Thursday, June 30, 2011


Life’s not a struggle

it’s a lottery.

An improbable concourse of chance.

You can organize stars

into constellations

and adorn them with myth and meaning

and teach them what laws to obey

and what superstitions to ignore

but they’re still just a roll

of the eyes of the dice.

What was so lucid

within and without once

is now so twisted

with knots of pain

in the heartwood

the tree of the body

so ruined by disease

the roots and the branches

so gored and broken

no cross is more a token of suffering

than a human that has endured everything alone

like a battered pine at the edge of a precipice

that isn’t a threshold to anywhere

with an overview of the unknown

that’s brought it down in a storm

for no reason

other than it was there

to be destroyed.

And babies die in car accidents every day.

And millions are just left to starve to death.

And there are war crimes and atrocities so hideous

afflictions and catastrophes so absurd

ideologies so cold and indifferent

frost burns the rose of flesh and blood

and abstractions coagulate in the wound

like anti-matter practising pseudomorphosis

as if we were all changelings in the womb

born to this agony

in the name of nothing

that not even God or evolution

can remotely relate to as human.

A pain so old and deep

it’s devoid of ancestors

though anyone who’s ever lived

including the animals

has felt it as up close and intimately

as a scalpel at their jugular vein

in the hands of a psychopathic barber

doing surgery in the mirror

after he lost his license to practise

for not keeping his cool in a crisis.

Poor body.

Poor heart.

Poor mind.

Blind stars that shine

without knowing it

or what it is they illuminate like braille.

Nothing but signs symbols words.

Aviomancers of hidden nightbirds

in the sacred woods

that have been clear cut

like Druids on the Isle of Mona

by superstitiously liberated Romans

bringing civilization as a consolation for their greed

like a chainsaw to the pagans.

And then those

who fleeced the lamb

like the shepherds of man

looking over the fold like wolves.

What an abomination

has been made of so many afterlives

so a few infallible liars

could thrive well here

without waiting for their lies to come true.

But there is no judgment.

There is no karmic redress.

No feather in the scales

to weigh the goodness of the heart

that’s being torn apart by the jackals of death

like a baby rhino that’s wandered away from its mother.

Breathing is believing

and the only religion I know

that doesn’t offer you airmiles to Jonestown

or turn the wine at the wedding of Canaa

into black kool-aid

in a six pack at the back of the liquor store

is the one that encourages me to abhor it.

Life’s the ultimate infidel

when you understand

that there’s nothing holy about death.

That suffering doesn’t have a purpose

for each and everyone of us

as if pain were transcendent

and excruciation

a work in progress.

But you don’t get over something

by going under

is the most commonly ignored advice

among suicides

with their left hands cut off

and no place to be buried in the graveyard.

Things are so unbeautiful among us

that life has had to resort

to the art of horror

to keep the wonder and inspiration

of being here at all

alive in us like cattle-prods

in an abattoir.

Thick-skinned muses

and mermaids on the rocks

in wet suits

with aqualungs

trying to recall something alluring

that can tie like a hook

to a catchphrase

at the end of a two minute song.

Humans are winged serpents

with fangs for claws.

If they don’t kill you with wisdom

they’ll kill you with laws.

And the cure’s just a bagman

for the original disease

putting the squeeze on your mind.

Whatever way I characterize it

what do I know

in this nanosecond of a lifespan

among the shadows of the fireflies of insight

that I could spread out like a starmap

of the master plan

that could make me say

without laughing out loud

like an angry rude Chuang Tzu

beating on mushrooms with a bamboo rod

to bring them to enlightenment

the light of life in this one

is shining the right way

and in that one it’s gone out?

War is just cosmology with a body count.

People who have more faith in their ignorance

than they do the clarity of their courage

not to make everybody try to see and be

what isn’t there to stand for

when they kill.

I make a jewel of the emptiness

and turn it in the light.

And I see fat politicians and lobbyists

as corrupt as their own interests

talking about ensuring

the future of their middle-class children

and yours

by taking food and medicine

like budgets out of the mouths of the poor.

While the chronic goldrush of Wall Street

cashes in on the problematic prosperity

of class warfare.

The rich say to the poor

though shalt not have

as if water and food and shelter and peace

and cures and antidotes

schools and vaccines

were private possessions

and someone starts handing out AK-47’s

instead of wheat

and the poor go to war against the poor

to satisfy the supply and demand

of their military manufacturers.

You can blame this shit on God

for taking both sides at once

if you want to

or you can take to the ice

with a sense of justice

like a zebra with a whistle

but I took one look

at what there was to belong to

and took the long homeless path

of a spiritual refugee

whose only sense of direction is away.

Heaven isn’t a place of rest

when you live in a world like this.

It’s a state of exile

with the blessing of the abyss.

Ah how many loveletters to oblivion

have humans written

in the blood of the dove

with their return address on them

that have waited like weathervanes

for the breathless answer

that never came?

How many prayers pleas vows entreaties pledges deals

have we sent off into outer space

like digital images broadcast of us

to let someone know we’re alive

through radio telescopes

that can speak like us through their ears

and hear with their mouths at the same time

and not so much as the whisper of a wavelength back?

And yet we go on feathering the cosmic egg

like Quetzalcoatl

the plumed space serpent

who’ll make his blue-eyed return one day

if we crack enough skulls in his honour

bleed enough hearts

drink enough blood

eat enough death

to build an observatory on the mountain

to foretell our doom.

There wouldn’t be

a trace of life on earth

not a mammal

not a blade of grass

or even a habitable planet

if the sky hadn’t been falling into place

like a marble or a bullet

in the roulette wheel

of a navel in space

from the very beginning.

Life as we know it

owes as much to random catastrophe

as it does to the oceanic notion

of intelligent design.

What the watchmaker broke

when he wounded life with time

the watchmaker might repair

if he changes his mind

and stops acting teleologically

like a terrorist with an alarm clock.

Innocence is in a coma

and mercy can’t keep up with the shock

of revelation after revelation.

Beauty studies the aesthetics of desecration

in a cosmetic school for the liberal arts

and the inhumanity of man to man

opens a speechless university in Auschwitz

to study the terminal effects

of prolonged exposure

to the obscenity of bloodless politics

upholding the ancestral devotion

of fanatical houseflies and maggots

to the extermination of whole nations

because this one wears his heart on his sleeve

like the corpse of an Aryan pinwheel

washed ashore like the galactic waste

of a theosophical starfish

wearing a swastika the wrong way

to be creative

and this one a yellow star on his sleeve

like the only thing he’s got left to be true to

and wish upon

as he’s being dragged out of his doorway

in front of his children

by a frenzy of Nazi dogs

for lying about being human to his gods.

