Friday, August 7, 2009




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.