WANT TO FEEL SAD AND LYRICAL
Want to feel sad and lyrical
but everything’s dull and gray.
The stars have been filtered out of my tears
and there’s no inspiration
in the local drinking water.
Given I’m made of starmud
it’s my nature to shine
but the darkness overwhelms me
like space turned in on itself
and the light leaves no sign
of my red shift off the spectrum
as I move away from myself
in the opposite direction.
What else can you do
but trust your own mindstream
even when it goes underground
or flows into a blackhole like a snake
that wants to get the sun off its back for awhile?
I’m tired of swallowing the cosmic glain
and disgorging the remains
like a collapsed parachute
that didn’t open in time
to fly from the nest.
I’m sick of the taste of baby birds
and the broken yokes of sunny outlooks
that come on like positive books
that lie about negative words.
And everytime the dragon eats the moon
like the communion wafer
of an unholy eclipse
it rains like a sacrifice
in a desert on earth
that gives in to temptation like water.
And things bloom long enough
to appall me with their passage
and just enough life goes on
to make the scorpions happy
and keep me
from slipping into a coma
like a frog in a dry creekbed
that wakes up like an alarm clock
with just enough time to procreate
and die like a mirage in an hourglass.
I want to throw joy around
like good money
after a bad depression
but there are still sunspots in the honey
that look a bit cancerous
and there’s no one around to get drunk with
who hasn’t grown paranoid of their own tattoos
or can stare for long
into the snake-eyes of their meaning
without turning into stone
like a snake-bit constellation
at the revelation
of how a toxin
can burn like the white phosphorus
of the fire-bug stars
no elixir of water can put out.
I am urgent with exits
but never seem to make it to the door
before the rafters fall down upon me
like the bones of a stressed-out dinosaur
in an extinct museum no one’s discovered yet.
And it’s getting harder to conceive
of butterflies and full moons
emerging from the leftover cocoons
that hang from the dead branch
among the autumn leaves
like empty urns
that hold the ashes of the clouds
that don’t remind me of anything anymore
except they were once the shape of happier things
I called lovers and friends.
with unjustifiable ends.
The river doesn’t indict
the great night sea it flows into
like time disappearing into space
and the sea doesn’t make amends.
The green bough
may be proud of its first blossom
and hold it up like the full moon
with the wingspan of a swan
on the far horizon of fair weather
but the dead branch
is a scar of orchards and ghosts
that weren’t very frightening
until they went witching for lightning
and the lightning found them.
The green bough writes a loveletter
to the dead branch
and the dead branch writes a requiem back
that reads like cold water on dark roots
that bloom in fire
that can’t burn the desire
of a seasoned phoenix
out the heartwood
of so many past springs
preserved like ripples of rain.
Two wings of the same bird.
But tell me if you know.
When the phoenix sings
is it the lightning of the first
or last firefly of a word
embering in the ashes
of our lucid beginnings
that means the most?
Is alpha the creative guest
and omega the destructive host
or do they both share the same lifeboat
from coast to coast
like the pioneering survivors
of a sunken continent
that followed the whales
back into the water
but hasn’t come up for air yet?
I’ve learned to suffer the meaning of things
without regret for their passing
like a rootless tree
in an echoless valley
that can’t put a name to my voice
when it rises like a mountain out of the sea
to keep the prophet true to his prophecy
from the inside out.
I’ve stayed faithful as a backdoor
to the doubt
that I raised like my own assassin
in the shadows of the house of certainty
that didn’t leave a forwarding address
when the neighbours moved out of the zodiac.
And compassionate as water
I’ve washed the dirt of the friendless road
off the feet of the wise
and stars off the feet of the maniacs
that danced along the Milky Way
like a firewalk
for tormented insomniacs
still haunted by the living.
I need a better lie
than this one I call my life
to tell myself when I’m alone
with my personal history
of the impersonal mystery
of what I’m doing
walking around on the earth
like some tragic miscarriage of the light
with a wound as big as the night
that came of a womb as small
as the eye of the needle
it’s one thing to pass through
like a camel on its way to heaven
but it’s a bitch of a birth
to come back the other way
just for a change of direction.
I still want to believe
it’s all for the best
in some kind of brutal way
that doesn’t mistake us
for who we think we are.
And there are times
when I actually do
see through myself
with the cold clarity of a star
I can’t give a name to
in the black mirror
I must become
to escape detection
like the singularity
at the bottom of a blackhole
long enough to know
it might be shining down on nothing
but what a show!