Show me something reasonable about rabies

and I’ll know you’re a life-form

that isn’t based on water.

You’ve got a silicone heart implant

like a microchip processor

with a binary pulse

that delights in flatlining

the old wavelength you shed like a snake

inching out of your humanity like a used condom

to be worthy of the obelisks

they erect

in Times Square

to the kind of prick you are.

Recurring nightmares of hatred and suffering

with designer logos on their arms

like Jungian symbols of their psyches

trying to express new ideas

for a unified field theory

to a corporate universe

in an executive bathroom

where trickle-down economics

is a way to relieve yourself of the poor

by letting your excretions run down your leg

until even the princes of the palace

come to your table like hunting dogs

and beg.

Have you noticed in life

how the selfishly insufficient

never find sufficiency enough?

To be accurately graphic about it

they’re gnawed on by their own appetites

like tapeworms with flesh-eating disease

trying to balance the budget

by sending Chicken Little out

to convince the poor

they have to stop eating

for the good of the economy

and the future of their children’s welfare.

But you don’t have to be Merlin to see

into the available dimensions

and inconceivable abysses of what’s to be.

Want and misery and savage indignation

watching a degree of pornographic luxury

mudwrestling in the filth of their wealth

like sumo wrestlers on cable tv

that threatens to cut

the bread and circuses off

like an umbilical cord to a corpse

if they don’t keep up with the costs

of sustaining a coma.

And they see by comparative mythology

through a veil of pixels

the ruse of greed

behind the party mask

the rich wear like a mirage of water

in a desert

that wealth is just another alibi for evil

whose worst mistake

was riding in a golden chariot

through a slum

as if it forgot

it were less than human.

Why should one man’s tumour

be removed with a golden scalpel for free

and another human be cut from theirs

like a budget in the hands of a chainsaw

as if they were what was carcinogenic

about the problem?

And o come on now

who really thinks

you can live long and happy lives

like butterflies

yachting on the honey

in the hives of killer bees?

Or that militant materiality

flexing its influence

like a finger it gives to the mob

like a ballsy pedagogue

isn’t going to have its dick cut off

as a lesson in how to conduct yourself

when you’re in other people’s living rooms

and you don’t take your lifestyle off

as a sign of respect for the dead.

How can a fixed casino

ever understand

the underlying reality

of a ripped lottery ticket

that sticks it to the poor

by giving them a chance

to become a whore in advance

of anything they could have wished for

and then laughs in their face

at what a fool they were

for playing the odds

when all the evens were missing?

Evolution didn’t hold any genes back

like a pharmaceutical company

in the growth of our species

or an ideologue cloning his image

like the racial politics of stem-cell research

in the DNA of his agenda

for a whiter tomorrow.

If you don’t want to fall victim

to the spread of your own disease

it’s obvious you share the cure with everyone.












You don’t have to apply for a research grant

to look very far for the cure.

You just have to dip the other wing of the fly

in the milk and honey

of the promised land

if you don’t want to be tainted by the side-effects

of being the bad meat

that gets thrown down the well.

How often have you said to yourself

you’ve got to keep the blackflies sweet

or they’ll turn into the erinyes of Hades

or the banshees of Celtic hell

and pursue you like ice-cream

to the ends of the earth?

When wealth puts a noose of bling

around the neck of blindfolded justice

standing on a footstool

the golden rule rises up

and murders Midas

for being a touch too much

for the unradiant ore

of the labouring poor

to stomach.

Gigantic spiders

out of all proportion to their webs

dripping with wealth

that’s tearing like

the lifelines hanging from their necks

under the weight

of their massive corporate bodies.

Time has run out of demand

like sand

in the thorax

of the trophy hourglass

that declared this pyramid

with its gold capstone

a winner with an afterlife

and all the runner-ups

in the rest of the competitive world

losers sitting like dunces

in the corners of quicksand

doomed to be forgotten

like the lifespan of a bad movie.

The hour has well past

when the rich can sleep comfortably

with the daughters of the poor

while their mothers clean house

and feel assured

they can still afford

the same delusion they did yesterday.

Gold is purified in fire

when sunspots begin to show.

It’s poured down the throat

of the Roman billionaire

who killed Spartacus

like a vainglorious swan of a man

being waterboarded in Iran

like the Islamic version

of anachronistic anti-matter

in the eyes of Allah

who doesn’t let a bad metaphor off the hook

all that easily.

You can bet your book on it.

You can’t talk like a peacock in a depression

and not expect the world mountain

to come down on you

like an avalanche

that walks the walk

all the way to the bottom

of the valley of death you dug for yourself

with that silver spoon of a tongue

you were born with up your ass.

Don’t piss on the sherpas

as if they were of a lower class

when you’re trying to climb Mt. Everest

and the only thing you’ve got to rely on

to make it to the top

is a starmap in the wormhole

of a large intestine

to give you a sense of direction

of the final outcome of your affairs.

And if I sound prejudiced in this

then I declare

I am prejudiced against the poor

being condemned by law-abiding thieves

to endure their lives

like a minimalist painting

where less is more

except if you’re rich

like a lamp without a genie

that doesn’t want to know

once the election is over

what you wished for.

Most politicians are kites

not birds on a powerline

who run for high office

with their spinal cords

in the hands

of conglomerate oligarchs

who fly them in elections

like lost leaders

in a department store window

to get you in the door

of a political arena

where they do unto the poor

what they’ve always done for fun

to people in a Coliseum

who either fall victim

like meat to the lions

or murder their own

to win their freedom

like a wooden sword

that was too much of a heavy lift

to be crucified on.

What a squeal goes up for justice

when the rich steal from the rich

but if a rich man steals from the poor

he’s considered fit for political office.

He knows how to cause suffering.

He knows how to deny a child

a heart transplant

because he know how it feels

to grow up without one

and as hard as it is to overcome

the bloodless blackhole of a heart

that’s imploded on itself

out of the sheer moral exhaustion

of transcending your lack of humanity

by letting what isn’t in you out

to cannibalize yourself

your family

and everyone else

look what it did for him

and then look at what he did to us.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The lightning a salvo of flashbulbs

across the bow

of an unknown celebrity.

