Monday, October 31, 2011



You’re a sweet little zookeeper

but I’m not the beast

you need to fill your cage.

You’re a constellation of fireflies,

a chandelier of warm spring tears

but these burnt out eyes of mine

aren’t the reflecting mirrors

you’re trying to make them out to be

by adjusting their focus

to see you shining in the dark.

You might dance like a star

a glow worm in a Mason Jar

the chimney spark of a good fire

on a cold night

a go go dancer behind bars

enflaming the tinder of desire

in the love nest of a rising phoenix

but I’m the total eclipse of hope

seen through the wrong end of the telescope.

And even if you were to turn me upside down

and burn me like a heretic at the stake

to correct the error of my ways

I’d still be the snake on the cross

nailed to the doors of paradise

like a notice of eviction

like a warning against trespassing

and not the waterbird with folded wings

you’re trying to get a rise out of

like a moonlit lake waiting

for a footsore messiah

tired of walking on waves

whose feet you can wash with your hair.

Hic sunt dracones.

I’m not the dark window of wisdom

you want to consult like a starmap

to see if you can find in my eyes

any glimmer of insight

like a star I named after you

you can wish upon.

Go away from my window little bird.

I don’t want to see you hurt

trying to fly through your delusion of open sky

like Alice in the looking glass

when the moon is cast through it like a stone

to see the whole in every part

of a broken heart.

I am not the stem cell

of a new relationship to hell

and you are not the vital organ of the clone

that might come of it

were I to love you as my second self.

Beauty is the moonboat of the heart.

Life fill its sails with gusts of stars

when things are full

and when they’re not

takes them down like daylilies in the fall.

I am not the new moon of another beginning

and you are not the total eclipse of mine.

My sails are black and bloody.

Yours are white as waterlilies.

Sunny laundry on the line.

The shroud of Turin

with the shadow of your mother burnt into it

and you playing nearby on the lawn

as the late morning light grows too strong

to stay outside.

Go home now.

Go seek the other you’ve kept waiting.

Go follow the song

until the longing stops

and that’s where you’ll find him

waiting like a guitar

carved out of heartwood

strung with circular tree rings

keyed to the tuning forks of the rain

like all the springs he’s dreamed about you.

I’m as deep as a star receding

into the boundless darkness within me.

There are planets in my wake

that make me wish I’d been

a better gardener than they thought I was

and I don’t want you to be one of them.

Thorns lie along this path.

Long firewalks in the company of ghosts

who were once great enough to let go

of what they cherished most

like water and blue air

and nights when a single candle

lit up the whole universe

in a way that baffled the stars

when love blew it out

to make the darkness shine

with eyes everywhere

eyes in our blood

eyes in our flesh

eyes in our voices

eyes on the tines of our tongues and fingertips

like large pheromones of light

that looked into the black mirror

that made things appear

inconceivably mysterious and near.

Your way back will be strewn with flowers.

Apple bloom and asters.

Chicory and the petals of wild roses.

I could make you the high priestess of my art

but those robes of night

and snakes of insight

would weigh heavy on you.

So go home now.

Travel light.

Someone waits to offer you their heart.

To turn your suffering and solitude into music

and teach you how to play

all ninety-nine chords of the rain

as lucidly as the willows down by the Tay

strung out like harps on their pain.

Apprentice yourself to the light awhile

like blossoms on a windy day.

His radiance is white.

I shine by a different light

that life in time without a teacher

will pour into the fruits of your seeing

when the darkness

grows sweeter than your sadness

like wild grapes on an autumn vine

and you feel something fall from your eyes

like cataracts from a crystal skull

like winter windows from starless skies

like fountains that offer you the elixirs

you seek to drink from

like flowers and grails and wishing wells

rooted deep in their fathomless watersheds.

When the sun shines at midnight

and the hour comes round at last

like a lamp in the hands

of its own long dark radiant journey into insight

you will taste the waters of life

in the tears of the sorceress

standing in the doorway to clarity

that summons her to leave everything behind

and without hesitation or reflection

know for yourself

the dark wisdom in the heart of the light

that makes the black mirror

older and deeper than the white.

