MY ENDS ARE NOT OLDER
My ends are not older than my beginnings
just as autumn is not older than spring
or spring younger than autumn.
The leaves were already falling in the seed
and the fruit bruised on the ground like wine
long before I raised my sail like a blossom
out of the bud of my boat
only to end up shipwrecked
like oxygen on the moon,
my rudder the past tense of kindling
and these storm-driven fleets of poems I set fire to
like pyromaniacal ships drifting into the Spanish Armada
caught in the larynx of the English Channel,
urns full of the ashes of ambiguous angels.
And there are nights when I drown like a tree
in my own leaves like a sea of shadows
that are all that are left of the birds
that bound me like a mast to their singing
and hope is a skeleton in a lifeboat
that didn’t go down with Atlantis
like a surgical barge of death masks
when the big day came and went
like everything else that lasts forever
moment by moment.
Where’s the joy, the fire, the light, the inspiration
that could evaporate stone
or liberate glass eyes
like tears in the mirror
to run down a mountain like rivers?
I watch the fireflies in the valleys of life
flick on and off in the dark
like dead bics
trying to see where they are
and remember when they fired up new constellations
after torching the condemned houses
in the slums of a rundown zodiac
like gleeful arsonists
that delighted the eyes of the night
like random luck in the lotteries of unwinnable fate.
And who made pulp fiction
of the exquisite myths of the women
who taught me
that gravity was just the downside of light
and if space and time are one continuum
they won’t ever be any further away
even when they return to the stars
than they are now?
And when did freedom grow ugly?
When did chaos gang-rape the graces
and fathers begin to throw acid
in the eyes of their daughters
to bleach their shame in a sin
that fouls hell itself with an atrocity
that stains even the lowest heirarchies
of the demonically insane
drinking from their own skulls
like blood from a bell on a rope
that never stops ringing
like a phone that insists on an answer?
I try to read the roots
between the lines of the flowers
that have put too much make-up on
for the last of the philandering bees
to try and better understand
the grand reciprocity
between seemingly disparate things.
I see fossils in the stars
and stars in the garbage
and untune my seeing
like a stringless guitar
to let whatever wants to play upon it, play
the discrete harmonies that can only be heard from afar
like a child crying alone in a room late at night
when no one’s home.
It’s hard to look at the haemmorage of the rose
and see the birth of an ocean
or walk upon a planet scarred by atrocities
and look up at the deathpits on the moon
through the eyesockets of a skull
it can’t identify as its own.
I’ve never been able to walk on water
but I can swim through stars
to get to the other side of things
where the shores are lonely and cold
and the waves are frozen in time
like chipped glass
and heaven and hell
are the same hand of light
like well-thumbed cards fanned out
like the eyes of a peacock
playing solitaire on the horizon.
Here nothing wears
the skin of a mirror
to hide its face in yours.
Here black lightning is frozen in time
like a crack in an empty cup
or a fissure on a skull
that set the wine, the being,
the bird in the chimney free
to see deeper than their own eyes
into that light upon light
that eclipses the radiance of the dawn
by psyching the world
like a spent match at midnight
or a star that’s just gone out
to see in the dark on their own.