Tuesday, December 8, 2009




Lighting it up and blowing it out

I try to make my way through the dark

by beginning at the end

as if the coming and the going

were the same door

or good-bye were the first thing

you would say to a friend.

I approach things like a night stream

as if my death were already achieved

and behind me.

And all the atoms of my being

dancing like frenzied gnats

in the sunset glow of a last eye-beam

are certifiably primordial

and any one of them

when they lose it in the light

could begin a world.

And what can you say more of a life

that dreams of what it is

than it’s the taste of the same wine

in many different cups?

And as any fox knows

the grape is always sweetest

when you can taste it with your eyes.

Though why foxes eat grapes is anyone’s guess

but life makes itself up as it goes

like music in a fish’s earlobes.

It feathers its themes in fire and light

and goes up in smoke

like the ghost of a tree

looking for habitable planets among the stars.

New wounds with innocent root-room for old scars.

Chalking the cue to bank the long shot

you’re trying to spin off into

the deep, dark pockets

of your game-winning afterlife.

And I don’t believe in much anymore

though that hasn’t stopped me from crying

like a slow window trying to keep

the stars from leaking out of me

as if there were a black hole

somewhere in my heart

waiting for an iris to make it an eye

whose seeing might be a new way of healing

what can’t be healed.

Once here. Here forever.

But whether we’re the eternal children of forever

or just another breath on the night air

that doesn’t even know we live,

even death is just another way of killing time here. 

When everywhere’s the center of everything else,

the centre holds,

things don’t fall apart.

They disappear.

And that’s the mystic art

of knowing how to make the most out of existence

by offering no resistance

to the rocks in your own mindstream

that part the waters like the thoughts

of an exile in the promised land

who can’t go back the way she came.

The river can’t step into the same you twice.

And in every direction

your eyes have ever burned like stars

you can see the dark jewel of your own life

from the inside

before it breaks into light.

Sometimes I’m the lonely sign

on the only path to nowhere

and others I’m positively amniotic

with the schools of my blue lucidity

the albino dolphins of the moon leap through

without a chance of changing their colour.

A flower of prophetic blood bleaches my skull.

I swallow the snakefire of my last eclipse

like a lump of coal

I’m trying to turn into a diamond

that doesn’t burn

and never sloughs its skin.

Reality isn’t a religion or a science,

or the back and front of a mirror

that doesn’t know whose eyes its looking through.

Religion: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Science: how many pins can dance on the head of an angel?

Totem poles on a telephone booth where no one ever picks up.

Voodoo dolls that hex the cause of their effects.

The apple bloom on the tree of knowledge

lets go of its flightless wings

and follows the wind

like the eyelids of unfeathered angels

who opened their eyes like flawless fruit

as they fell toward paradise

without a parachute of smokey virtue

or the scale of a snake for a vice.

Emergence into the open

like a hidden secret revealed

is the engine of evolution

that empowers the dark matter

of this incorporeal starmud

to arise like the high note of a bird

that’s flown beyond the night in its voice

like light beyond its myth of origin.

And the peduncle is lost in the ensuing phylum

as a madman is lost in the scream

that woke up the asylum,

or a god is lost in his own creation.

And the mountains listen

to the holy voices

in the valleys of their shadows

they deepen as they arise

like the guests of an echoless calling

to greet the unknown host.

It’s what the moon feels

when she fondles her locket of water

and memories pull at her heartstrings

like tides on earth

and music is the way she recalls

the sirens that used to sing

like the brides of empty lifeboats

that prayed like smashed guitars

for the night to sow the seedless sea with stars.

And in every fish that swims through fire

like the sacred response of life

to the longing in its own desire

she knows they got their wish.

Fireflies in the ashes of the phoenix tree.

And the eggs of cosmic words

like serpents in a bird’s nest

learning to fly like dragons

that have just swallowed the moon.

And it’s one thing to pull the sword from the stone

but it’s a greater power than magic and proof

with no urge to rule

that summons the butterfly from its cocoon

by giving the fool who inches toward the truth

along the green branch toward the apple-bloom

that already tastes like the forbidden fruit

of some radical insight

the whole orchard in a pair of wings

and more than enough night and light on its palette

to start a revolution in seeing among the flowers

who still labour in the chains of their roots

to turn their earthbound lucidities into stars

who might look back for a change

with eyes that have gathered like water out of the shining

and taste the light in the honey

that kissed their eyelids into gold

long before the night was old

and it wasn’t enough just to see them.

When you opened your eyes

in the burning clarity of your lone vision

before this matrix of space and time

gave birth to the world

you were free to be whatever you could see.

That’s when the light first spoke to you

in the mother-tongue of your seeing

and your voice broke

like a secret name in the mirror

that didn’t know who you were

and the moon on nightwater

the thief at the window

your breath like stars on the cold, night air

summoned the whole of being

in every particulate shard

and radiant plinth of the mirror

to drive your shining into the shadows

so myriad things can appear as they are.

Many eyes open. Night. An eclipse. One star.

And the darkness an anti-romantic

in love with the moon from afar.