There’s nothing in this world

however far you wander from home

nothing you’ve experienced

nothing you’ve known

you can claim as your own

until a stranger comes back from the stars

with no trace of personal mythology

her hands full of the earth

she weeps upon

and shapes like starmud

until it flowers in her eyes

into a universe where poppies and wheat

see you in the same light

by which you see them.

Dreams and bread.

Opioids and magic mushrooms.

Passion and common sense.

Peasant gypsy fish

with hoops of the moon

hooked through their earlobes

and long scarlet scarves of fire

streaming from their necks

like portentous comets

that aren’t trying to scare anyone

nibbling at the broken loaves of the flesh

being distributed by a foodbank on the hillside.

Go home now.

Go dance naked and alone in the rain

whenever you feel like it.

Who needs to bind themselves to the void

when their emptiness is everywhere?

Be as kind and compassionate

toward your follies and delusions

as you are to the deepest of your insights

and one day you’ll see the crazy wisdom of it all

and be humbled like a fool in tears

by that which exalts you

like a constellation of fireflies

deep in the darkest nights of your being.

Those brief flashes of lucidity

that are half the silent rapture

of the cool bliss that blows on the fire

and half the last flaring of a call for help

when what you treasure most

sinks to the bottom like a sea chest

full of hope and desire

and comes to rest like the moon

in the breast of a big-hearted shipwreck.

Stars in the well.

Night lights in a morgue.

Candles in a coffin on nightwatch.

The sacred syllables of the fireflies

on the snake-tongues of neural lightning

witching for rain on the moon

in a sea of shadows and mirages

putting down roots in the darkness

like zodiacs along the cowpaths of the starmaps

that laid out the Milky Way

the Road of Ghosts

like the short cut of the mindstream

that follows its own inclinations

like wild flowers through the abandoned star fields

to keep the lights on in this house of life

long after nothing else will.


Friday, October 28, 2011



Manically slashing paint late at night

on a white canvas.

Blood on the snow.

Chewing my limbs off to get out of a leg-hold trap.

Tearing my heart out like that of a noble enemy

to eat it for the homoeopathic courage

to make something out of the chaos

of conditioned consciousness

like a small tent in this homeless desert of stars

that might let me enter

like a loveletter into an envelope

that’s empty enough to offer shelter to anyone

with a return address on the point of no return.

The dove is bleeding down the handle of my brush.

Insomniac poppies are haemorrhaging on their feet

after they got caught sleepwalking

down the dark alley of a dead end street

and a bad moon rising cut their throats

like a serial killer exploring the creative potential

of blood spatter as an expressive form of forensic art.

And now here come

the chameleonic mood swings of the cyanotic blues

like painted Pictish corpses with talismanic tattoos

buried in the mass graves of violet underworlds

that bloom like deadly nightshade with hot spots of yellow

at the one way entrance with no exit

to the cave mouth of Tartarus.

That ought to make a big splash

among the abstract expressionists.

A Payne’s grey black hole goes supernova

and I’m caught in the crossfire

of gamma radiation against the greens and blues

of a small habitable planet that got in the way.

And maybe if I eat enough cadmium yellow

the way Van Gogh did

to get closer to his subject

than he’d ever been

I’d be able to paint sunflowers

with great solar flares of harvest gold

lying on the table

like the manes of magnificent dead lions

that still threaten the still lives of the village

to this very day

with the carnivorous intensity

of hungry predators

picking up the spoor of their prey.

A sum of destructions a painting is

said Picasso

but there’s got to be something there

to destroy in the first place.

He did it to a beautiful woman’s face.

But I prefer to splash acid into my own eyes

for the things they’ve seen

than take it out on a sunset

that’s done nothing to me

but put an end to another glaring day

trying to stare the stars down

to see which of us will be the first to blink.

Slowly life emerges out of the bright vacancy

of my random spontaneity

like a black waterlily of sumi ink.

Slowly the polymorphous perversity

and atavistic complexity

of my creative rage

begins to take the shape of a star map

where all the animals have escaped from their cages

and left the maniacs on their own

like vampires at the break of dawn

to seek asylum in caves and attics and graves

like bats in the belfry

of the thirteenth house of the zodiac

as a sign that nobody’s home.