The windows have an honest look

to their eyes

but they’re politely estranged

by the way I see things.

The rain talks

like a clock with logorhea

and the cars sizzle by

like eggs that have just been dropped

into the fat heat of a frying pan

like a wide-eyed vision of hell

though even in this

they insist upon looking at everything

sunny-side up.

The storm has spoken

though no one really knows

what was said.

Power I suppose.

Renewal and redemption.

Restoring the dynamic equilibrium

between polar opposites

by discharging pent-up emotions

like excessive baggage

unspent potential

too much voltage to bear

living so extremely at the edge of things

without jumping.

But it’s an iota subscript of a lie

in the footnote of a suicide

you have to learn

to flap like a book

before you can fly like an eagle.

Or swan-dive into the abyss

with a kiss on the cross

of the constellation Cygnus.

The cops are arresting

someone across the street.

And drunk women

dragging on soggy cigarettes

in the doorways of the bars

out for a girls’ night out on the town

as if they were supporting an issue

laugh like fire-hydrants with strep throat

at the insignificance of what’s going down

late on a Thursday night

in a small Ontario town

where the shepherds outnumber the sheep

and everyone’s looking for Little Bo Peep

as their perfect idea of a soul-mate.

And now the heat again

as the rain lets up

and the air is as damp and thick

as the arm of an old sofa

in an abandoned rooming house

with flesh-eating disease.

Raw mufflers replace the thunder

as they cruise the streets

looking for uncooked meat

to get into the air-conditioned ovens

of their cars

and go for a joy ride

up the slick highway

into the dripping

frog-popping countryside

for a drink of Fireball Whiskey

in a backseat bar.

They’re listening to Lady Gaga

but I’m listening

to the same old wavelength I was

when Bob Dylan went electric.

I listen to the words

like the footfall

of a woman coming up the stairs

though no one has

with love in their heart

for so long

I feel I’m losing in overtime

without even playing the field.

And I’m tired of relying on my solitude

as a default muse.

And there’s nothing to drink around here

except uninspired booze.

All the dragons that used to get fired up

like roadtrip Harleys

lie idle as school furnaces in the summer

forgetting it used to be them

and not their arthritis

that once swallowed the moon

and brought the rain.

A dragon at peace with the world

is an urn

with the soul of a weathervane.

They all need a minuteman

to know which way

the wind is blowing

but to judge

from the fury in my heart

and what’s not inflammable

about my next breath

it’ll be lightyears yet

before I come to that

like a star eating

a spoonful of its own ashes

to recall the taste of fire.

Yesterdays’ lean mean volcanic fountain-mouths

that meant what they said

like new islands in the mindstream

turn into tomorrow’s

fat jolly fire-hydrants

trying to drown

the used matchbooks

of their igneous past

in the watersheds of their sorrows

like arsonists in Atlantis.

And the leaves fall

like psalms of napalm

in the dead heartwood of autumn.

Not enough dragon-fire left

to start their own funeral pyres

or burn like heretics

in the kindling

of their orthodox crutches.

Some people just don’t know

how to say no to death.

And the ones that do

haven’t been born yet.

Two roads diverged in a yellow road

like the forked tongue

of a long and winding serpent

witching the air for prey

but I didn’t take either one

but take it as it comes

all the way.

Showing a starmap

to three blind mice with white canes

isn’t as good

as helping them realize

you don’t need eyes to shine.

True north isn’t a lost leader

that only knows where it’s going

by getting a fix

on whose following behind.

And there are no bridges of time

where we can meet again

to span the gaps

between eternities

in an afterlife of rainbows.

This is it forever.




Not now and then

but who and when.

Carpe diem

as if there were no tomorrow.

And I know a man

whose heart is as heavy

as a leftover bullet

that didn’t take the shot

and a woman

who put her make-up on

like a target

no one ever gave

a second look.

It might be an old story

but it’s always a new book

to those who live it

as if it had no end.



Even so

it’s your afterbirth

that perishs first.

But once you’re off the wheel

there’s no bend in the road

that can turn you around.

You’re void bound for good.

The axis of the earth.

The still point.

The endlessly expansive center

of an over-reactive universe

dying to get to the bottom of things.

Space has no sense of place

like the ghost of a homesick longing

to return to better times.

It’s dwelled in its homelessness

like the wind

or a poet in autumn

or people on the move

for billions of years.

Like everything else in the universe

it’s a ubiquitous beginning

with perfect timing

that just doesn’t know when

to quit.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


Generous to a tragic flaw I have squandered myself on noble gestures to keep something alive that’s crucial to the human spirit. Or at least mine. I have acted in proportion with the stars. I shine but not by design. A lethal tenderness overwhelms me whenever I meet someone who’s suffered so long they’ve forgotten what it was like to be astounded. Not social work. No morals. No ethics. No five-year plan. Just a man trying to make a good memory for a worse day as if to say you see it’s not all relentless. Remember this. Yes there are pitfalls and impact craters but there are parachutes and airlifts too. Unexpected boons even among the unlucky who keep being snake-bit by the dice just as they’re about to cross the Rubicon. Making a gift of a gift is the true art of life. But you don’t have to discipline your spontaneity to master it. Just open your hand your heart the eyes in your blood and let go of whatever you’ve been holding on to as if it only had a value in relation to you. Give the drunk who asks you for a quarter twenty-five bucks occasionally and tell him that your only condition is that he goes and spends it on booze. Why make a liar of the man and and a hypocrite of your gesture? Give him the money as if it just fell out of his pocket and you picked it up to return it. A man’s body asks for water. Don’t offer him bleach for his soul. And don’t walk away pleased with yourself as if you’d done something enlightening about your shadow. But for the grace of God or the Zeitgeist there go all of us. You don’t know how time and circumstance and pain may have twisted the space around him into some kind of blackhole he can’t get out of. The way things are so interdependently original here he may have been born to entertain one random thought on an uneventful morning before the bars open that the whole universe turns upon without his knowing it. He may have thought of someone like you he didn’t believe in coming through with a few bucks. Stagger his incredulity by coming true in a way that doesn’t abuse the wound you’re trying to heal in passing. And however estranged you are from his unkempt rendition of human dignity because more people are familiar with yours than his don’t pour weed-killer on his dandelions and expect him to admire your roses. You can kill a human deeper than you can with a knife by the way you give them something that their life depends upon. Giving is a beauty-based power not a power-based duty of soul that militates against the ugly and poor with beautiful stratagems of charity. Take the low place like the sea that everything flows down into and you’ll be closer to heaven than the mountain that seeks its place among the stars. Give as if you were grateful for the privilege. And not just money. Not just the heartfelt concern of a decent progressive humanist purging the tragic with pity. Don’t let the critic step out from the chorus as if there were an answer to the way humans suffer the way we do. Beyond fault beyond blame beyond judgment opinion or reflexive habit of thought we are all mystic specifics of the same mind. Distinction can change the picture frame but it can’t lay a brush to the view. It’s a lame self-portrait that can’t catch the likeness between him and you. In the need. Not just the gratification of it. In the seed. Not just the fruit that comes of it.

