Friday, November 27, 2009




I don’t care what you believe or espouse,

show me what you eat

and I’ll know what your ideology is.

Capitalism, for example,

like a great hog at the Wall Street Trough,

the Toronto Stock Exchange,

eats its own young down to the marrow.

And communism descends like a plague of locusts

out to reform the sheaves of the people like wheat.

And the worst world fanaticism,

the Islamofacists and Zionazis,

and the flies who rule Africa,

who promise milk and honey

and houris around the fountain of Salsabil

to anyone who murders in their name,

puts everything on the menu

and makes anyone anywhere fair game.

And it’s free enterprise for the poor

and it’s socialism for the rich

who get the biggest welfare cheques

while the middle extreme between them

lives on the trickle-down economics

of the leftovers that fall off the table

of politicians throwing scraps to the hunting dogs

who move among the legs of their masters

like lobbyists among the pillars of the banks

knee-deep in the blood of the abbatoir

in which they sit down like cattle-prods to give thanks.

Consider the collateral damage

of children killed like footnotes

or amendments to a bill

that would permit the sale of landmines

to the lords of famine who plant them

to shatter the flesh of the farmer who’s learned

to plough with a sword.

Bumper crops of body parts.

And look how the indifferent and the evil

wash their hands of blood

in the bottled water of the highest ideals of the mob

mouthing off to the pundits of popcorn

to secure a place on the Great Cob

of the American nightmare.

And it’s good to have a big heart with a big dream

that knows enough CPR

to thump on your chest to revive you

but how long can it survive in a world

that’s got a sewer for a bloodstream?

And what can you make of a Republican party

parsing the purity of gangrene

to block health care reform

like an election with a saw in its hands?

And you may think you know Christ

and organize like the Templars of C-Street

with great crosses of blood on your adulterated bedsheets

to protect the holy land from Democrats

but you better look twice in the mirror

at the skidmark you are in his eyes

when you stand up like the atrocity you are

to toast the good life with a grail

expecting to be rewarded

for all the sick children you denied a cure

by a healer who loved them beyond death.

Did you know there are state suppers in hell

where demons drink the blood of children

from a church bell

and draw lots from your skull

to see who gets to eat your heart today?

And spit it out like a fly

that corrupts the choicest wines

of the infernal and divine alike?

Even in hell as you are on earth

you’re bad meat down the well,

and some have noticed lately

even the fire that cooks you

is tainted by the smell.

Do you really think the sublime intelligence

that suffuses creation with love

like the dark mother of us all

and frees us like rivers of insight

to return to her like bright waters full of life

would affirm your offense to existence for long;

or that Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha,

or the decency who lives down the street,

knowing the children, the uncles, the brothers,

the lovers, the fathers and mothers,

the friends who have died

because there was a cure

a remedy, a redemption

for what killed them

but you denied them,

would condone

the electoral greed and cunning

of a petty slumgod in the senate

as an excuse for so much pain?

Or that the croaking of toxic toads

on corporate lily pads

rooted in the muck and swamp gas

of your obnoxious morality

that scabs the snapping turtles

waiting like backroom ceo’s below

would pass through their ears

like the clefs of angelic choirs

swanning their way through murder on Moonlake?

Or that the way you turn the prayers of mothers

all over the earth tonight

that their wounded children might live,

that they might walk and see and hear again,

that there be an end of the suffering and the illness,

that they have shelter and food,

school, play, medicine

and time to explore their innocence,

the way you pervert their prayers

into the new rhetoric of liars

crushing compassion

under the jackboots

of your fanatically uncommon sense,

as if you spoke from one bush

for many fires,

or looked at Christ’s wound

as he hung on the cross before your committee

as you choked the neck of the microphone and said,

Physician heal thyself.

There are no fiscal limits on your pity.

Or funding for universal coverage to resurrect the dead.





































Don’t be afraid to look your dragons in the eyes.

Their fires are full of seeing.

Don’t be afraid to stare down your fears.

You’re not a bird.

They’re not snakes.

Look at all the darkness it takes

to make a single star shine

or how much death there is

in every breath,

in every drop of blood,

in any drop of wine.

Don’t play the orchard in spring

as if you didn’t have roots

that still grope in the starmud

like distant relatives

it’s pain for you to acknowledge.

You’re not a glass slipper born from rubber boots.

And not all blessings are white.

There are black beatitudes beyond the light,

dark jewels that weep mirrors of compassion

to show you the eyes of your most intimate fears

are your own looking back at you

like a child that’s been left by the side

of the long road home alone

as night comes on.

And when I say that

I know there are dark, terrible wounds,

black holes

that gape like mouths back at the moon

lifting itself up over the hills

like the unaccusing skull of someone you’ve known.

Things that can’t be fixed or healed.

Slashes of fate that sever and mutilate

the innocent’s animal trust of life,

blood on the smile of the knife

and love the word of a broken sword.

Intensities of pain

that keep on burning through you

like stars of white phosphorus

you were born under like a bad sign

making starmaps of your skin

and eyeless dice of your bones.

What poultice of a word

could draw the stinger out

or lift the veil of the poison

pain weaves on the loom of your nerves?

And only the silence knows how

to run its fingers over its scars

like a dead language

on a gravestone

no one can decipher.

So I won’t leave little sweetcakes of mercy

outside the eastern doors of your burial huts

or try to sew the mouth of the haemmoraging rose shut

with its own thorns.

Life has horns

and even the golden matadors

who hide their blades behind a cape of blood

like the flashing plinths of the sun

and brave every agony

have had their hearts gored by the moon.

All I can do is sit beside your body all night

like a candle in a morgue

and say nothing.

Or tell you I don’t know.

Or that great pain has no colour

a compassionate chameleon can mix on its palette.

And it may well be

that the worst virtue of the abyss

is that it doesn’t explain away anything

by trivializing our tragedies

in the soul-shaking profundity of the silence

when you ask from the other end of the telescope

why so little has come of so much.

But the flights of the dragon

are not guided by the lamps of the fireflies

and sometimes the only way

to get out of the coffin that grounds the world

is to pull the nails out from the inside

with your teeth.

But is this agony less ours,

less human, less faceless

than the danger

of any other angel in the way

we’ve had to wrestle with

to advance our humanity by losing?

There are mirrors so cold with the truth

that when you look into them

your face shatters like a chandelier,

and scales in the darkness

witching for blood

with tentative threads of lightning

that are trying to find you out.

But don’t deny your fears, your horrors

the atrocities you afflict upon yourself like a voodoo doll

that’s just turned Christian,

give them sky, give them time, give them wings

to break out of the cosmic egg you keep them in

and unleash the span of their fierce energies

like supernovae screaming

like unhooded hawks of light across space.

Don’t try to make pygmies of the dragons

you haven’t mastered yet

or you’ll end up shrinking your own head.

Even when the moon’s just

a spoonful of ashes

or plundered feathers on the water

it draws the same shadows

out of everyone alike

as it does when the harvest is ripe.

Get the inside out like a seed

and flower

if you want to turn the poison

in the stinger of the bee back into honey.

Be the black rose that blooms like blood

in the heart of your eclipse

and look beyond what is good and bad about the night

when after all these billions of years

it still hosts the light so generously

like a window in tears

that can see what is broken

through the star-filled holes in the glass.

Should you be grateful to one hand

and not the other

of the potter who turns you

like clay on his galactic wheel

to give a shape to the emptiness

whose sole function in life is to be filled

by the myriad wines of experience

whose ultimate high is us

like a rush of being

through heaven and hell

they could never come down from?