Beginning to look like someone I know.

A face rises from the depths of the ultramarine

like Ophelia in a negligee of moonlight

and then slowly descends back into the darkness

as if somebody turned around to look

on their way up out of hell

and all I’ve got left are her eyes

as a momento mori.

If I were the Taliban

I’d throw acid in them at this point.

As it is I veil them in a wash of alizarin crimson

like oxygen rich blood

and watch them turn violet

in case there’s an iris scan among the dead

and she has to prove she can see in the dark.




Sit warmly here with me awhile

and I will smother you in fireflies

until your aura looks like

a dandelion constellation

or a globular cluster of first magnitude stars.

My scars have exhumed the knives of old wounds.

And though I confide in the void

like an echo returning to its own voice

or a breath to the sacred groves of the lungs at sunset

and superseded my quota of regrets

to make an expandable universe liveable

every firefly of insight’s

got the engine of a dragon behind it

and it burns like a dark clarity within me.

Wrap your silence and mystery around me

like a chrysalis or cloak

and let me rest in your indivisibility awhile

until I disappear deep in your eyes

like a nightbird into its longing.

Let me sit around the lonely fire of your heart

as if I were the only house of the zodiac

who comes to you like an illicit love affair

with its lights still on

long after all the others have gone out.

My solitude is bruised by an abyss

that keeps digging deeper into me

and sometimes it feels as if

it’s looking for water and a well

and then other times it’s a midnight burial

of someone I can only catch a glimpse of

once and a while under a full moon

that looks like an undertaker

through the leafless veils of the weeping willows

digging his own grave

but feels just like a spade hitting my skull

like a strange form of paydirt

buried like the black pearl of the new moon

in a hope chest of star mud.

Take the coin from under my tongue

like the last sacred syllable

of my unconditional humanity

and throw it down this black hole in my heart

like the moon in a wishing well

and embrace me as if I were not dead awhile.

Out of the ashes the smoke and the flames

like two candles under the stars

let’s make up myths of origin

where the gods have no names

until the wildflowers that have outgrown

the gates of the Garden of Eden

look back at where they come from

like a long way away

and give them one

like the elders of an Ojibway tribe

decide on the names of the new born

each according to the totem of a dream.

Pull this thorn from my eye

like the eyelash of the last crescent of the moon

and let me see you face to face

without a thousand and one tears between us.

I shall glorify you like a mosque in lapis lazuli

that can no more contain your image

than the day the night

or one constellation

the whole of the Milky Way.

I shall paint your portrait in picture-music

like the moon reflected on the black water gardens

of the Taj Mahal in mystic hues

of nocturnal waterlilies and cobalt blues

to highlight your eyelids when you sleep

and on your lips rose drops of blood

to wake you like a kiss from your dream

when the waterbirds rise from the lake.

Receive me like a sword into your depths

I throw in tribute from a bridge that crosses over

to the other side of myself

as if you were the far shore of my mindstream

come near to sit with me here awhile

and reminisce like water

on the things that have been and passed

as we listen to the tender laughter of the waves.

I will lift up my shirt

and show you the scars of all the holy wars

I’ve fought with myself like a faithful heretic

who knew he was doomed to lose

and the spots where the spearheads of insight

penetrated my heart like a voodoo doll

baptized in hot whiskey and cold blood

to take a message to the gods

about human suffering

in a language they could understand

wasn’t just the echo of their own voices.

Sit with me here awhile like a face beside a mirror

looking out upon the same starfields

without a trace of our own reflections in the view

and I will teach you

the healing powers of a wounded mouth

like the secret grammar of a grail that seeks itself.


Thursday, October 27, 2011



Night of creative annihilation.

Lightning and rain.

The lightning not a revelation.

The rain not enamoured of roots.

October exhausted by life.

The windows weeping in a frenzy of tears

as if someone took a scalpel to the sky

to give the mirror a facelift

and peel the cataracts off its eyes

like the withered skin of wild grapes

trying to turn their root rot into wine

too late too late too late

to intoxicate the chandeliers

with stars in the eyes of the fireflies

that have gone cold as the black dwarfs

in a monastery of burnt match heads.

