you

like a gaping wound

can scar up like the moon

into the open road out

of your indefensible defenses?

The puppets and the puppeteers

are manipulated

at both ends of the same strings

and when the master

aspires to ascendency

the slave arises stronger.

A fist of stone

disowned by your own mountain

what can you possess

of the valley stream

that makes its way around you

like a lion of water

roaring past your skull,

that extinguished meteorite

that mistakes itself for a Kaaba?

No cornerstone

you’re not even a pebble

to throw at the devil.

Until you can feel

someone elses’s pain as if it were your own

and effortlessly respond like the rain

the elaborately cracked creekbeds

that braille your brain

will never flash into life

nor the lightning turn you

like a winter weathervane

toward the light

that reaches into the darkness to see

how everywhere

by shining on everything alike

it has become life.

You might think you’re the jewel of jewels

in all that junkyard

of craters and crowns on the moon,

but it’s painfully obvious

by the way you’re enthroned

like a fool in the corner

of your own delusion

you’re just another trembling compass

embedded in the handle of a pocket knife

that feels surrounded by its own polarities

approaching from all directions

as if there were no point to your life.