Tuesday, June 22, 2010




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.

Inspirational beginnings

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.

Green bough.

Dead branch.

Same song.

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!