I hear the nightwind howling like a dog

in a graveyard of lighthouses

for the dead master

who once took it in from the cold.

The apartment furnace

flares and hisses like a poppy of gas

with a black starburst like a spider

in the bottom of the goblet

like the last and the worst of the heritage toxins

I’ll be asked to drink to belong here with the dead.

My goldfish Toke

languishes on the bottom of the tank

like Ophelia drowned in her orchids and veils

shrouded in fins like the broken sails

of a long sea voyage we’ve been taking together

light years away from our point of origin

like wavelengths of poetic fire with a redshift

far into the wee hours of the morning

looking for a shore we could be washed up on

like two ghosts from the same lifeboat of milkweed

that haunts Perth this time of year

when the sea gives up its dead

with every drop of rain that falls.

I’m up writing myself to death

to quell the mutiny in my ranks

that would rather seek shelter

in an artificial paradise

than man this shipwreck

all the way to the bottom

of the foregone conclusion

of its last port of call.

And if my goldfish can still burn underwater

like a comet of white phosphorus

and I can manage to shine a while longer

like a first magnitude star off the prow

this might turn into a Viking funeral ship

cremated on a pyre of oars

or the firewalk of a phoenix

who got to the other side

without having to stop and talk to the fisherman.

Tired of listening to the atrocities of gossip

that leak like pcps from storage drums

into the watershed of a small town

as winter approaches

like a drunk ice age on the rocks.

Sick of watching beauty fester

like waterlilies along the banks of the Tay

like bud rot on a crop left too long in the rain

like the sour laundry of a rose that turned

sanctimonious and matronly

in the way it nurses its malignancy

like a worm in its heart that’s gone viral.

I put my ear down on the tracks

that pass by the Perth Memorial Hospital

and I swear I can hear the nightmares

on the nightshifts of the terminal

among the drunks and snakes and suicides

who lay here once like one-way tickets

waiting for the train to pass

like one long periodic sentence

of the last judgement of their lives.

Long before the train hit them

they fell on the words that fell from your mouth

like hand-grenades and i.e.ds

land mines and elitist meteors

who didn’t like dinosaurs

with their mammalian hors d’oeurves?

When some roses lose their beauty

from the inside out

they swell like rosehips into tumours

they sharpen their thorns

on one another’s psyche

and jealous of things that bloom

pop every full moon

that wanders into their vicinity.

Eclipses trying to renew their virginity in a snakepit

they bring tar and feathers

to plume the serpent that doesn’t fly

because dragons and closet arsonists

that live like smouldering root fires

aren’t on the same wavelength

and the smoke of their Promethean efforts

gets in your eyes

and smells just like the flesh

of cooked turkey vultures

who forgot that one of the functions of fire

was to kill parasites

that thrive on the bile in the livers

of the firegivers they’re not hot enough to defile.

Mississauga rattlesnakes under the rosebush of a smile

they try to shake their tails like kites

tied to the keys of the mystery

in an electrical storm

but they’re not real shamans

and it’s not the delusions

of the barnyard weathervanes

that wakes them up like false dawns

and calls the lightning down upon them.

Words are living creatures

animated by thought and feeling

to express what lies in the depths of us

like the moon among the corals

like archetypal lifeboats in Atlantis

with a bad sense of timing

that left them green and futile

on a dead branch of an apple tree in winter.

Al humaza al lumaza the Koran says

the backbiters and backstabbers

like one of the first worst things on Allah’s mind

go straight into the fire like venomous snakes.

Words are living creatures

animated by thought and feeling

and some get around like rabid foxes

and some attend to details

like the bacillus in the flea

on the back of a pet plague rat.

But tonight I like those

that can purge and cleanse

these oilslicks of feeling

that cling to me like skin

that wanted a tattoo of a black hole

in full eclipse indelibly.

It’s better when the butterflies

are talking to the dragons like friends

but that appals the spiders of discontent

who kiss your hand

and leave little red bumps

of the irritants they inject

even as they’re weaving webs

on the looms of their bodies

on a nightshift of life in a dark corner.

Boat-tailed grackles in a chimney full of creosote

or nightingales caught in your throat

I want my fathomless sea heart to be deep enough.