I’ve met people in life standing in estranged doorways hugging their hearts close to their chests like eggshell urns full of the ashes and acids of orchards scorched by napalm. I’ve stepped over people in the street lying like corpses in a war-zone of steel and concrete and glass that stared back at humans as if they were from the wrong class of perfection. I’ve heard the poppies scream out in their sleep that the ambulance doesn’t know the address of their homelessness and all their emergency exit signs are beginning to panic like a run on a bloodbank in a severe depression. Sleazy lovers made savage by love licking the toxic arrowheads they pull out of their own wounds to taste what they’re dying of. I’ve seen a wise man stand like a jewel foundationstone in an avalanche of fools buried up to his neck in their skulls like the broken rosaries of full moons that forgot the names of God. And what can you say to the cracked mirror with wrinkled skin about why she unsilvered her beauty like a chandelier on cocaine when you know from the puncture-wounds in your own heart that there’s nothing illicit about pain? I’ve attended lectures in a street school for unmanageable solitudes given by the insane to a conspiracy of traffic signs that rewrote the golden rule. I have watched the ingenues of the spirit perverted by wannabe Buddhas and forsaken messiahs deciphering light and reason as if they’d just broken the code to the enigmatic subterfuge of their own self-promotion. I’ve seen death close the eyelids of those adrift on the great nightsea of subconscious themes like overturned lifeboats that returned to their dreams like watercolours flowing into their mindstreams. And I have marked their likeness to Japanese plum blossoms and then detested myself for sugarcoating their deaths in distractingly beautiful simulacrums of mimetic coral when I know for a fact they had the hulls of their hearts ripped out on the reefs of their brains like the moon at low tide. The moon drops anchor like a lockmaster among shipwrecks she can’t exhume. You look at a human and you see right away that pain plays the chameleon. That suffering isn’t the effect of illusion. It’s protean. It envelopes itself in its own coils like space. It slowly seeps into a child’s eyes like a watershed without rainbows and irises when she cries. The features of her face begin to go awry and you can see another one coming through like a wisdom tooth. With that dumb blank stare of a human looking down into her eyes like wishing wells that didn’t come true. Asking why there are no fireflies in her lunar landscape any closer to her than the stars. Agony of mothers kicking their breastmilk cornucopias down the road like an empty soup can that fell off the bumpers of their honeymoons. Nightshifts of jellyfish tangled like kites in the downed hydrolines hissing like lightning in a snakepit because they don’t know how to holster their neurons before they empty their gun on the guilty bystanders. Shadows that have grown paranoid of the people who cast them. People who were defeated by everyone they ever believed in and went around preaching despair as if the word hadn’t already come to all of us in its own good time without screaming like an air raid siren to take immediate shelter from oncoming comets butterflies and stoned Mayan calendars predicting the end of the world though they didn’t anticipate that they wouldn’t make it to the end of their own. And from cradle to grave for every living thing death has never been any further away than their next breath. And whether you’ve packed a backup atmosphere for a parachute or not or you’re just freefalling in a cosmic starfield like some anticlimactic Icarus who’s just been washed like a cinder out of God’s one good eye. Fear smells like death to us and a vast darkness reveals to us what’s uninhabitable about all we behold. Living on earth is like being homeless with a roof over your head. We’re all faithfully waiting like cornerstones with nothing to build on. Even the dead who excavate their names like masons with time on their hands.

I have seen the despair terror the fury the hate. The machine-think of calculating minds in their white knight armour of chrome and tinfoil who like to be known for their largesse with big numbers provision an army of children with violent video-games to make up for their lack of creative vision. The incubator on the night ward full of baby rattle-snakes that were born as toxic as their parents. In the great war of the logos against the icons it’s easier to kill something you never think you’ll be than it is than it is to learn to live with the difference like one of your own eccentricities. It’s not even enlightened self-interest to ignore the fate of the woman and child sitting next to you in the same lifeboat with solar-powered oars rowing toward Vega down the Milky Way in a full eclipse of the sun. And singing in the choir isn’t going to feed the children of Darfur or stop rape in the Congo from becoming a military tactic of war against the womb. Anymore than this is. Radioactive outrage in the humiliated heart. The obscene gigantism of unseen olegarchs casting their shadows upon the earth like the gaping Martian canyons opening up like the gaps between the rich and the poor. Who owns the air the water the food the cure? Obese spiders importing fireflies like databanks on the optic fibres of the worldwide web tearing under their weight like a safety net the poor rely upon. The enslavement of knowledge. People summoned like ghosts to the seances of virtual avatars to be re-educated in an upgrade of their simulacrums. Innocence corrupted by children. Experience revered like a warcrime in trying times as the last alibi of a demonic adult in front of a firing squad of his peers. But sometimes the bullets take lightyears to get there if the history of the victors is rewritten in the blood of the victims who are as loathe to pull the trigger as they are to face the fact. You can’t dupe a jackboot into believing its out of fashion anymore than you can impress a Nazi with compassion. Liberty isn’t red white and blue a cracked bell fifty-one and a half stars or a maple leaf. That’s a flag of blood blowing in the wind like Isadora Duncan’s scarf. That’s a head wound. That’s a fatal shot. The poppy that bloomed from a musket ball. The scarlet bunting of Ouzi machine-pistols redecorating the highschool dance. Can’t you smell the reek of formic acid advancing over the distant hills like a conflagration of red army ants inspired like pill-sized runts of fire to destroy greater things than they ever dreamed of coming true in their vision of a coma? You can look in the eyes of the pumpkin-skulled candle-holders any wind can blow out for lightyears and still never see a comet on a grailquest looking to quench its thirst in tears. And wash its hair in the light. Most people speak a universal language they’re born knowing but they’re as possessive as an apostrophe-s after their names. The fire’s free but they own the flames. Everyone’s free to express themselves but don’t trespass on the false claims they lay on the history of misdeeds like an alibi to justify the new moon of blue blood stuck like the dumb-bell of a sacred syllable through their ancestral tongues. And it’s a small matter of aesthetic indifference whether you bleed like a red ribbon on a birthday surprise or a bottle of wine with a message to the world that he doesn’t want its help washed up like a drunk in the gutter. If you hang out in Babylon long enough you might communicate like the polyglot tower of Babel but you’ll end up trading your human accent in for the high rhetoric of a different class of jargon and you won’t be able to speak of left or right-handed holy things without a stutter. The skulls of old men mutter under their breath to the aeons about their loss of face in history and the young lions are spayed on the threshold of a zookeeper’s philosophy of rendering caged ferocities impotent. Lightning rods and weathervanes pulling the fangs of the storm out by grounding it like a snakepit to an antidote. War offering sweetmeats to the poor to go off and spill the blood of the poor like the flag of another country no one wants to belong to anymore except the slumlords that depend on the poor for a living and are willing to defend themselves with their deaths for it. Politicians like pot-bellied guitars with blackholes in their guts and tapeworms for spinal cords and strings. And it sings an octave higher than a spider-web but it lies about the lyrics just like the vox populi lip-synching the words to the national anthem. Just another bass guitar trying to pretend he’s a man of the people who could rock with the best of them in sensible shoes. And feigning the humility of a humorous failure at hitting it big in the music world is willing to run like a band on the road like the lead singer of a country that beats the drums for war. Government has no fury like a politician scorned. Frustrated sex is sublimated into power politics. A select few are elected to reject the will of the people for the good of the nation. The lineaments of satisfied desire are martyred in the fires of sexual frustration.

