TIME SUFFERING AND TOO MUCH LOVE
Time suffering and too much love have made me soft. I’m a moonrock that’s blunted its edge in a war against water. I’ve put my volcanos to bed. I’ve put my anger on ice like a Martian meterorite in Antarctica. And I don’t go looking for victories that are worthy of my scars as much as I used to. It’s enough to get carried back on my eyelids like a shield wounded in a solitary war of liberation whose frontlines are everywhere. You may be bullet-proof but how do you keep yourself from being assassinated from the inside by your own insight? Or the shadow of a loveletter being slipped under the door by someone in the well-lit hall late at night? I remember knowing who I was. I was whole with a goal and an undeniable direction. Everyone said I was a diamond in the rough but that only meant I couldn’t be cut by the baggage I was carrying. I was the eldest son of a single welfare mother and that’s why I think my small boy’s notion of doing good to please her turned into a holy crusade of gutter heretics against the orthodoxies of wealth and power that squatted like a landlord on the lid of the garbage can we were living in. I grew up like a goldfish in a shark bowl and quickly learned to get the jump on evolution by evolving teeth and fins. And though I’ve gotten rotten falling down drunk with the nine muses beside the Pierian Spring on Mt. Helicon just before they moved down from Thrace to Parnassus I still think of inspiration as blood in the water though I feel more like a dolphin swimming with sharks these days than I do a three hundred million year old marine carnivore who hasn’t changed his ways since his Paleozoic childhood.
Sometimes I think I might be punchy enough to be loveable and good. But the further I get from home in space and time and thought the more the whole universe looks like my old ratty neighbourhood. And there’s that same old slumlord toad of a toxic Buddha still meditating on his lily pad flowering like the full moon of enlightenment rooted in corruption and decay like a garbage-can lid over the whole earth. Sooner or later you either have to indict life as a war-crime or convince yourself somehow that life isn’t fair or unfair and you can’t stuff the impersonal secret of the universe into your little sentimental heart. You’ve got to mentally outpace space in your expansion to stay one step ahead of the universe. You’ve got to understand that a curse isn’t the reverse of a blessing but two eyes in the same game face you’re wearing to scare your opposite into submission even as you read this now.
So I turned to love like a romantic poet but women weren’t the church of my soul. They were the manger of thorns that gave birth to me creatively. I may have thought I was the matador with a sun-forged sword in my hand but it was my blood that ran down the horns of the moon. It’s sweet when the new moon lies down in the arms of the old but it’s hell on earth to be gored on the first and last crescents of a star-crossed calendar. But if someone were to ask me now I would say that sex is a farcical oxymoron that binds us to our spiritual profundities like sacred clowns. Love might stand up for the national anthem but fucking is the lyric of the mob. Two contradictions of the same coincidence or Nicholas of Cusa’s coincidence of the contradictories either way you cut it it’s still Shakespeare’s making the beast with two backs. The dark ores of those motherlode goldrush moments of rapture that punctuate the transcendental tedium of panning the mindstream for things that shine with nothing inside.
Now I consider the possibility that I’ve grown too immense to be loveable and it takes too much time and space for my light to get back to earth as a sign of intelligent life before I’m gone beyond myself again over the intimate edge of the universe as we know it like something that keeps outgrowing my mind. It’s not that I’m not getting younger as I approach the speed of light to make time stop it’s just that the stars get further apart and then go dark like braille constellations fingering the glyphs of their ancient myths as if they were divining for light in the blackholes of the cosmic mystery.
But all you have to do if you want to clarify the turbulent mud puddle of your personal history is evaporate. Liberate yourself from your own reflectivity on the other side of the mirror. The dark side of the moon. Where there is no emergency exit sign above the entrance to death because everybody goes in the same way they come out like a clock at midnight that’s lost sight of where it begins and ends. The shadows of the hands of time are amputees by noon. And by midnight they’re as blind as Tiresias looking upon two snakes copulating like DNA. The Atropic filos of fate severed like the umbilical cords of our afterlives by the scissors of the moon. Two hinges on the same gate that turns like a two-faced calendar of the new year. Two strangers trying to get over the same fear of the solitude that binds them to one another like an ice-bound roll of the dice in January.
Still it’s worth remembering that if you’ve grown bitter and spiritually impoverished by love because you couldn’t ring someone’s bell there’s always a line-up at the back door that’s longer than that at the front. And your knuckles bleed when you have to make a fist to knock. But if you’ve been enriched by love like a sour grape that’s turned its bitterness into wine you can always enter by an upstairs window like the full moon anytime you’re vine or ladder enough to climb up out of the radiant starmud of your own roots like a bootstrap theory of flowers. You can flow upwards like a river into the sky like the shapeshifting smoke of your remains scattered like ashs along the road of ghosts. The feather of a phoenix. Have you seen October sumac set its wings afire when it starts getting cold? You can burn like that beside the road. Or you can lie there on your funeral pyre beside the indifferent night river alone in the dark wondering where you go from here for a whole lifetime. O.K. You died. Big deal. Everybody does. But if you don’t make a gracious bow and get back to life what do you do for an encore after the applause that’s going to make the cemetery sit up and take notice?