I want my boundless sky mind to be big enough

I can turn the reek of human malice

into the fragrance of a gust of stars

and let it drift down the mindstream

like smoke from sacred fires

and failing that tow the bad meat

with carrion souls

that keeps throwing itself down

everybody’s wishing wells

far out to see like surgical barges

that move like crocodiles full of body parts

and start a feeding frenzy among the sharks.

Blackflies of the mind.

Olaceous life leeches.

Dead meat maggots.

Grubs in the heart of the rose.

Tapeworms in the mutton of the flock.

Pestilential parasites.

Haven’t you learned yet

that indifference is the best insecticide

no place on stage

no part in the play

no lines

no minor characters

no understudies buzzing like reviewers

close to the emergency exit signs.

Just these dragonflies I send out

like C.I.A. drones on black ops missions

to clear the air the water the light the heart the mind

of your kind of carbon emission

that leaves a skidmark on life

as if you spoke through your assholes

like monostomes

and wiped your mouth

with your underpants

to add some class to the shit you thrive on.

Clear the air

to make more room for the stars.

Try to remember

lions don’t hunt flies

and you’re known as much

for the calibre of your enemies

as you are your friends.

Use all my dark energy

to accelerate into an enlargement of space

to leave the killer bees and red army ants so far behind

deprived of their voodoo dolls

they jab themselves to death like scorpions

caught in a ring of fire

that spreads like slander and gossip around them

that they were hoist by their own petard

to quote the bard.

Nemetic karma.

And taste in every sweetness of life

on the tines of their forked tongues

the sour notes of their own stingers

like splinters of broken glass

fouling the cadaverous honey

that oozes from the tumuli of their hives.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011



You who can feel the unborn future in your veins

giving breath to the dead.

You buried in the hollow-cheeked mirrors

of your prophetic skulls

that keep you like a secret to themselves.

You who risk disclosure

of the intimate details

of your ruinous solitude

and live under the whip of your self-discipline

and never cry out like a wounded rose in the night

to reveal the pain you’re enduring

just to feel you’re alive somehow

in a way that’s hard to imagine.


Merlin’s at the window again

and the wind and the leaves are stirring

and there’s a panicked madness in the air

as if someone just took a bite

out of the psychotic apple of the hawthorn

like the last chance to cure themselves of hydroponic rabies

like the coincidence of the contradictories

in a madman’s view of reality

as the black magic of quantum mechanical physics.

The cauldrons might vary in shape and size

from mighty amphorae on the bottom of the sea

who are as faithful as clay to the wine within

to the slim syringes that come unravelled

like little red ribbons of birthday blood.

But the fire and the vision remain the same

like lightning and rain above the graveyard willows.

The starless starless rain

and all those eyes it’s never going to open

like the loveletters of the irreconcilably estranged

to the deranged modalities of the legendary shapeshifter

that moves like the oviparous thought waves

of a sacred viper in a desert of stars

as if it were music to their hearts and minds and ears.

Starless eyes

black as shark

and all these bleak flowerless tears

running down the glass cheeks of the windowpane

reflected in the storefront glory of the rain

behind the veils and chandeliers of toxic jellyfish

hanging like the head of Medusa

in the place of the dreamcatcher

that committed suicide

when it got caught lying to itself

about what it saw when the lights went out.

You who have chewed through your umbilical cords

to free yourselves of the trapline

by giving up a little to get away with a lot

I commend you on the severity of your enlightenment

and the alacrity of the shortcut you took

to come to this feast of clowns

so ill-prepared to break bread with you.

O dark presence at the gateless gate

I ask you to unhinge convention

and spare the innocent

your lack of discrimination.

I see the rags of the defeated

flying at half mast to remember

the ghosts of their surrender

the day the names of their gods died

in the mouths of refugee children

who’ve only known vipers of white phosphorus

not manna from heaven

to fall upon them in their exile

like word from above

in lieu of a myth of origin

that would take them in as one of their own.

Merlin’s at the window again

drawing kingly thoughts like metaphoric swords

out of the meteoritic damage

he did upon impact to his brain

just to get a few protein molecules started here

like Frankensteinian knights of the round table

seated like signs of the zodiac

in exoskeletons of Jurassic armour.