Good can quote chapter and verse but evil doesn’t even have a table of contents because it doesn’t go by the book. The light might have a better bedside manner when things fall out but it’s the darkness that lives on forever and ever as if nothing happened of any consequence. Like water after someone’s drowned in it. Like the silence that follows the telling of a story where heroism doesn’t stand for anything and the villains are all victims of circumstance. Everything you give isn’t a winning lottery ticket. It’s just a chance. A way to tweak evolution in someone’s favour without thinking of it as a course correction in the direction of prayer. Luck loads the dice with two of every kind like snake-eyes in a casino. A random neutrino arises like the full moon on the event horizon of a wavelength that still thinks of itself as a particle in a unified field theory. Flood myths from the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates lose their significance like waterdroplets and tears in a shoreless sea if you make your frame of reference big enough to include more than 180 degrees in your triangles so you don’t have to do an about face when you’re scuttled in your final resting place like an ark on the top of a mountain in Turkey. But even if you’re as cold and hard and adamant as a diamond about seeing things clearly you don’t have to thaw like a snowman to be a radiant focus of fire. You can warm things up like a thief of fire. You can steal industrial secrets from the gods. You don’t have to curse the crow to exalt the dove. As above so below means that enlightenment is omnidirectionally true for all of us and to know that is to render yourself homeless at all times and places like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. No locus fixed in space. No place at the table. But plenty of camels and tents on their way north on the Perfume Trail so the Queen of Sheba can dazzle the King of Israel with the Lion of Judah like Bob Marley with a thorn in his paw making up redemption songs like Ya’s asmatographer to ease the pain of his abandonment. Giving is the greatest irony of all in an absurd universe that takes what it wants without regard to the consequences. Babies are torn from their mothers’ arms like apple blossoms and those who lent a helping hand to the local villagers just as often come home dismembered like stale breadcrumbs as whole and golden as a silo of wheat at peace in their hearts. Thirty pieces of silver. Thirty nights of the moon. Or a school bus in Bolivia. And Jesus Christ is repatriated to heaven like an illegal immigrant and Che Quevara’s bones return to Cuba forty years later. To address yourself to the need of the multitudes means you have to learn to feed your assassin’s children with no regrets. Your flesh. Your heart. Your art. Your mind. Your means. Your dreams. Your blood sweat and tears. Until you’re an emptiness that even God steers clear of for fear of not being able to fill it like a vacuum she abhors. The night is not a reward for shining and space isn’t the inner lining of a crusty robe of jewels meant to entrance the onlookers with the blazing of their blindness. Giving is coming across something ugly and painful and making it beautiful and whole for a moment as a matter of taste like you just sewed another button in the eye of the doll to take the lost one’s place. And it wasn’t a law or a reason that made you do it. But the look on a child’s face when you give it back to her repaired and she stares at you like the first letter of the alphabet trying to put words together out of the silence of her astonishment that even a poet can’t. Giving is a way of saying thank-you for flowers to the flowers and stars to stars. Water to water. You can’t keep what you won’t give away. And the only place you’re going to find a stone to lay your head on for the night and dream of every threshold you’ve ever crossed as the last step of the return journey home is less of a place than a way of seeing how unjustifiably bright everything is. Giving is a way of handing out poems like one of a kind pamphleteering snowflakes to people standing in line at the foodbank no two alike to remind them that the ore might be pitted and dark like a Martian meteor that had the bad luck to fall out of the tropics into Antarctica but it’s still as full of the gold and diamonds and lottery tickets of life as it had sewn into its lining when it left home. And then to offer one of them your Joseph’s coat because it’s cold out and say keep whatever you find in the pockets. And not revel in the realization that you can change a species with the slightest impact of the tiniest thing you’ve ever given away. That every atom of our bodymind starmud is the unborn beginning of a new universe that gives it all away in time like a secret that was hidden and wished to be known. Giving is a form of self-expression when there’s nothing left to say to the emptiness inside about why hundreds of millions of children go to bed hungry every night. Why one man floats on an inner-tube in a swimming pool on a hot day and another drinks his own tears like a mirage in a dry wishing well in southern Sudan. Feast and famine. Beast or human. Yeast in the whole wheat bread of the summum bonum rising like the intimate smell of home cooling on the windowsills of heaven whether we imagine it or not just to make it happen like a good guess or the hospitality of the lampshades and urns of Auschwitz and the ashes of bitter broken burnt unleavened loaves of millions of corpses rising from the ovens like the six-horned spark of a phoenix ascending like the first sign of karmic life in a nuclear winter where lizards are feathered like birds in a tree where nothing sings. Giving is a way of depleting yourself without diminishment. Of defeating yourself by celebrating the victory of the outcome as an encounter with the demon or the angel in your way you never walk away from weaker. Even when you’ve given up believing in the lies in the eyes of a seeker. And there’s nothing to illuminate and nothing enlightened in the stars over head that shine down on nothing like a nightlight in a morgue that closes the eyelids of the dead like the petals of a rose in full eclipse or white peonies of moonlight shedding their feathers like a rape of swans on a newly tarred asphalt driveway that’s trying to run them out of town like the hidden god of the KKK even though they’re both dressed he same way. And those are seashells that were their eyelids. So no one can tell the difference between a burning cross and the immaculate crucifix of Cygnus in the Summer Triangle migrating down the Road of Ghosts to nest in the west like the souls of Ojibways Persians and Pythagoreans bottled like a message from an island universe in the bodies of birds. Like the man who stands behind these words like the red-shifted wavelength of a distant echo in the shadows of the starfields who doesn’t think there’s anything holy about being a ghost but hangs on to it like the last known identity of a sentient transcendental life form singing like a secular nightbird in a sacred grove of trees as if all he had to give was the memory of a new insight into an old lucidity. And to go on believing without a single shred of proof that wherever we walked upright in the tall grass to get a better view of spotted leopards in our surroundings is the holy ground of our common humanity. Not a golden chariot driven through a slum but things sitting full lotus like a windfall on the flying carpet of the earth waiting like an airlift in the desert like manna from heaven. The bread of life shared in the midst of danger and pain and want not nuclear missiles of apocalyptic serpent fire with alternative interpretations of the same revelation. But the extraordinary ordinariness of our natural genius for decency and compassion to invite the Whore of Babylon to join the choir without making a liar out of her. Either that or we’re all immoral oxymorons trying to keep a lifeboat afloat at high tide in a snakepit that threatens to overwhelm us like a last sos on the same wavelength as the approaching sunami we’re trying to avoid like Atlantis. But giving it all up is the code that breaks the enigma of the fortune-cookie like a run of good luck against the odds of not being sunk by our own lies like a wolfpack of periscopes on the moon. It is the generosity of the human spirit within us that will save us from the obscenity of our own lovelessness and the insanity of our pain. Not the spoonful of ashes we make of our native tongues when anyone asks us what we’re doing on earth and we don’t know whether to reply like houseflies that taint the meat or dragons that bring the rain.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


