Friday, May 15, 2009



If the door’s locked and no one home

I just wander off somewhere inside myself

wondering if it matters

I so frequently now

catch myself on the sly

beginning to enjoy my own irrelevancy.

The more I suspect I am nothing

the more I feel fulfilled

and in the far field

on the other side of the hill

that loosely holds the road

that leads away from your house

like the slack string of a kite that doesn’t fly,

it’s bliss to be no one again,

and peace not to have to try.

I lie down in the cool grass

like an empty boat on a farm

and there’s no other side to get to

that isn’t already under my feet

that can’t tell if they’re walking

on water, fire, or stars

or sprouting wings on their heels

like maple samara

taking the fall for autumn.

Unwitnessed reality

doesn’t train a teacher

to open anyone’s eyes

to what is and isn’t there

like the yesterday and tomorrow of a star

that puts out both torches

in the eye of an ocean of night

to salt the earth with a light

that can’t stop things from growing.

Irony misses the point

when it doesn’t understand

the transoxymoronic hilarity of creation.

The opposites just don’t engender one another,

they celebrate each other’s birth.

First silver of the moon

on the greening willow

pouring out its heart to the stream

and emptier than my eyes above me

as if space had o.d.’d on a hot shot of stars,

auroral mirages in the vastness of my dissipation.

Because the dark mother

in the abundance of her timelessness

has never stopped giving birth to everything

it’s as impossible to be born once

as it is twice.

Because there is

no inside or outside

to the inexhaustibility of emptiness

her darkness teems with the unborn

who have never known the thorn of perishing.




Who isn’t trying to live

as they vaguely hope they are

whatever extremes of moderation they’ve gone to

behind all the masks and fraud?

Crosswalks and bridges of fire

trying to get to the other side of themselves

like the promised land, or God,

ladders up to heaven

like vertebrae and ribs,

and ropes like spinal cords

down a well on the moon

that hasn’t enthroned hell in her depths yet,

everyone’s trying to put a face on chaos

they remotely hope is their own.

One by one the plum blossoms

fall to the nightstream

like loveletters

from the branch of the tree

that read them once and then let go.

No one knows where they’re from

or where they’re going.

Some give their wings up

like graduate degrees to the ants

and others are raising their sails

like the flames of a great fire

that consumes the prophet

who wanted to hold his arms up

like a wishbone to the lightning

in the revery of his desire

until everything is ash and nails,

and others who think they’re

the rudders and keels of the flowing.

Sometimes I am nothing more

than this terrible inevitability

of flesh and bone

alone in the vastness of my unknowing

where neither ignorance nor wisdom prevails

and then it’s as clear as stars

on both sides of the window

that everyone’s everyone else’s good guess

as they encounter one another

passing the time

in a crumbling game of graveyard chess.

I don’t know why what’s wise about me

always ends up listening to myself

like a fool’s confession

but I’ve run out of rosaries

like habitable planets

and my homelessness has exposed

the ruse of divining purity

in the afflictions of compassion

as if everything had evolved in sorrow

like a heart-bending occasion for tears

as the mountains that fell

like an avalanche of cornerstones

into the valleys they’ve dug

like pyramids and graves over the years

abide like salt in the eye of the sea.

Intelligence might be an elaborate mode of paranoia,

but eased into the wonder of being here at all

with trees and stars and the midnight rainbows

on the necks of the grackles

and the hectic butterfly among the grape hyacinth,

since I was enlightened

by my absolute uncertainty,

I have gathered all my voices together like leaves

and burned the old texts of myself

for not being much of a liar.

Five petals opened

and one flower bloomed

like a good laugh.

Now my awareness

is a kind of playful fire that doesn’t burn

what it consumes

though the light

still tastes of the jewel

and even as the good-byes deepen their voices

like echoes in wells,

because I’ve grown older

and autumn keeps shedding its choir,

the hellos still take on a life of their own

as if nothing had changed.

An illuminated clown

I am astounded by the profundities

in every jest of being

revelling in the creative hilarity

of its mystic specificity

and how everytime I get serious about something

as if I had just remembered myself,

I bring the house down.

Only a hypocrite is humble enough

to underestimate his own irrelevance,

and go sorting through himself

like a cellphone in the ashes

but for those who have become fire,

aspiration is achievement

and fulfillment and desire,

one breath. In every event

there’s nothing to be

further than you can see.

