Saturday, November 14, 2009




I like the feel of the new heels on my cowboy boots.

I like the feel of breathing in joy like oxygen,

of moving from one small joy to another

without pomp or pageantry

like the constellation of a black swan

on a midnight mindstream

drifting through the small torches of the stars

that won’t go out in any kind of water.

And I don’t know why I’m wounded

deeper than tears by joy

whenever I witness any undoubted example

of human excellence

and penumbrally share in the triumph

remembering how truly astonishing

a human being can be

when compassion and insight

are the fruit and roots of the tree.

So much in the world I abhor,

horrors and sorrows and atrocities

that violate the elemental dignity of life

as it expresses itself in a human so deeply

even the silence cuts out its tongue

as an offense against

the unspeakable decency of the darkest abyss

when it stands before evil.

Like a golden fish in a polluted stream

slurried by a nuclear reactor

into a cancerous elixir

I have ingested every toxic meme

of a sick society in a feverish dream

and I cannot help but think and feel and live

whatever’s written on the water

to soil the stars

that thought they were out of reach

and make manic depressives

of the waves that spoil the beach.

A child of my times, the Zeitgeist, the Holy Ghost,

and the jinn at every well

like the forbidden fires of holy explosives

wrapped in folds of smoke,

I see through the glass darkly

like everyone else

who paints the eye of their telescope

with the shepherd moons

of despair and hope

and reports their observations as the truth

to whomever might be listening.

I can humble the night with my darkness

when the light goes out

and I have fought for years

with the child that I am

not to feel guilty or vulnerable

whenever I was taken unawares

by some happiness

that spilled over the rim of the black hole

that indelibly kept my cup full.

Now I rejoice in the emptiness of things

as useless as rocks and people

and feel a great tenderness for anyone

who needs to feel anything more.

I like the way your gate is hanging by a hinge.

I like the dead bee on the pyre of the late-blooming fire

that consumes it like a last kiss.

I like the way my portraits’s turned toward the wall

like a delinquent outside the principal’s office

listening for footsteps down the long, empty hall.

Lightning in the lighthouse

or fireflies on the moon

I like the way my Zippo snaps shut

like the beak of a turtle at the feather of the flame

it rose like an ancient moon from the muddy depths

to pull under.

I find joy in the slighest,

in the cast away and the spurned,

in the tiny birds that have learned

to glean the dragonflies

off the car radiators

and the way people like to be found

like hubcaps at the side of the road

holding up a mirror to the beauty

of the wild irises

like a new logo

they hope will catch on.

When you haven’t been saved from anything

there isn’t much left to save you from

or any point in trying to save the ashes from the fire

after everything’s gone up in smoke

so why ox yourself

to the unbearable yoke of a cross

trying to grind bread out of starwheat

when the children you labour to save like seed

have already died for the night

with nothing to eat?

Who needs to turn themselves into a broom

when they’ve drunk their mirages dry

to sweep the deserts off the stairs

of an afterlife in an empty asylum

that talks to itself like the moon?

I don’t care what kind of bars

silver, gold, iron or bone,

spiritual or corruptly marrowed

by the tainted terrestrial

you want to put on the window

to keep the stars out like thieves at the gate,

I’m already in.

And you’re way too late.

I like to live my life

as if I were getting away with something.

I like being weeded out like a key

to a door that time forgot to close

like the coffin lid of the nightwatchman

who kept an eye on things like a flashlight

looking for his flashlight,

his mind for his mind.

I like being less and less of me

like a rogue sunset that sheds its roses

like a watercolour of its eyes in the void

to see more clearly into the emptiness

there’s nothing to be in this nothingness

that isn’t a last lifeboat without oars

and no one in it to rescue

jumping ship in a turbulent dream.

Illusory cures for illusory diseases.

And once you’re restored to clarity

does it really matter

what the medicine means?

I like the tear in my wounded blue jeans.

I like the autumn dyes that set your hair on fire

like the Gatineau Hills

risking everything

as you squander your leaves like rain-cheques

in the overly salubrious poker-faced casinos of Quebec.

I like the day I was let out of school

with eternity for a recess.

Why spend your life

panning your own mindstream

for the fool’s gold of the iron pyrite rule:

Do unto others before they do unto you,

when you know as well as Wall Street

things aren’t what they seem?

Look how an apple tree lives.

It gives. And it thrives

by just expressing itself

like a bouquet in the hand of a bride

that walks like a bridge to the altar

and marries herself in her own eyes

to the earth she’s rooted in

holding her green arms up

to the orchards of the Hesperides

that blossom among the stars

like holy ancestors.