Comes a time to trade your scales in for feathers

and plume the serpent like Quetzalcoatl

and promising to return one sunny doomsday

like a comet to a prophetic s.o.s.

get away

just get away

as fast as you can

anywhere you don’t have to receive

what people are willing to sacrifice

just to keep their lurid imagination

of who you are supposed to be appeased.

Leave them on their knees

in front of the corpses of their servile children

who played musical chairs around the altar

of the pointless martyrdom

of their parents’ worst fears

just to see who got pride of place

at their own execution.

Leave with tears in your eyes

like these windows if you must

leave like a kite someone let go of

leave like a bird before the snow.

Seek a space for yourself

that nobody knows of

in a nondescript constellation of black holes

with no appetite for the light

or the configurations on a starmap

that takes a mutant’s view

of the wingspan of your shining.

Merlin’s at the window again

under the cloud cover of his own unknowing

trying to divine those fireflies of insight

that set the lightning off like blasting caps

in the beaver dams around here

that keep the waterclocks from flowing on time

like the valves of a heart

without a lockmaster

to elevate the mindstream

with commonsensical winches and gates

into the creative mystery of the salmon pools

of crazy wisdom.

On the half-burnt pyres of the maple groves

smouldering in their own immolations

like bodhisattvic protests

to the Chinese occupation of tantric Tibet

fire eats the flesh and heartwood of the tree

like the rainbow bodies of enlightened rinpoches

but leaves the bones

like relics of the true cross

to a sky burial with lots of homeless birds.

O there are measures of madness

that are more spatial than lunar

that cast a wider net than moonlighting fishermen

to draw the stars up out of the depths

of their own darkness

where they’re blind to their own shining

because life like death and time

is a carrying on and a ferrying forth

like a radiance without eyes

into the void we come from

like lightning and rain

like fire and water

like insight and compassion

like apple bloom and ripened fruit

that can bring tears to a windowpane

that taste like sad elixirs

welling up in the eyes of an inscrutable magician

that knows it will be light years

of visionary wandering in the heart of the storm

before anyone realizes

the flash of the lightning in the eyes of the rain

dispels the shadows in a world of forms

that tempt us to back track on ourselves

as if retrogression in a decaying orbit

were some kind of planetary advance.

You there with your insect night vision

green as the seeing of a praying mantis

and you who wash your hair in fire

and you with your gasoline breath

and matchstick mouth

and you with the ion eyes

who stare blankly into the darkness

like a hole in the ozone

and you with the mailbox heart

shaped like a wholesome loaf of homemade bread

that eats its fill and makes you feel so empty.

Don’t let other people put words in your mouth

like bills and loveletters and junkmail placed

like sainted syllables and sacred wafers on your tongue

that say paradise is only a suitcase away.

Perdition is the human condition

that sent a death threat to itself

with the return address of a suicide note.

Symbols mutate into the tragic farce

of an unsalvageable religion

that took its lighthouse of a legend

way too seriously not

to be blinded by its own blazing

or listen to the warning bells go off

even as it ran up on its own Rock of Ages

fighting with the Taliban in the wheelhouse

about whose hand should be on the rudder of the ship of state

like another maggot who sticks his head

up out of the corpus delecti like a microphone

to announce he’s running as the butterfly candidate

to stand up for the rights of the corporations to be people.

Kneel down to this

and they’ll stick their steeple up your ass.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011



I can see in your eyes

the immolation of the sumac

and the blue ghosts being exorcised

from distant fires on the autumn hillsides

like mountains that now grovel in the dust at your feet.

I can see in your eyes the crumbs of the dreams

you pennied away like wishing wells in your sleep

where all the best lies that come true

sell out when they wake up like reviewers

to a second edition of your life’s work.

I can see in your eyes there are no rust spots

on the lilac bloom of the joy you take

in matching your emotions

to the wine stains and blood spatter

on the broken towers of the hollyhocks

or the white stars that can be seen in broad daylight

in the ultramarine skies of the mystic delphiniums

shedding their eyelids

like a change of constellations on a starmap

that isn’t bound to the shapes of things.

