Wednesday, July 29, 2009




I have passed beyond rage

like light through a shattered lense

to try and understand

with an open, clear mind

the brutality of a species

that upstages its own humanity

by sticking its head up its own ass-end

for insight into why

it’s up to its neck in shit.

The daffodils may be greening

their spiritual third eyes

like periscopes coming up

to scan the scene for survivors

and its all well and good I suppose

to try and win the sharks over with band-aids

and charm the demons that encroach like night

with the tinkling of mystic chandeliers,

but we’ve been killing each other

for millions of years

as if the way we walked upright out of the tall grass

down the long road of our new perspective

were just a more efficent way

of exterminating humans by the brainload

as if they were the passing thoughts

of a savage liar

in an abandoned embassy

burning people like paper

committed to the voices in the fire

that rage like prophets in a fortune-cookie

of our forthcoming end.

And you can cherish

the writing on the wall

as if it were God’s last loveletter

just before she died,

and save your tears like windows

that shattered when you cried

like a stranger in exile to hear the news

but the fury of your outrage

is soon spent like a spraycan under a bridge

expressing yourself in blood

like a trigger on a heart

enclosed in parentheses.

For example, over the years

I’ve devoted seven books

to the suffering of others

but no one got fed

and the children are just as dead

as their mothers.

I was born in a prosperous nation

where I ground stars for a living

into chromatically aberrated

goblets of astonishing clarity 

under the begruding goad

of an ambiguous education

that taught me

I had to lick the glass

if I wanted to taste the light

in the last drop of wine

to fall from the eyes of the divine,

but that all turned out to be

no more than wax

flowing down a candle

at a black mass

that went out for good

when I realized

that a collection of spies

isn’t a real neighbourhood.

It’s one planet.

You can’t cut people

out of your pie

like the bad parts of an apple.

You can’t let children die

in unspeakable corners of the earth;

you can’t rub the poor

like the crumbs of a bad dream

out of your eyes when Darfur,

Zimbabwe, Somalia, Palestine,

Aghanistan, Iraq, North Korea,

the Congo, North Vietnam, Iran

are all organs of your own body

shutting down in septicaemic shock.

There are millions of lives

all over the world

even as I say this

being put out

like bubbles of blood in the rain

that will wash them away

like an incriminating stain

on the Roman marbles of politics.

You can’t shed people like petals

to save the flower;

or ignore the root-rot

and favour the grain

as if the gangrene in your toe

would never reach your brain.

The old days may be falling

everywhere on their swords

like the clocks

of a patrician coup gone wrong

and history be nothing more

than a deaf composer

trying to symphonize the screaming

with a dead stick

but the table of contents of any lie

is always longer

than the book

that follows it around like a shadow,

and when we all sit down tonight to eat

from the same board of a planet

above and below the salt

there will be more weapons on the menu

than meat

as we throw our children

over our shoulders

like expendable scraps to the dogs

that lick our feet like military budgets.

But I have grown beyond rage

like a generation of cherry blossoms

that were swept along like the sixties in a sewer

or the sails of a regata of protest placards

written in blood that caked the mirrors

like lipstick on the skull

of an unidentified child whore

who was buried trying to tunnel out

of her own fingerprints

like a worm in the orchards of a bride

with HIV.

And this is nothing, these words, these thoughts

this poem. Nothing.

Just another sleazy mirage

in the impotent deserts

of moral masturbation.

Another website

spinning the light like a spider

as if it were a jewel in a dreamcatcher

with agendas of its own

in a room where everyone

sleeps alone like a gun

or the last compass handed out

like a new direction

at a needle-exchange

for frequent flyers.

If the whole of your life

amounts to no more

than one loaf of bread

in the hands of starving child,

you have done much.

If you’re totally fucked-up and lost

and things are dirty and ugly and mean

if you’re slumped in the corner

tripping without any bones,

if you’re brain is shaking like a fist

at the exactitudes of pain

you call down upon yourself

like retribution

in tears of acid rain;

if you know where God is buried

but you’re sure you can hear him breathing

when you put your ear to his grave

and you’re trying with all your might

to dream him into existence again,

or you traced fame out as a child

in your own breath with your own finger

like a constellation on a window

but all you can see now

is a skidmark on the sky;

you can achieve total enlightenment

in a nanosecond

by simply applying yourself like a cool herb

to a child’s injured eye.

You can draw yourself out of yourself

like an infection,

like a disease of the light

the moment you lay yourself down

like the poultice of the moon

on a child’s wounded waters.

Whatever your fate, tragedy, farce,

running sore, soap operatic life may be,

even if there’s only one drop of pure compassion left,

one clear eye among the oilslicks

that have haemorraged into your polluted sea

like nights when you didn’t get off,

that’s still enough clarity to understand

that compassion is the essential insight

that will get you up off your knees like Atlantis

rising up out of your toxic deluge

like a continent with the voice of a tree

calling out to the dove

that was sent out like a child’s hand

from the cage of a refugee camp in western Sudan

to look for land,

and holding out a branch,

be it dead or green

to the birds and the blossoms,

wash yourself clean of the filth in the fountain

like blood off the wing of a child.

If you wake up in the morning

and ask yourself

whose mind this is

you’re squatting in,

drill down deep into yourself

like a well for water

and when you come to something wet

raise yourself up like a chalice

to the lips of a child

that’s been drinking from a sewer

and I promise you your mind

out to the infinite abyss of darkness

where the stars go blind

will write your name

in a living language

everyone can understand

on the towels of a fabulous palace.

And you may think you’re a genius,

brighter than chrome,

or a microscope of a scholar

deeply immersed in the ancient muck

of the Via Cloaca of Rome,

delighted to uncover hard evidence

that their shit was much like our own;

or beautiful beyond comparison

with the brevity of the dawn,

or talented as a rock star

that can’t be paled by the sun

or upstaged by the moon

that fronts him like a band on tour,

but if compassion doesn’t flow through you

like the sweetness of a nightstream through a tree,

you will be known

by the fruits of your calling

like a windfall of skulls

shaken out of their cradles

when the wind

blows you away

like the topsoil

of a deforested brain

in the rootless dust

of an unclean defection

of a heart, of a life

that’s never tasted rain.