O sweet freedom to be nothing for awhile.

To blindfold the clock

with its own shadow

like a masked bandit

and let it get away with something for a change.

I love the cheap thrill

of feeling like a thief

with an ageless sense of timing.

One tug on my serpentine spinal cord

and I unplug my electric identity

like a searchlight

that keeps its eye on me

like a blackhole it doesn’t know anything about.

I’ve stopped looking for meaning

in the flight of the doves

I release from their cages

like words stuck in the throats

of Selkirk chimneys

like harps and hearts and wishbones.

The joy of a liberated dove

I’m out!

seems to be enough of a rapture

to give meaning to the spontaneous outburst

of an enlightened universe

as if it had just broken through

to the other side

its own koan

like an iron cosmic egg.

Like a Rinzai master shouting Katsu!

and throwing down his horse-hair hossu.

Like me sitting here

in the middle of a small heritage town

without feeling I’m one of the original fieldstones

of the bank across the street.

O the sweet freedom

to let the waters of life

take great liberties with my roots

to let whatever flowers in the wild starfields

hidden in the white darkness of noon

bloom as they will

and whatever comes to fruition fall

like the stroke of midnight

beheading the clock on the wall

so Cinderella

doesn’t have to hurry home from the ball.

Not to be.

Not to see.

Not to do anything

that wasn’t already done in the first place

and all the bonds that baffled the dawn

with too many horizons to overcome

undo themselves like vapour trails in the sunset

and I’m as free as space

to be ubiquitiously anywhere at once.

I don’t need to eat through the bone of one leg

caught in a trapline

to free the other.

I don’t have to go mad

trying to kill myself

to save myself from death.

I don’t have to be shamed by mirrors

that bear false witness

against my own reflection.

I can look at my own face

and casually ruminate

about whether it matters

that either of us is here or not.

I can be lead astray by poems

that come on like gold rushs

but end in lead

like the philosopher’s stone

and still be intrigued by the passion

of getting there

without worrying about

finding my way back alone.

Inside every man of great renown

is a frustrated clown

that takes him far too seriously.

I have laboured like an ox

to keep grinding out starwheat

on the millstone of the daily grind

but comes a time

when you sit down on the ground

among the grain and the chaff

exhausted by your fruitless attempt

to turn your mind

into loaves and fishs for the multitudes

and have a good laugh

at your own expense

when you see how few people

are truly hungry enough

to eat.

How many are dying of thirst

beside a freshwater lake.

Open your mouth and eat.

Roll over and drink.

And go read Eccclesiastes

if you want to know why.

Mithras Tauroctonus the bull-killer

can put all the horns on the silo he wants

like the first and last crescents of the cornucopias

on a harvest moon.

I’m at large in the zodiac

playing with poppies

as if I were slaying matadors

that flare like scarlet capes in my blood.





The thistle bristles with swords.

Van Gogh cuts off his own ear

and gives it to a brothel rose

as if that were the only way she could hear

his endearing words

and that little gesture of the heart

were the beginning of expressionist art

or the artist as mummy

if you stretch your canvases like bandages

and mistaking yourself for a model

paint with them on

to keep your blood

from running into the colours

like a red sky in the morning

that doesn’t give you any warning

though Gaugin was sailor enough to know that

and beat a hasty retreat back to Tahiti.

O sweet freedom

not to have to whitewash

the truth of the grafitti under the bridge

with the genocidal lies of scripture

that paint in blood

with the same brush

they use to sweep whole nations

under the rug.

I kick the empty spraycan of my heart

down the road

like the hollow shell casing

of a losing revolution.

In order to establish

my vision of life

I had to overthrow my eyes

to justify the way I see things.

Been alone so long

it looks like love to me.

I don’t know how else to explain this

to the winners who doubt my word

except I’m a loser in bliss

for reasons you’d find absurd.

Not to have slammed the door in my face

just as it was opening

would have been a complete and utter disgrace

to the people who were waiting to be impressed.

My future’s just another afterlife

that hasn’t been made aware

of my arrival.

