YOU READ MY POETRY
You read my poetry
and you need a locus,
something to hang on to,
a familiar milieu, a focus,
right ascension and declination,
a starmap and astrolabe,
and the usual pictures painted
on the lense of the usual telescope.
If I had wanted you to follow me
I would have dropped breadcrumbs,
I would have spray-bombed the trees
an adolescent cadmium red
to show you where the road goes.
I may have been pulled like a weed
from the garden of Eden
and tossed to the wilder side of things,
a meteor among boundary stones,
but that doesn’t mean my darkness is tar,
or all these stars are a kind of quicksand
you’re sinking through like a sculptor
swimming through stone
with a chisel in your hand.
Maybe you’re just the wrong tool for the job.
Maybe you’re trying to follow the music with a map.
Maybe you haven’t come to terms
with eleven dimensions yet
and you’re still standing at the gates
of your own singularity, hat in hand,
waiting for a passport
incommensurably as pi
hoping for refugee status.
Maybe you don’t know
the whole universe
begins with a kiss
between the lips
of two membranes
in an ocean of dimensions
beyond the reach of your sensible wave
and the big bang
is not the beginning
but the afterbirth of the matter.
It’s hard to believe that your mind is free
when you’re standing there
with chains in your hand
counting rosaries like vertebrae.
It’s hard to know what to say
that might amuse you
outside of convention,
but that doesn’t mean
I’ve spent my life
trying to find
a new way to confuse you.
If I revel in the simulacra
like a kid in the fall playing in leaves,
if I kick a stone down the road like the earth as far as it can go
or use the moon to plumb the well
of my raindrop depths,
or try to walk on fire, stars, water,
hoping my feet are better lifeboats
than my migratory reasons are
birds for all seasons,
or I’m kind to the illusions
I had to leave along the way
like roadside flowers
closing in eclipse,
it may well be
the playful compassion of fools
that exempts the wise man
like a hard rock on the mountain
from the avalanche
of cornerstones and schools
you keep bringing down upon yourself like an echo.
You might hear a pair of morning doves in the trees
and the bee in the burgundy ear of the hollyhock
and all the key frequencies of string theory
and know how to finger them masterfully
leaping from fret to fret
like balance beams
and well-worn thresholds
up and down your neck
like serpent-fire through your open chakras,
but to judge from the way you look at me
you’ve never once
cupped your hands
like a lifeboat in the mindstream
and washed your face off in the music
so you could see.