Saturday, February 13, 2010




Make sure there’s fire in the voices

of the demons you listen to,

not ice.

Don’t point to yourself

among the dim stars

of a lustreless starmap

like a consolation prize

as if you were ashamed

of the children of your own shining.

In hell you don’t trip

when you should have fallen

but there’s never anyone to call on

even when you do.

Hell’s valley is heaven’s mountainside.

As above so below.

Hell’s light isn’t red

it’s the last breath of the colour blue

just before moonrise

covers your eyes in wax

to display your likeness to the future

like a deathmask in a quiet room with candles.

The pump don’t work

cause the vandals stole the handles

but there’s no point

witching for water in hell

because the waters of hell are born without eyes

and there’s no seeing in the well you look into

to see what might be looking back. 

To be and not to be

are two wings of the same word

that disappears wholly into the endless skies

of the terrestrial rounds of existence

without ever flying out of itself

but hell is a kind of unbeing

that keeps finding signs of itself everywhere

like a gene it’s never possessed.

Deep in the heart of hell

there’s no doorbell on the emptiness 

that waits like a host without a guest

for no one to arrive.

There’s no salt on the table of the feast

to sit above or below.

No king or queen

who are the first to be seated,

no jesters grovelling at their feet for scraps.

Hell is a history of blind maps

that never went anywhere

they couldn’t be found.

Lots of dirt

but no ground to stand on,

no wind to carry the ashes of the morning dove

like a cry for help in a bottle

to a new generation of stars

to build churches

deep in the deserts

of their braille constellations

to await the resurrection of Mars.

And it’s a great error of insight

to think that hell is a furnace

that only the prophetically inclined can endure

where they pour the ore out

like night from the pure light of day

that gets thrown away

like the memory of an old injury.

Hell isn’t a torment you can anticipate

anymore than heaven’s

a reward you can expect

for making the right mistake.

The good are unrewarded in heaven

and the evil unpunished in hell.

And here on earth where we dwell

among our sisters and brothers

it’s hard to tell one from the other

though we’re all rumoured

to have been mothered

by the same original sin

we don’t honour the distinction.

And it is as obscenely absurd

to be disgraced by your own birth

as if it were a skidmark on existence

as it is to enshrine a worm

in your rose of blood

like a tiny voice

that eats its way through you

from the inside out infernally

like the pygmy oracles of a new Delphi

that mesmerize you with your own magic

into shedding your own blood

on your own thorns

in your own garden

so you can rise from the dead

without horns on your head

to watch the moon without her crescents

pulling the sword out of her wounded light

as she rises like an enfibulated stone without delight

to survey what’s left of her impoverished realm

through the dead eye of a godess

witnessing the abominations

of the nameless generations

that have died with her in labour.

Hell is the space where you realize

you have never really known what life is

because you lived your own

as if it were you

that were doing life the favour

and now it’s all so clearly over. 

Where you look deeply into your own eyes

for any sign of being

as your seeing grows

more and more desparate

not to separate the roads you didn’t walk

from the ones you did

like the threads of the spine

that walked upright like the S-curve of a snake

that wasn’t a strong enough rope

to deliver the punchline of the joke

as you broke into gales of laughter

everytime you failed to kill yourself.

Hell is the moment

you finally get it into your head

that there is more horror

in being condemned without punishment

than there is behind the backdoors of the damned

listening to someone in the darkness

tampering with the locks on their imaginations

to get in over and over and over again.

Hell is the foreplay of pain

not its consummation.

To bring anything to a climax

would be salvation.