Still I have a lot more fun

getting around as a pauper

than I ever did a prince.

I have no interest at all

at dying in line

to inherit a dead man’s office.

I’ve learned to get along

on my insufficiency just fine

by mimicing the appetites

of a self-exiled poetic refugee

with the aristocratic poverty

of an intellectual past

and the emotional life

of the last dynast of my homeless ancestors

none of whom made it this far.

O sweet freedom

not to be related to anything

like the key to someone’s heart

lying in the grass at the side of a road

that no one’s taken in years.

You can answer the call.

You can respond to a summons.

But my calling’s

the falling of mirrors

that have run out of tears

like doorbells

that don’t cry hard enough to be sincere.

Some I smash like a pinata.

Al Capone with a baseball bat.

And others come crashing down like chandeliers

that thought they were better organized

than what appeared to be

a minor uprising

of disordered angry stars.

I take a broom to the cobwebs of the constellations

and sweep their reflections

like bad imitations

of outmoded myths

from the mirror.

I like to keep things clear

between me and the light

so there’s no duplicity in what I see

and no darkness in the night

that can claim to be the ancient shadow

of my spontaneous lucidity

without cooking their fire-bug phoenix

in its own flames.

The fire god comes looking for fire.

But I don’t spend much time

dwelling on the event

like a fire-hydrant in a cathedral

afraid of falling into hell.

I’ve fallen down hilariously drunk

sipping mystic elixirs

from my own skull

as if it were the holy grail

but I’ve never gotten off on

drinking from a bell

that keeps pouring me out on the ground

like bad wine

that didn’t turn into sacred blood.

O sweet freedom

what a treat

not to meet me in my solitude.

Not to lead people

like a starmap

that puts them on the wrong track

so they can learn their own way back

through all the labyrinths and lightyears

they’ve been away

and though they might recognize

the old place as home

it’s not the same threshold

the doors don’t answer

to their names anymore

and the windows have forgotten their faces

like phases of the moon

that bloomed and passed

like warm breath on cold glass.

I have looked at the stars

and sweetened the night air with wonder

that we both collaborate

in exploring the mystery of our being here

without knowing why.

The question longs

to experience the answer

the way a dancer longs for music

to go with the words

or a painter tries to explain the light

to his eyes.

But not two is the closest anyone can get

to knowing the world from the inside out

and the silence is polyglot

not a universal language

and what it can’t define

it expresses.

Seeing paints its own eyes

on the prow of a lifeboat

that’s been washed out to sea

with nobody in it

and nothing to save

but these endless waves of moonlight

swimming through stone

like ancient hieroglyphs

for water and fish

adrift in a desert of stars.

The intimate personal history

of the mystery in each one of us

the way the same moon

is cherished by every rosary

and millions of lockets of dew

as if it could only be known by you alone

like the absence of a lover far away

that brings you closer together.

Seeing doesn’t belong to the eye

anymore than a house belongs to the hammer

that built it

or the mind

to the starmud foundation stone of the brain

that laid it like a cosmic egg

in a phoenix’ nest.

There’s more to insight than meets the eye.

O sweet freedom

even one of your mirages

is more than enough

to appease the lightning with fireflies.

My feelings have never looked for sanctuary

in a safe heart

because the best place to hide

is out in the open

where the sea doesn’t run from its own weather

and the night isn’t overwhelmed

by a riot of stars

smashing every telescopic lense in sight

like the priest of a false god

with only one eye.

O sweet freedom

to be the only rodeo clown

in the annual funeral march of martyred icons

parading down Gore Street

with a police escort

and red lights screaming

like an ambulance

going through withdrawal

trying to overcome its addiction to poppies.

I breathe time

and burn my fingers in the eternal flame

of my blood playing with a fire it couldn’t put out.

God might not love me yet

not recognizing the genius

of her own work

but that doesn’t mean

I’m any less of a masterpiece

than any of these other jerks

or that I don’t know how

to conduct myself accordingly.

It’s just that you won’t find me

hanging out in a gallery

or behind the cover of a book

with my shirt off

as if that were really

all I had to say.

It’s not a sign of true freedom

if your zodiac is still under house arrest.

Or you’re still sending

that old refrain of madness to school

to learn to sing in the dulcet tones of a lucid voice

on phenobarbitol.

Success is the quickest way to underwhelm yourself.

Ripeness kicks the stool from under the apple.

Failure has more enduring effects.

A dead tree can lie down longer

like the hull of a ship

than a strong rafter

can stand up

like a mast on the bridge.

You might take matters

like the wheel of birth and death

into your firm hands

and try to weather the storm

like a feather in a hurricane

but the waters of life

still slip through your fingers

like stars and clouds and rain

and your grasp on any rival circumstance

that might threaten your survival.

The disposessed are freer than those

that are standing in line

waiting for their own arrival.

O sweet freedom

not to send my thoughts out like missionaries

to preach to the dissipated

the importance of staying in focus.

Not to go divining the source of the light

with a prism

that enshrines its Catholic colours

in see-through Protestant glass.

There are no sundogs

under my atheist eyes.

I don’t project what I believe

like an eye-beam on a dark world

and expect to be conceived

like the image of God

as if I was born

the way I appear

from a cracked mirror.

I slip through the fault-lines

on the palms of my hands

like a hero plunging

into a gaping abyss

with legendary decorum

to save Rome from an earthquake in the Forum.

And O sweet freedom

that there’s nothing sacrificial

about taking my own advice not to.

And no disappointed expectations.

Age disappears.

Origin disappears.

End disappears.

Being without disclosure.

Seeing without design.

Emptiness without intent.

No I

or its opposite.

And nowhere a sign

of what someone somewhere once meant.

Less than empty

a measure more than enough

to keep one tiny human heart

as perishable as a strawberry

full to eternity

with the sweetness of life on earth

when there’s no birth

no death

in the taste of the moment.


Thursday, June 16, 2011


The western light

comes right in through my windows

and glows in a golden haze on the dirty panes.

It slashs geometric shadows on my landscapes

like some mad abstractionist

who took them way too personally.

And all they said

was moon tree star light stone flower river sun

as if that were enough of a vocabulary

to say the whole of creation

quietly under your breath

like a secret that’s shared by everyone.

Guess I’m not enough of an ideologue

to comb the swamp for my own skeleton

like the ancestor of modern art.

