NOT WANTING TO SQUEEZE A TAJ MAHAL
Not wanting to squeeze a Taj Mahal
or Notre Dame of gratitude
out of every nugget of dirt
she used to create humans,
not expecting masterpieces in return,
God opened her hand
like the secret sign of power
and completely disappeared.
She left no traces of the waterbirds
that flew from her mouth like words.
There are no ashes you can stir or divine
to call back the original fire of creation
she disappeared into as if it were herself
she were hiding from and not us,
no koan you can break
like the skull of a meaningless fortune-cookie
to scoop out its brains and eat its thoughts
hoping at last to overstand
what can’t be understood.
Down as many shotglass grails as you like
until your’re stone cold drunk
in the dangerous doorways
of all those ailing kingdoms
you’re dying to restore to the derelicts,
wait by as many tight-lipped gates as long as you like
proliferating the perennials of your faith
like Shasta daisies,
or pole-dance like a snake turned stripper
on the axis of the the turning world
for the liars and the crazies
pleading with God to take it all off,
you’re still alone on your own in a big space.
You’re still trying to prefigure your likeness
out of the elemental ignorance
and look into the evolution of your eyes
as if the mirror came first
and who’s been wearing your face
and is it blessed, or is it cursed?
Eyes. Light. Being. Action.
What’s wrong with your seeing
that you still don’t know whose movie it is?
Deep inside where the writing on the wall
isn’t a placard at a protest,
you’re afraid of your own creative freedom
and you call it an abyss
where nothing exists
because you don’t know how
to ride your own dragon of creative fire
through a sky such as this
waiting like children without names for the stars.
You’re afraid of a gift without a giver.
You think the whole of the universe is a Trojan Horse
and you don’t know whether it’s broken or not
but you’re still looking for a saddle and spurs
to go riding down by the river
where the moon breaks her mirrors on the mindstream
to let perfection take its place without her.
You’re riding your own eye-beam through space
like the frequency of a flying carpet through a dream
you’re afraid you might not wake up from.
Born of the shining,
born of a gust of stars that settled on the stairs
of a palace of light
like snowflakes on a furnace full of prophetic fireflies,
like chandeliers of rain that have flowed like jewels
from everything that’s ever had eyes
and wept at what they saw
when God disappeared into us
like the knower into the knowing
so that the flowers could meet the stars face to face,
why do you stable your dragons
in the ashes of a spent grace
like comets you’re afraid might come loose
like the roots of a wisdom tooth
from that blind halo that keeps circling the sun
like a vulture over carrion
you wear like the crown of it all?
Nothing could be easier than enlightenment
when all you have to do is fall.
And it has been well said
that the mind is an artist
able to paint the worlds
we must live in on our own
as if we were the only ones home
in our homelessness
when we discover
God doesn’t have a return address.
God’s nakedness is the creative solitude
of the human that answers
the inscrutable smile on her face
by painting her in the nude
posing as the universe.
And she can sit that way for aeons and hours
without moving an eyelash
as you try to catch the accent of the light
of the worlds falling over her shoulders
in a turmoil of galactic curls.
Empowered like a star
that rises from the pyres of her beauty
the dark lady lets the moon
fall from her hands like a knife
and even her ashes shine
like the marrow of the new life
that glows like gold
in the darkness of her mystic ores.
The fires of inspiration ache to possess her
in an agony of first drafts
written by the wind on the flames.
And then you hear her clear voice
filling her absence with birds
in the forbidden groves of her names.
And what does she say
through the keyholes
of the thousand and one doors
you’ve kept locked on the inside
afraid of the shadows and loveletters
moving around in the hall
when you’ve achieved her likeness
by disappearing into the work with her?
I am the secret treasure
you’ve been hiding yourself from
behind all these useless doors.
Stop saying mine and everything’s yours.