I can see in your eyes a secret garden

you lead your lovers blindfolded to

and there the waterlilies mingle with deadly nightshade

in a potpourri of enlightenment

where a virgin breaks a wild unicorn

to ride it bareback down to the lake like moonlight

to teach it to drink its own reflection out of her hand.

I can hear your sexual mushrooms

waxing like moons in the dark

and the pillow talk you have with your heart

when there’s rain on the window

like tears you just can’t hold back.

You might think you’re as enigmatic

as water on Mars

or weather on the moon

but I can see the blue atmospheres

that once clung to you for life-support

holding their breath in the breathless immensities

and I can hear the ghost-written lyrics of the wind

you once gave your voice to

waiting on your summons like a seance

to live it all through you again.

I know you think you’re looking at life

through a broken windowpane

but I can see in your eyes

soft chandeliers of rain falling

on the bruised hills in the distance

and I can tell they’re made of water

not dark energy and anti-matter

by the flowers that bloom in their wake.

And it’s not hard to see in your eyes

how much the questions hurt

that you’ve given up asking

like a boyfriend who never calls you back.

And that must mean there’s something wrong with you.

Something wrong with love.

Something wrong with life.

Something in your eyes so indelible

you just couldn’t wash out it out

however far and deep

you cried yourself out

like underground rivers

into this glacial palace in a sacred ice age.

But I can see in your eyes a new moon

where you see an eclipse.

You’ve just closed your eyelids

to dream a little deeper.

You see a candle at a black mass.

You see a misfit in a glass slipper.

But I can see in your eyes

the light that it casts

is already one star ahead of the past

like Dubhe and Merak in the Big Dipper

pointing at Polaris like the spoke of a wheel

to the axis of the turning world

as it sweeps the dust of the day

like stars under the flying carpet of the night.

You see a mirage embodied in a urn of clay

and you say that’s who you are

and that’s what love is.

But I don’t see in your eyes

even when I plumb the depths of your pupils

any sign of a black dwarf

for all its massive gravitas

standing like a warden

at a huge black iron gate

to keep your light from getting out.

I can look straight through you

like a witching stick can find water

in the southern hemisphere of the moon

whether you’re on the dark side

or trying to hide in the shadows of lunar noon.

I can look into your eyes

and see the underground watersheds

your fountain heads are rooted in

like floral goblets full of poppy wine

that tastes like the sun at midnight.

And even when the skies are low and overcast

I can look into your eyes like a starmap

and read the first signs of a new zodiac

coming up to the east of your smile

where spring occurs in every one of them

and the celestial equator doesn’t cross the ecliptic

and hope to die like lovers

with their fingers crossed behind their backs.

And though I know I’m light-years off the beaten track

and your shining isn’t meant for me

I can see in your eyes

a new cosmology where the stars

are not fixed in place like the crown jewels

of Corona Borealis in the crystal palace of Arianrhod

behind unbreachable locks

on the dynastic houses of the Celtic dead

but move spontaneously like homeless fireflies

more intimate with things within reach

knowing whenever two of them meet

inspired by an exchange of insights

into what hues of radiance

to include in their paint box

to capture the picture-music of earth

it’s always the spring equinox

and all seasons are seasons of birth.


Monday, October 24, 2011



High in the Y shaped boughs

of the nude wrecked marsh wood

a gathering of abandoned herons’ nests

that look like a colony of lonely vaginae

that have done their work

and were put aside

when everything went south.

Crowns of thorns

on the heads of crucified saviours

no one ever bothered to take down.

Or you could see in them

the beginnings of new fires

the tinder and the kindling

waiting for someone to strike a match

or come down like a bolt of lightning

on a tuning fork

and burn the witch at the stake

for heresies of love she won’t forsake

and a vow of silence she took before the mystery

of her own dark science that she won’t revoke.

Pyres and sky burials and begging bowls

as if they were orphans asking for more

or humbled celebrants beseeching the stars

to receive the little they have left to give

and add their nothing to the nothing that is.

