BLOOD YOUR ABSTRACTIONS
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
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.
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.