But that doesn’t mean

take a harder look

as if your life were a book

you were learning to read

or a mirror you had to stare into

until your eyes bleed

to know who you are.

When you stop thinking

every perception is a clue

to who you are

you’ll shine out like a star

ahead of its own light

and stop trying to recognize God

through the featureless eyes

and vigilant simulacra

of a stolen identity.

You will be neither partially

nor wholly yourself

and before and beyond

will not seem

the unending extremities of now

rounding the skull of a clock

that’s lost its way home.

Your seeing will grow deeper than eyes

and you will stop sending

your reflection out

like the moon’s last lifeboat

to haul you up out of the abyss

like a fisherman gilled in the tangled mess

of his own s.o.s.

You’ll let go of the oars

and breathe easy like the sea

and in every blossom of being

you will taste the whole orchard

drunk on its knees in laughter,

not knowing where to begin.




Meandering after the long thaw

through whatever landscape my mind

creates in its flowing, karmically disposed

or not, I unscroll like emotional water

playing with the quick otters of my thought

and no meridians or parallels on the loom

that snares the stars in birdnets,

and no horizons, no ports

of arrival and departure,

no hellish red of emergency exits

out of the darkened theater,

I revel spontaneously in the freedom

of not having a clue about where I am going,

and go off in all directions at once

like the moon on the waves

like light through the homeless abode

of the only place I’ve ever stopped like space

to admire the road without beginning or end

that leads everywhere and nowhere at once.

Thought-years away from my last death

and the nebulous rain of the sidereal breath

I took once and held forever,

waiting to grace my stars with flowers

when words don’t interrupt the silence like pyramids

and the desert is free to speak for itself

to itself about the flower

that flows like an eye through its depths.

One eye, being; the other, non-being,

and a third that is beyond both,

I don’t know what it is I’m looking into,

but I keep rising and falling

like a wave of my own seeing

casting shadows on the water

like the voices of the things I write,

the new moon like a dark coin

under the tongue of everything in the light,

and the valley voices and the mountain voices

and what they say to each other in the night

when they draw near to a fire

no one else is awake to overhear.

I may be a bull in the labyrinth of my own fingerprints

unspooling my blood along the way

so that someone else can find their way out,

an evangelist on the moon with my head in my hands

telling the stars not to fret

if they’ve forgotten the last prophecy

because eventually even the lies will come true.

My wild ass compassion wants to break the jaws of circumstance

that eat so many like thorns of the moon in the desert

when the cactus blooms and the viper strikes like a flower,

but I don’t send my emotions out to judge events

like hysterical lipstick smeared across the mirror

or let my thoughts stir the mud in the puddle

to make things clear to the clouds.

One meaning for the whole of immeasurable life

is facepaint on a clown that’s seldom funny

or a spiritual ideologue whose only expression of grace

is a frown like a knot in the wind

that dances all around him, abusively free.

But the life of meaning doesn’t need

a seeker or a teacher flipping pages like a weathervane

for the stones and elixirs and grails of life,

as if you had to struggle to attain what you already are.

The star in your eye. The tree in your spine.

The bird in your voice. The moon in your heart.

The wind in your lungs. The light in your mind.

The sea in your blood. The earth in your flesh.

It’s not hard to know who you are

when you’re breathing alone in the darkness

that sheds you like the oceans of the moon

and the manes of the lunar lions come undone

like white peonies on the flowing of the nightstream.

However you look at it, your nose

is the hypoteneuse of a right-angled threshold,

your own personal event horizon

that’s crossed with every breath you take

and your skin is a contract with the world

that begins at the tip of your nose

like an available dimension of forms and events,

experience after experience

that keeps on happening all the way back to you

like the singularity at the bottom of a black hole.

But what’s the point of looking for yourself

like a black sail on a night sea

or erecting a monolithic I like an oil derrick

or a misguided lighthouse

to drill for light

when you’re already swimming through it

and the world is arrayed clearly everywhere like eyes?

Everything you see; everything you can be

is the expression of everything else.

A star gives birth to your eyes and water

organizes you like a neighbourhood

and a genius of mud lays a scarlet cloak

of flesh and blood across your shoulders

strong enough to uphold the earth like a head

and space readies itself like a sensitive room

where you can stay up late to watch your eyelids bloom

like waterlilies coaxed out of hiding by the full moon.