Friday, February 19, 2010




Blood your abstractions.

You think the ashes remember the fire?

Or that trees don’t give up their ghosts like blossoms?

Where does your fist go when you open your hand?

No fish can ever swim out of itself

or bird fly out of the sky.

You can’t pour the universe out of the universe

without opening wide.

The wisdom of the seers

is deeper than listening.

They hear the picture-music with their eyes.

And don’t think of the interstellar spaces within yourself

and all your inner stars

on the other side of the mirror

as some kind of gift-wrapped surprise.

They might wear their myths out in public

but naked

they bed with lies.

And that’s okay too

because true north doesn’t have a needle

that isn’t either a compass wide

or a star shy of indirection

and as Shakespeare said

by indirections we find directions out.

It’s the oldest way we have

of getting about the going

once we stand up to the fact

we’re perpetually lost

in the act of knowing

where we are.

And me?

I’m heading toward a star called Vega

in the constellation of Lyra

along with the rest of you unwilling pilgrims

who never break to the chase

without crippling yourself from the start

by believing nothing can prove faster than light.

I might suggest space.

I might suggest time

as nocturnal precursors of the light

or what was there to shine through

and even a thought or a feeling

you can’t run from

you can’t run to

can burn through the darkness

like comets and fireflies

long before they’re enlightened.

And you might come

from a long line of atrocities

but it’s the things you love the least

that are the most frightened of you.

And sometimes the moon gets caught

in the crossfire of her own triggers

and bares her claws in parentheses

like a lot that got left out of her alibi

as the story keeps changing

about who took the last shot.

I always perjure myself for the moon

hoping she doesn’t turn me in

for all the lies I’ve told on her behalf

that everyone believes is a new religion.

It’s a long-standing chronic habit of mine

to flatter my waters like the moon

but tell the truth

like the eye

of the sun at midnight

that shines in the darkest corners of the wine

as if everything were still true to the perilous youth

that once endangered the doorway he stood in

as a sign of things to come.

That’s when I realized

I could spend my whole life

witnessing the unreality of shapeshifting illusions

condemned to the drudgery

of sweeping phantom oases away like stars

off the stairs of my deserts

everytime the wind effaced

the cornerstones of my quicksand conclusions.

If you want to stay alive in those realms

it’s crucial to dig deeper than that

to taste the water

and know for yourself

whatever the desert thinks

whether it tastes of the joys of life

or the tears of a sphinx.