I like the way the comets stray

like hair across her face

and the way she twists her mouth

like driftwood in the sun

to blow them away.

And I like the blaze

of the supernovae of enlightenment

who give it all back to the night

like a blood transfusion,

a haemorrage of light,

and even more,

these small illuminations

that arrive through the night and day

like anonymous stars and flowers

beside a death bed in a private room

where only the dying know what to say.

Stars above the mountain.

Flowers in the valley.

I like the way the moon’s punked out in the alley

between the church and the funeral home.

I like the way I refuse to assume I know where I’m going

like a newly-hatched garden snake in the spring

or a stream setting out on its own

with nothing for a creekbed

but its own flowing

and how I always catch myself like a fish

rising to the hook and allure of a new direction

as if that were the truth north of not having one.

But let the goldfish nibble at the moon as they will

and swim through the tops of the trees

even as these fire-birds are flying through my roots.

I like the feel of the new heels on my cowboy boots.

I like playing the fool with my own molecules

as if I were madder than plutonium

at having to break my balls like a kick in the nuts

with my own pool cue

everytime I give the game away

hoping somehow that will make me

as sane as lead in the table of things.

I see hell. I live in hell. I breathe hell.

And this pillar of I enshrines and embodies it

like the corpse of a murdered river

flowing through darkness

without any recourse or redemption

for its suffering.

No elixir. No grail. No lapis philosophorum.

No celestial gold to climb the ladders of fire

out of the dungeons of hydrogen

or missing link that breaks the chains

of the slaves in the hold

that labour in vain to endure.

Life isn’t fair or unfair.

Pure or compounded.

Civilized or savage.

Eternal or brief.

Loving or hateful

nor all of these together.

The sky isn’t just

the daily news of the weather

and the sea isn’t just

the tragic rage of co-conspirators

doing their worst to fall on their own swords

as if they could be turned like waves against one another

and though it is immaculately kind of us to say so

the earth really isn’t our mother

if you go back far enough.

The earth is more of a nurse these days

trying to suckle

a hydra-headed wound

in a nightshift emergency ward

at the full moon

with plastic udders of blood

hanging from a crufix on wheels.

For every demon that jumps from heaven

an angel rises from hell

and I like the way I’m learning to fall toward paradise

without a parachute

like a one-winged samara trying to angel on

with these seeds of loaded dice

riding the luck of the wind

like a wounded albatross

looking for new ground

at the foot of an empty cross.

As much has been gained as was lost.

I like the way time weaves the manes

of the sheepish dandelions

into the emergency ghosts

of a thousand scattered parachutes.

I like the way every conclusion about life

rights itself with its opposite

like a compass or a keel

and there are addictions

so intensely beyond the obvious dark mirrors

and shared needles of true north

trying to snort the stars

to light up the room like a legend

on a neon movie marquee,

unschooled states of mind so powerfully clear and whole

your being is shot up like a tree in the lightning

that God wants to use for a voice-box

so that the tree is known by its fruits,

the taste of its words,

the joy of its birds,

the blossom of the moon on the dead branch

the butterfly on the green

like the whole notes and stops on the flute

of a snake-charmer

collaborating with the muse of a cobra

on a new song

two minutes long with a hook.

I like the way life goes on in the dark

beyond the painted eyelids of the billboards

running for re-election as a theme park

to improve the fibre-optics of their umbilical cords.

Even as the truth turns out

to be more of a lock than a key

that can be turned in your mouth like a word

to set you free of yourself

like a long thought-chain

that plugs the world into your navel;

and beauty is a pimped-out carnival

of surgical exaggerations and defects

that wear the look of lost luggage

under the sagging circus tents

that taxi down the runways of the rejects;

and the evil that is done in the world

cloaks the oceanic eye of awareness

with the cataract of an oilslick

that giftwraps everyone like water

in the same starless snake-skin

they tatoo their corporate logos on

like a new translation of the Rosetta Stone

in the demotic tongues

of the illiterate mobs of PsychoBabylon:

even in this deepest eclipse of hell

that swallows us whole

like the eggs of the moon in a nest

and is running out of eyes to darken,

even here there are still small lighthouses of joy

that shine through the cracked skulls of these coasts

and haloes of fireflies

that still iris the eyes of the black holes

that are too deep for anyone to put down roots

or go witching for water with lightning

screwed into the eyesockets

of their spineless lightbulbs

playing peek-a-boo

in their see-through birthday suits.

Let evil offend or amend its own statutes.

I like the feel of the new heels on my cowboy boots.