Thursday, January 14, 2010




It’s all just a good guess anyway.

It’s just the story you’re telling yourself,

the tune you’re whistling nervously

walking down a long dark road alone at night in the country

why you’re out here so late on your own

is truly the only direction you’ve ever had for going.

I’ve been milking the fangs of the world

looking for an anti-snake serum

like a mystical elixir of light

to counteract the poisons that freak my blood.

Even way out here where the stars are intimate and strange

I can still feel the thorn of the moon in my voice

like a bullet that can’t be removed

and the wound of the rose that became my heart

after she finally pulled the trigger.

And it’s hard to say after so many excruciations

whether I’ve been flawed by a perfect world

or the crack runs through me like a fault line

that’s about to slip on the stairs

but there’s still something

generously stupid and good about me

that can’t help feeling grateful just for being alive.

And even if the gods who were all ears

are now just the abyss

of a universal hiss that doesn’t listen

or this emptiness within myself

I’m trying not to smudge with my existence

I leave my flowers at the door anyway

whether they’re junkmail on the thresholds of space

or the small acts of an ambiguous grace.

Sometimes my third eye looks at things like a lizard.

I feel the cold.

I can stare impersonally upon the death of generations

like one of the helpless stars

or a diamond indifferent to what it reflects.

I can look the worst horrors in the eye without wincing,

I can stare down the Medusa like a mirror

without turning to stone,

I can bask in Chernobyls of spiritual radiation

and feel the marrow that burns in my bones

like the homing coals of an old fire

I overcame a long time ago like a fever

rise like a phoenix feathered in flame from my blood

and the absolute zero of my feelings

won’t budge by one degree.

I can watch the evening news

and drive stakes through the eye of the Cyclops

like the burnt-out opinions of my relative humanist overviews

then tie myself like everyman

to the belly of a sheep to make my escape.

And I can evaporate like an extinct species

from the dry ice of a dream

and wander off anywhere among one hundred and eleven dimensions

without coming back

or taking the planet along like a backpack.

But I can’t tell you how many victims it’s going to take

to define the word atrocity

or if creation abhors its aftermath.

I screamed murder when I saw murder being done

but now my voice is hoarse

and scaled like a snake’s is to the sad music

of all the things I should have done and didn’t.

I can hear the winter tongues of the brittle leaves laughing at me

but it doesn’t matter much anymore

that the last laugh has bashed its forehead against the door

on the way out of earshot like a farce that wasn’t funny.

You might be as smart as vinegar

and I might be as dumb as honey

but if I don’t edge my futility with spite

or flintknap my brain into Clovis points

and it’s all as absurd as you suggest

and I won’t deny

knowing that might be as true as any other lie

then its just as absurd to turn off the lights

as it is to turn them on.

So I’m grateful to everything

in this vast wheeling space of like-minded mirrors

in the forms of flowers and stars

and though it’s easier for the demons than the angels

to get their hearts around

sometimes even the hells

even the horrors

and all those people and things

and those tumescent teethmarks on the knuckles of events

I never learned to love long enough or well.

There’s a quality of failure that can make it tragic

if the aspiration’s deep enough,

but here in these leafless groves 

where the Druids still tend their fires

in the ashes of their magic,

imagination empowers the disaster of creation

with the freedom and inspiration

to play with the lightning and fireflies alike

as passionate companions who shadow us

like the dragons and the sparrows

who are always taking flight

with eyes as shy as smoke

like loveletters written to the stars

as if the stars could read them.