DON’T THINK OF YOURSELF
Don’t think of yourself
as a little thumb-puppet of starmud
stuck in your brain like a gumboot
talking to itself as if
your inner voice were a ventriloquist.
Don’t think of yourself as a self at all.
You’re never going to meet your own footsteps
coming down the hall
like the return of the prodigal
with money in her pocket.
Space is faster than light
and your mind is pre-existent
like a face without eyes
that conceives of everything.
Why cling like a ghost
to a straw of light in the wind
as if that were your only dimension
inside the black hole
that demands your attention
like something that’s eating you whole?
You can’t be lost, broken, found, wounded or healed like a thing.
The moon isn’t a scar from the last time you cut your wrist.
Your mind is the any and everywhere of a wind
that doesn’t insist on being anything.
Enlightenment can be no more attained
than ignorance can cast a shadow.
So why keep trying to weave the sea like the moon
into a flying carpet
as if you weren’t already walking on water?
The morning doesn’t come
like a revelation to space
and the night doesn’t fall like an eyelid.
Space isn’t brightened.
Space isn’t dimmed.
It accepts and rejects nothing.
Haven’t you noticed how the sea
keeps undoing itself thread by thread like your mind
whenever it’s caught like a dolphin in its own net?
Or whenever it pours the inexhaustibility of itself like the sea into a teacup
as if it could drown its oceanic awareness
in the black cool-aid of a single gulp?
Space contains everything
but even the absence of the light
can’t contain it
and stars or not
the night doesn’t stain it.
Like you space isn’t big or small.
Like you space isn’t sweet or bitter.
Like you space isn’t rough or smooth.
Like you space doesn’t foul its own perfume
as if death just stepped into the room where you were born.
Like you space isn’t blue or black or blind.
Like you space isn’t looking back at itself
like a forward-thinking behind
trying to sort out its ends from its beginnings
like a snake with its tail in its mouth
trying to swallow its head.
Like you space isn’t alive or dead.
And who speaks of this space as evil
and this space as good
as if you could split space
like the tree of knowledge
into a winter’s worth of seasoned firewood?
Space doesn’t hold its feet to the fire
in a bad dream
or address the orchard
like the singing master of a choir
in a good one.
Like you space isn’t many or one.
Like you space can’t be done or undone.
Why run these little choo choo trains of thought
along your electric nerves
as if you always had to be carrying something somewhere
like spare parts to a nightshift of stars
working on a tight schedule
to improve the constellations
by cramming more people into cattle-cars?
Like you space isn’t a prophetic skull
that died of thirst
trying to drink water from the eyes
of its own reflection
like the moon in the mirror of a mirage.
Like you space doesn’t sweep illusion away
like stars on the stairs with a broom.
The fish can’t fly
and the birds don’t swim out of it.
Like you space goes on forever
like the doorway of a threshold that can’t be crossed.
Why go looking for yourself
like an echo in search of its voice
a mountain for its valley
a flame for its original fire
an hour in search of time
a wave for the sea
a feather for its bird
a petal for its flower
a myth of origin
even before you begin
a fountain-mouth for its first word
or the mind for the root of its own reality
when you know as well as I do
space like you is everywhere
at home in its homelessness
and you can’t find what hasn’t been lost
like the face of someone
who was never at home in the first place.