THE LIMITS OF SEEING
The limits of seeing
are the limits of every human being
a godseye shy of the truth
of the way things are and will be
like the light of a star
revealing the way we were
long before we could see.
HOW TO WRITE A MASTERPIECE WITHOUT BREAKING A SWEAT
Give up at the beginning.
Scan the vanity that stands before things
as if it’s mastered them
for parasites and viruses
and wash yourself clean of yourself in the light
like an expanding universe
that saw a pond before it and jumped in.
Splash. The worlds begin.
Ripples of Basho and Rumi.
Listen. Tears. As if the night were crying.
Forget all about who you are and want to be
in the Great Barrier Reef of Literature
that rips through the hull out of the moon
as it passes over
a scion of the sea
like one of the original themes of life.
Take your bodymind off like shoes caked with starmud
at the doors of the abyss of your original homelessness
as if they were just so many hovels and Taj Mahals
you crawled into along the way like a snail.
Here you cannot succeed. You cannot fail.
Space and everything in it
is not the spirit’s lost and found.
Even before you build the boat
you’ve run aground.
The trivial is not trivial
nor the profound profound.
Where does the knot go
when you pull on your shoelaces?
Where does your fist go when you open your hand?
Where do you go when you understand?
Don’t stare blankly at the eyeless page
like the bottom of an empty cup
waiting for tea-leaves to appear
as if you were waiting for fate to make the first move
or you couldn’t see.
Don’t sit there like the table of contents
for the whole universe
as if you were playing Russian roulette
with blanks in the starting gun of the Big Bang.
Sooner or later something’s bound to go off
but insight isn’t the same as fireworks
as you pass like a bullet through your own brain
thinking it’s the bullet that hurts.
There’s a dark abundance to an empty mind.
There’s a bright vacancy to one that’s full.
Be dark on both sides of yourself like the new moon
and the wholeness you feel
will not be the wholeness of a retracted self
but the unimaginable generosity of the real
as it frees you inescapably
to be the valley that listens to the mountain
that hasn’t spoken in years.
Put your finger to your lips like a full eclipse
and without praying with Isaac
or braying with Esau
let your voice be the composure
of the negative space in the smile of the Mona Lisa.
You can labour for mastery for years
apprenticed to your sweat and tears,
but perfection happens effortlessly
like the moon through the window
when no one’s home to say
I see it through my eyes
I hear it with my ears.
Inside the fire
there’s no witness
burning at the stake of what appears.
The beauty of your original clarity
doesn’t surround itself with mirrors.
That star is always an open gate ahead of its own divining
like the darkness in the eyes of the jewels of life
that look so deeply and intensely into the night
that darkness falls upon darkness
and light upon light
to illuminate the myriad secrets of their shining
like a child amazed
by all the constellations it can make
from the radiant genius of a single insight.
When God whispers into her own ear
like a hidden secret that longs to be known
it’s always you that you hear
saying the world to yourself
in a language all your own.
Let there be light.
Let there be night.
Star. Tree. Firefly. Stone.