HAPPIER TO BE ALIVE THAN I HAVE BEEN IN A WHILE
Happier to be alive than I have been in a while. Good sleep. No dreams. Led out of oblivion by my own enzymes though the light wants to take the credit I can feel the sacred clown within me beginning to take liberties with yesterday’s profundities like a hummingbird with a funeral bell on a binge. And the best thing I like about this moment of creative solitude I’m enjoying now is that I’m the only one who’s ever missing when I go looking for myself like the last page of a book with a new beginning. Yesterday all the mirrors wanted to be windows and all the windows wanted to put their eyes out. Bonus. A lunar delinquent in the night did that with an Oedipal moonrock that made an impact like first contact with intraterrestrial forms of intelligent being. You want to see the world whole? You’ve got to look at it with broken eyes. You’ve got to let the bird out. The ghost. The host. The smoke in the chimney. You’ve got to peck a hole through the cosmic egg like a fist through plaster. Like a stone without sin through a window. You’ve got to let the sky in like a five year plan to expand your wingspan. You’ve got to get the moon drunk and then ask it to walk on the waters in a straight line. Everywhere you fly you should arrive drunk under the influence of the stars in your eyes. You should make paper boats and origami swans out of the poems you write in the morning and sail them down the Milky Way at night to a lover on a bridge beside a weeping willow that longs for the moon like a wedding ring she lost to the mindstream she’s trying to retrieve it from. I’ve tasted many earthly things over the course of an intense lifetime. Money. Power. Genius. Sex. But the best is to wake up in the morning so indefensibly alive you’re disproportionately happy about nothing.
That’s when words forget what they’re supposed to mean and start expressing themselves. That’s when language takes on a voice of its own and says like God in the Koran to an illiterate Muhammad if all the oceans in the world were ink and all the trees were pens you could never exhaust a subject with no likeness. Or to propose a simulacrum in my mother tongue. No pictographic gangland graffitti with paint can clouds ever territorially sprayed the face of the moon with anything so indelible it couldn’t be washed off like watercolours in the rain the next morning. Or blood. Or tears. But you’ve got to read it from the inside out like a gnostic gospel of pain if you want to get the deeper meaning of it like the negative space of a spit-painted hand on a cave wall at the back of your brain long long ago when you remembered you were no one and left a sign like a star on the palm of nothing at all to show where you disappeared into the Open like the immense farewell of an intimate greeting to those of us who haven’t been born yet. That’s when time drops off my body and mind like a leech in a waterclock and everything shows me what it means to have nothing to say in the first place that isn’t just blowing smoke in the face of inspiration like a fire that follows you around the circle like an autumnal equinox in the abandoned zodiac of an old story that’s making you cry. Time to make up some myths of your own to put new flesh on an old bone of the cold dragon wrapped around the north pole like the skeleton of a physcian who isn’t healing very well. New equinoxes. New solstices. Expansive canvases of space and deep passionate eyes that feel everything they see like the occult colours of stars hidden in the sunlight.
I’ve smuggled stars across the borders of the blind for years. I’ve been a blackhole prohibition mobster at the centre of all the dark matter in the universe that controlled the galaxies like speakeasies and numbers rackets I ran on my home turf. I’ve been the cosmic criminal of an underground cartel. And then I’ve been shot down in the street by mistake like an innocent bystander under a truce of blood that covered my face like the flag of someone else’s country at halfmast. I’ve longed for a future with no regrets and a past that denies everything like a passport that can’t put a name to my face in a game of show and tell. I’ve put down roots of fire like a dragon in a well and learned to get along with the stars and fireflies and the penny wishes of harvest moons going down over the hills like somnambulists in a dream that’s as perennially true as a witness protection program. And I’ve got teardrops running down my clown cheeks like the tatoos of a prison hitman who made his bones like a rogue constellation in an elephant graveyard that forgot the names of the dead. And I’ve been extradited from one holy land to the next like a Yemeni caravan of terrorist camels on the moon that carried their burden of proof for the existence of God back and forth like silkworm suicide vests to both extremes of the Perfume Trail. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee. Everyman’s death diminisheth me. And the children and the women and the aunts and the uncles over and over and over and over and over and over again.
But this morning for a moment I’m free. The light has no history. The children have enough to eat. Corruption is a monostome that has to eat the shit that comes out of its own mouth and the landlords are sleeping homeless in the streets in winter over heating vents they can’t rent to anyone. The generals’ hearts are satisfied and the all the gains of war are ruined by singing and dancing. Pippa passes and God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world. Seven come eleven. The dice are loaded on my side by the joy in my eyes that plays the long shot and wins. The phoenix the dove and the dragon are at peace in me. And even the crow is burning like silver on the shoulder of the moon. Tears are running down the cheeks of the mirrors who can’t stop laughing at what the Wizard of Was looks like naked to the Morgana la Fay of Now.
Sometimes it’s good to get out of the flow by going over the edge of your mind like the single drop of a waterfall that’s as self-contained as the world it reflects like a secret identity of its own. But it’s better to be the nothing behind the mask that sees through it all. In a world where the wise are good losers and the fools are bad winners and the booksmart are placing sad bets on the politicians they’re running like another drugged horse in the race to lead the people by the nose into a victory wreath like a quarterhorse into a plough-horse’s yoke it’s good to be abundantly nothing without beginnings and ends. In a forgotten starfield somewhere down over the hill where the older constellations give names to the newborn fireflies. In a long look back at the future like a road you’ve already taken to a place that was run out of town like one too many destinations settling down like refugees with outlaw friends. It’s good to be left like boots out in the hall to your own resources and walk away from it all with wings on your heels without a flightplan to anywhere like an occult understanding of the night that isn’t blinded by a close-up of a star in its own light. It’s better to be the medium than it is to be the message. Hermes Trismegistus. The thrice-blessed. It’s better to leave the party like the happy ghost of a grateful guest that counts its blessings among the dead than overstay your welcome like a bad host at a needy séance. It’s better to be a demon with good spiritual manners that doesn’t insult the feast by not eating than it is to be an angel without an appetite that doesn’t know how to break bread with the devil. Or eat with a long spoon when there are strange letters without Rosetta Stones in the alphabet soup of a liar. And flies in the Holy Grail of an anointed oilwell that greens the kingdom with corporate cash like Frankish kings at the cathedral of Reims who sold Joan of Arc to the English. When you’re in hell among the chaopolitans of cosmic Rome it’s good not to act like a rural homesick hick from Eden with an accent as thick as an Adam’s apple. When in hell do as the damned do and start a church of your own. From little acorns great oak trees grow like bones. From a single grave. Gothic cathedrals of stone.
As for me and my house to borrow a title from Sinclair Ross. I’m so happy this morning that I’m as lost and alone as water everywhere. That the sunlight streams through me like a broken window in an abandoned home no one’s died in for years. That I’m awake in a dream that sleepwalks like the high tide of a lunar ocean over the watershed of my tears without its feet touching bottom. Without thorns in its paws. Without the cause and effect of the scars and the wounds that war in the womb like an unholy crusade over who did what to whom first and will born guiltier than the other for it. It may have been the moon’s bird, the crow, superstitious as silver, that taught humans how to bury their dead deep inside themselves as if they were a murderer like Cain whose gift was not acceptable to God, but it was a morning dove in the white-gold sunlight, free as this joy that doesn’t care if I’m worthy of it or not, breathing itself into life like pure oxygen just for the love of it, that taught them to dig them up again. Like old loveletters slipped under the open doors of deathrow like the slim hope of a second chance that didn’t come too late or in vain.