Saturday, July 17, 2010




Darker and darker

all over the planet the ignorance grows

and the violence becomes more intimately catastrophic

and the savagery of minute events

more psychoBabylonic and intense.

Order demands an absolute certainty

that chaos knows doesn’t exist

except as a way for the rich

to keep things heaped up as they are

by revering power and greed

like the black queen

in the dark inner sanctum

of the corporately organized ant-hill

reeking of formic acid like stinging nettles.

A Dajal

the one-eyed red-haired electric apocalyptic liar

walks the earth like a religious fanatic

preaching absolutes that are worth

everyone else dying for

to blood the prophecy.




The pursuit of happiness

is outpaced by hatred

as a manifest destiny

and the one is the fool of the other.

What does this mean in human terms?

There’s no crime or atrocity we’ve committed

no sin of omission

no heart-numbing disgrace

we’ve turned our backs on and kept silent about

that hasn’t been mastered

and excelled by our children

as their way of protesting

the approval they’re seeking

from our corrupt blood-soaked example.

All governments are serial killers.

And it’s an insult to rabid dogs

to compare them to the psychotics

who efface God

by throwing acid in the eyes of a schoolgirl

learning how to read

or endless versions of the good life

in a multiverse

of omnidimensional commercials

that have amassed themselves

into a new state of being

like waking and sleeping and dreaming.

We’re a Cambrian explosion of logos and memes.

The predators evolve live streaming eyes in HD

and the prey

are squeezed into their carapaces and exo-skeletons

like early crustaceans.

We’re the first fish

to show up with an optic fiber

for a spinal cord

and a deathwish

that will eventually lead to mammals again

like the jinxed genes of a mutant species

or a bottom feeder with a big brain

piled up like fossilized faeces

looking for its origins

in what it ate yesterday.

The Sufis say

you begin to take on the characteristics

of anyone you’ve been around

longer than forty days

and the stars and the flowers

are beginning to look more and more

like razor-blades and barbed wire

and the mirrors are beginning

to crack my face

like a fortune-cookie

for what they see in it

and deeply resent becoming.

But it’s just as hard to pull pure fish

out of polluted water

as it is to squeeze light out of starmud

to clarify the matter.

And there’s less and less to work with

that does much good

when you’re among too many angels

like lean ideals

who don’t eat food

or know what it feels like

to suffer your own inhumanity

as well as that of that of others

like an infection

that eludes detection

by longing for perfection

from the imperfect

like shadows

going in the wrong direction

on a starless night

looking for enlightenment well beyond

what is right

what is wrong

what hurts so much

when you see the world as it is

you’re walking through a field of nettles

without skin

or if you prefer to see it as it isn’t

you’re a butterfly in the dragon’s mouth

a snowflake on a furnace

the diamond skull of a liberated Buddha

in the lost and found

of a spiritual abyss

that thought you were a bad idea

in the first place.

Every day is the dark dawn

of a new eclipse

that leechs the light from our blood.

And every night retrieves its dead

and carries them off into the darkness

like indelible proof the lives we’ve led

weren’t worth the blood and dirt

they’re written in

like lies we told the earth

like excuses we made for ourselves

as the light draws straws

to see who gets the short end

of trying to brighten things up

by cutting our hearts out

like savage roses

in this abbatoir of blood

that runs like a river out of Eden.

What’s history

if it isn’t a madman on a binge with a knife

as if every day

were the worst day

of a long and insatiable life?

Among the great expansive themes of life

we put our hands over the mouths

of screaming children

and teach them to live between the lines

following the star they’re all born under

that will lead them like wise men

bearing gifts

all the way down to the footnotes

that look up for a sign

they’re on the right path

and see the heavens filled with asterisks

like the burnt-out constellations of the mind

the blind consult like starmaps

to lead the blind

deeper into the darkness

like eyeless vines with mindless roots

that never know what fruits might come

of witching for water in hell

like a dead branch

thorned by evolution

to drink blood from its own skull

trying to slake its raging thirst

like a torch it can’t put out

in the bittersweet grails

of cosmic confusion

that taste like human delusion.

We raise our skulls up like empty cups

carved like ancient craters

out of the moon

and drink to the stars

like dead seas that stare back nostalgically

into the old abyss

of their cold impersonal eyes

as if there were nowhere left to live

we could adapt to our lies.





















































every breath I took in

was longer than the one I let out

but older

for every twelve inches of air I breathe in

I fall back a thousand feet

without a parachute

when I breathe it out.

I fall slowly backwards

in a crucified reverse swan dive

or a clear-cut tree

from the edge of a high precipice

into the sweet oblivion of an abyss

that is generous enough to receive me

like a good host receives its only guest.

And I’m free.

My blood burns like a poppy in full bloom

but nothing is consumed.

And I can look upon

my thoughts and emotions

copulating in the grass like snakes

without going blind

or undergoing a sex change.

And everything

even something so familiar and intimate

as a coffee and a cigarette

as I watch the smoke unspool

like a sad lazy kind of music

I can almost hear with my eyes

is estranged from me

as I am from them

and the way we once stood up for each other

like a national anthem

leaves everything feeling

like an illegal alien at heart.

