Friday, January 15, 2010




One half of the world spends its time

trying to heal what the other half wounded

but there are no such divisions of labour among the dead

nor can you shoot yourself in the mouth and call it Somalia

and expect to be martyred by your suicide

as things get progressively worse.

Saint Suicide beatified by Saint Jude of the Lost Cause.

Desdemona slashing her wrists on the moon.

No one’s going to read your poetry when you’re gone

if there’s nothing to live on to gratify their hunger.

But don’t let the worms go to your head

just because they like their poets dead.

You’re paralyzed by the shadows of gigantic problems.

You don’t know how to take the stinger out of the storm

or defuse the lightning before it fries your mistletoe.

The world speaks to you eloquently in a dead language

but your voice still lies buried in the desert of an hourglass

waiting to be discovered like the Rosetta Stone.

And you are so irreparably alone with matter and night

you despair of ever deepening your darkness into light.

You don’t know how to pour grails out of the ores of your insight.

And if life is as cynically absurd as you contest

and the slayer and the slain

are looking for the same vein for the same hit

because they just can’t deal with it anymore,

why are you trying to erect all these quicksand temples to peace

on a firm foundation of war?

Why do you throw acid in the eyes of the stars

when they try to shine down like rain

on the maps of your scars

as if they were spies

as if they were blackholes in disguise?

You won’t find the secret meaning of flowers in desecrated roots.

Your bitterness won’t think its way into wine.

That lump of coal you carry around with you like a heart

won’t suddenly turn into diamonds that have learned to flow

around everything they couldn’t cut.

What kind of seer can’t survive her own fire

or endure her own weather like the sea?

Your total eclipse is just another facial

a cosmetician’s trying to give

the bad complexion of the moon

as you pack out-of-date starmud into your famous wound

as if you were repairing plaster.

Nothing steps out of the trees into the open

to drink from your eyes in the mirror.

You might have bloomed like a haemoraging rose

but you’re still waiting for bees like sewing machines

to stitch you up.

And if you’ve come here to ask me to tell you to live.


And if you want me to speak a word

about what your biggest problem is

among all that psychological stuff

you cling to like a teddy-bear in a nightmare

with an atrocity for an ending.

Sure it’s absurd.

But you’re not absurd enough

to live it without knowing why

the last word of God when she dies

is always the loneliest of birds in the mouth of a voiceless sky.

And you think life let you down like flowers on the wrong grave.

But I know you’re hooked up like the tracks of a nasty thought

to the blisstrain of an unstable brain that’s jumped the rails.

And there’s no one to save

but you like a trembling jewel

from the chains of the dreamcatcher

that lies in wait for a fool

to mistake its life for the plight of a fly

that’s dying like a dragon.

And if you tell me you don’t know how

to sweep the deserts off your stairs

that coil like the ribs of skeletal snakes

all the way up to heaven like a fire-escape,

I’d say stop trying to ride your event-horizons like a broom

and learn to fly like the wind among the stars

that have burned all night like blue acetylene

to weld you back together

without leaving any scars.

And if you want someone to answer for your death.

I will.

I’ll take my next breath.