I’ve gazed too long and hard

at the waterlilies in the Fall River

as if I were meditating on koans

that effortlessly open by themselves

not to waste my mind on anything

that didn’t include my heart

like a work in progress

like a river on its way to the ocean.

Dark soon.

The night sheds petals of insight

like moonlight making waves

on the shoreless seas of enhanced awareness

where I stand like a human candle

with my little standard of flame

trying to light up the universe

so I can see what I am in the depths

of my own eyes.

If I’m the tragicomic clown of my own catastrophe

or if there’s something more profound

going on around me

than time and light

glancing off the mindstream

like birds against the delusive skies

that lie like the windows of insight

until you break through them

like the sun at midnight

shining its light

on a conspiracy of mirrors

against the moon.

I must have been mad before I was born

to see things the way I do now.

Everything is inconceivably probable somehow

like a fortune-cookie

that’s had its tongue cut out

for telling lies to the emperor

or the lack of a sign

for the thirteenth house of the misbegotten

in the neighbourhood watch of the zodiac.

Even when you lose your purpose in life

like a passport in a borderless country

you can still hang on to your identity

like a willess work engendered out of nothing.

You can still firewalk the ghost road of smoke

like stars under the feet of the dead

or follow your own breath

like a dancer that no one is leading.

It’s a surprise when you first come to see

that the greatest liberty of all isn’t death

but to cry as if you were bleeding

from a wound

so much sharper and deeper

than the poignancy of the knife that opened it

like a posthumous loveletter from the gods

you feel

reading your own fate

in the silence between their voices

as if forever hereafter

you could only be killed into life

and that every rafter of delusion

you ever sought shelter under

were the overturned hull of an empty lifeboat.

Sometimes I look at my life

like one of the splendid ambiguities

of a subtly nuanced godsend.

I try to befriend the way I feel

like the generous host

of a dangerous stranger

too cold and aloof

to introduce himself

as my shadow

my eclipse

my potential assassin.

I have tried to stay true to the lies

that led to the myth of my lucidity

like a mirage in a desperate desert of stars

I could drown in like an island

up to to the neck of an hourglass

in tidal waves of quicksand

laying my life down

like the foundation stone

of an inverted pyramid

that yearns for the state of mind

he enjoyed before life

more than that that won’t come after.

I have refused to put the torch out in its own reflection.

I have not tried to uproot

the beauty of the waterlilies

opening their eyes like stars

from the decay and the lies

and the scars that sustain them.

I have put to good use

the dysfunction of delusion

to make a credible raft

to get me to the other side

of this river of shadows

swollen like a flashflood

in a lunar seabed.

I have danced with ghosts

like a lonely shaman

around the unappeasable fires

of desire and death

entreating the nightsky

to rain on my flowerless roots

and sweeten the severity

of the dragon’s eyes

with tears.

I have lived in such a way

to actualize the nameless reality

of a few common words

like love and understanding

I’ve kept alight like fireflies on the wind

and cherished them

as if the seeds of insight

were the perennial beginning

of enlightened orchards

that taste like the fruit of compassion.

I have lived in such a way

like a thief of keys

to relieve the locks

on the nightwatch

of their tunnel vision

that it’s not safe

to give my new address

to my old mailbox.

But even in a black out

I have not kept the light out

by plastering my windows with starmaps

or gone underground

like a blind star-nosed mole

that put its eyes out

to share something

in common with the dead

who would never have dreamed

they would all end up sleeping with their mothers.

I open them to receive the sun.

I close them to remember the stars

I’ve been dancing under

for lightyears

against the gathering storm

like a poor man’s chandeliers.

I have celebrated my defiance

of hitching a winged horse

to a hearse

by expressing the joy I take

in the revolutionary spontaneity

of my unself-reliance.

But of all the things

I’ve ever outgrown

or overthrown

like a sword from a bridge

I gave back to the sacred waters of life

the last to fall

was the ghostship in the mirage

of the image I had of me.

I poured myself out

like imaginary water

from a fountainmouth

in a real drought

to green the secret Edens

at the sacred crossroads

of the four rivers

that might come of it

as if X marked the spot

where I was standing

as the best place to start a garden

on the waterwheel of the mindstreams

that radiated out of its stillness like spokes.

Sometimes you end up stealing fire

when all along

you thought you were meant

to invent the wheel

or make up a new language

out of the echoes of dolphins

breaking into birdsong

as if they had turned in their feet

to go back to the sea

but had not forgotten

that their fins

could fly as easily

as the wings they once wore on their heels.

Many rivers flow into the one sea

and the sea returns to transcendence

back the way it came

without stepping into the same mindstream twice.

And I prefer to think

that the same thing is true of the multiverse.

Everything that shines in the night

or in the mind

down to the smallest spark of insight

locked like a firefly

in a lighthouse of ice

on the same omnidirectional course.

And true north

just the magnetic attraction

of a voodoo doll

in a haystack of needles

trying to get a bearing on things

like the right ascension

and correct declination

of a lost soul

summoned like a deranged galaxy

to the singularity

at the bottom of a blackhole

to exchange the light it goes by

by upgrading its eyesight

to search for itself in the night

on the higher frequencies

of X-ray vision

on board an experimental satellite.

And yet for all the myriad universes

that bubble up in hyperspace

like the last breath of the drowning

I have refused to live

like a diving bell in a wishing well

trying to understand

why nothing came true but the coins.

If you’ve never resolved anything in your whole life

maybe you were meant

to keep the mystery alive.

The medium is not the message

when the message is the mystery.

A meaningful medium

is nothing but meaningless words.

The sky doesn’t intend to say birds.

The water doesn’t mean fish

anymore than an infinite number of other things.

Nothing lives like a machine

for something as small as a purpose.

You don’t have to live like a lense

to keep the sun in focus.

And maybe one of the greatest blessings

of being on the nightshift

is that when the universe is out of work

it has no use for us.

We’re free to be when and whatever we want.

Or thoroughly protean.

Or nothing at all.

A full eclipse of the clock on the wall

or a chromatically aberrant nightlight

like a colour crazy star

low on the horizon of the hall.

As for me and my house

I’ve lost track of the number of times

I’ve brought my starmud to enlightenment

like a horse you can lead to water

but you can’t make drink.

The words crawl.

The words swim.

The words take to their wings

like eagles and dragonflies

and startled waterbirds.

Half a sliced pear

looks like a short-necked Spanish guitar.

Looking for the meaning of this

isn’t the same

as listening to the music.