Stranger than any place I’ve ever been

is the way home feels

knowing I’ll be on my way back forever

with wings on my heels

like a message I can’t deliver

from the silence of the gods.

It’s as if language had been invented

to express

what I can’t say

even to myself alone

of what I’ve witnessed in myself

about what it means

and doesn’t mean

to be a human

reflecting on the solitude

of immaterial awareness

like the moon on moving water.

It’s bad spiritual manners

to ask a mystery to explain itself

but it’s a classy kind of bliss

to wonder.

The important thing

is to touch the issue

lighter than space

as if you were reaching out

with your fingertips

to touch a loved one’s face.

Sometimes I’m a child

in her arms once more

and others

she’s a lover in the doorway

coming in out of a late night rain

long after I thought

I’d never see her again.

When she’s Isis

I’m mesmerized by stars

and when I’m

dancing in the snakepit with Medusa

I’m stone-cold hypnotized

by the effortless way

she moves to the music

you can see in her eyes

taking hold of you

as if death

were the ultimate sexual technique.

But mostly I’m alone with my molecules

wondering why

she gathered us all here

into these elaborate complexes

of conceptual derangement

if she never intended to appear in the first place.

Demonic fire-orchids

on the black waters

of shipwrecked belief

when every breath I take

blows me off course like the Spanish Armada

and she is the muse of the defeated

who were humbled

by the nonsense of power

that made fools out of them

and the virgin curse

of the rose they deflowered immaculately

as if their seed were forbidden

life in the sea

and their dead

were the subjects of bells. 

And it isn’t as if

among thousands of black sails

you don’t occasionally see a white one

like Van Gogh’s lone iris

standing out like a homely white gown

among the imperial throng of the purple ones

who keep a close eye on coloured things

like an ambiguous sign of things to come

they couldn’t possibly fathom.

And deep in the bottomless abyss

with nowhere to surface

I’ve seen rainbows at midnight

that don’t depend on the sun

to show them the bright side of their sorrows

or make a lot of promises

that will run out of tomorrows

long before the day is done.

And I have recalled old times

with cracked mirrors

who didn’t care who I was

as long as I was as forgotten as they were.

And it’s a sad religion

that won’t trust its reflection

to anything but water.

I’ve seen mine standing

like a prophetic heretic

at an open window

in an uplifting fire

that burned the thirteenth house

of the zodiac down

like the kingdom of heaven

on the wrong side of the tracks.

And when I’ve turned the telescope around

and changed lenses like eyes

to call the galaxies back like refugees

long past their unknown origins

I’m staring into a well

full of fireflies

that can’t hear me when I yell

into the breathless vastness of the moment

like a lighthouse too far out alone

does anyone remember the way home?

And it’s only my voice that answers

like a lost and found

with a sense of compassion

whether you make a wish

or take a good guess

no more than time

can walk out on space

slamming the door behind it

or now can be separated from here

or a thought from the mind that conceived it

or a wave from water

or a flame from fire

or your next breath

from the one you took before it

and you can run in any direction you like

now is only as far as you can ever get from here.

And here is the back and front door

of your homelessness

just as the past and the future

are the only return and forwarding address

you’ve ever had

for this moment now

that leaves all its endless thresholds

and the frayed threads

of all the dark rivers and roads

all the bodies and shoes

it’s traveled down without

an exit or entrance in mind

standing in the doorway of an abyss

that doesn’t have one

and like you when the emptiness

strips the autumn

of all your afterlives

neither leaves nor arrives.
































Wonder and pain.

Strange mix.

The mind’s beginning.

Same as now.

The use of life is life.

The use of mind is mind.

I’m talking in voices again.

And these are not my eyes.

These are not my metaphors.

Who knows where they come from?

They’re just there

like seeds on the wind

looking for somewhere to root.

Like stars streaming through space

for millions of lightyears

until they find a way

to unmask their intelligence

like a surprise birthday gift to the blind.

A mind that urges seeing into being

not this not that

not one not two

not an I not a you

but an elation of insight

that deepens the mystery of being here

at the short end of the truth

that keeps making us out to be liars.

Wonder and pain.

If we keep making things up

to explain what we’re doing here

like something you’d say to a child

when she asks

just before you turn the bedroom lights out

and leave the door ajar

maybe it’s because

they’re making us up

as they go along as well.

Maybe we’re the nightlight

they leave on in the hall

to keep the monsters away.

Maybe we’re their myth of origin

just as we see

in the things of the world

the place where we begin.

The star.

The light.

The eye.

The eye.

The night.

The lamp.

Helical rope ladders of DNA

that climb up out of the starmud

like snake-charmers

to an open window

that looks out at the stars in astonishment

and forgets how to speak

and then remembers the suffering

it took to accomplish this

and can’t say enough

to make the means

justify the ends we seek

to transcend ourselves creatively.

The mind is a tolerant mother

and lets things grow in all directions


knowing all roads

don’t lead anywhere

she hasn’t already been.

Like a star of dark matter

deep in the heart of the light

that can’t keep up with the future

without referring to first things last

the mind isn’t the sign of an insight

with a long complicated past.