To judge from the number of taboos at the gate

shrunken heads atop the lodge poles

of an Ojibway village that abandoned its gods

and moved on when the river began to rise

and left it to the sky

to cover their nakedness with the whole cloth

of a tent that doesn’t keep the wind or the cold out

like the unpetalled stems of the black-eyed Susans

spreading like a cult along the banks;

to judge from the apprehensive signage of my instincts

that it isn’t death but life

that’s as dangerous and near

as my next step is to falling in

this must be a sacred place

the animals come down to

like totems at night

to revel in their starmud

and give thanks

the stars were brilliant enough

to root their pure radiance

in the mutability and muck of decay.

The wombs of the milkweed

have exorcised their ghosts

and the paint brushes of the wild irises

are no longer loaded with violet

and stand uninspired in a blue canning jar

in the corner of the deserted studio

of an artist who just woke up one day

and disappeared without a word of a lie

like a crow into his own mindscape

as if he had finally achieved what he was looking at.

But if the moon doesn’t fear walking here

nor while I.

Startled wavelength of a black watersnake

fleeing like dark energy

across a supple mirror of stars

and there on the withered eyelids

of the lily pads

the hold out bullfrogs

disgruntled in the aftermath of their boom times

by the lack of insects

and their loss of sexual appetite

like the mythically inflated rhetoric

of bellows that can’t get the fire to light.

The Clovis point arrowhead of a jumping trout

hits its own bullseye from the inside out

and embeds itself in a flank of wounded water.

Among so many nemetic affinities

you could lose your heart

like a waterbird

that nests in its own reflection

to a snapping turtle around here

where the swans of moonlight

for all their enchantment

hold no more sway

over what’s beautiful and not

than this parliament of necrophiliacs in the dark

ready to pull them down

with their parrot beak vise-grips

into the carrion beds of the house rules

that say even the Taj Mahals must rot

and Leda’s just meat to the gods.

Forty-three years later feels strangely

like I’m back in my old neighbourhood

and this marsh is its emotional life.

Peacock blue green sky closing its eyes

to see the stars better in the dark

Taurus and Gemini up

and Cygnus a lost crucifix in the west.

I step on the trunk of a fallen birch.

It gives way like a leper whose flesh

is as dozy as a bowl of wet cornflakes.

My foot slips down into the ooze

as if a hand had reached out

and grabbed me by the ankle.

And then lets go with the pop of a suction cup.

Right idea.

Wrong sex.

And besides among shipwrecks

I’m just a birch bark canoe not an ark

and this is not Atlantis or Mt. Ararat.

This is the low spot.

This is the drainage ditch of afterlives.

This is the boiling pot

that everything runs down into

like the effluvium duff and detritus of the mindstream.

This is the meditation of a Zen master

who isn’t appalled by anything

and embraces all as it is

with indiscriminate compassion.

This is the scum and the froth

and the fizz and festering of creation

in the Vas Hermeticum

of a biodegradable alchemist

throwing flower seeds on the shit

like tiny chips of a the philosopher’s stone

to turn the shit of base metal

into the golden petals of the elecampane.

Four amino acids open

and one protein molecule blooms.

This is the catacomb and bone box

of an early Christian buried next

to the Via Cloaca of Rome

waiting to rise like an enamel-painted buttercup

or nuns of the wild columbine

meek among the towers of the common mullein

the Algonquin used to use

to line their moccasins in winter.

This is the matrix of the dark mother

fouling the waters of her womb with life.

This is the cauldron.

This is the crock pot

that simmers the flesh off the bones

of the deer and the fox and the rat together

with an eye of bat and the briny legs of the frog

and reeks like a corpse flower

in the bridal bouquet

of a wedding party of Elizabethan witches.

This is the dismembered body of Kingu and Tiamat.

This is the consecration of the desecration of the flesh

made whole again like the wafer

of the rising moon

that’s waxing to full on my tongue again

as if it hadn’t learned by now what a pagan I am.

This is the filth we were born from

to serve the gods

if you’re Sumerian enough to believe it.

This is the one-finger salute of the staghorn sumac

to the October wind that plucked it like a phoenix

after showing up

to blow its green wood into flames

like a flight path for the fires of resurrection.

This is the primordial id.

Cannibal stew made into a soup for leftovers.

And no one not invited to the table

above or below the salt.

No one’s fault.

Not a moral issue.

Just the way it is.

Starmud and cell tissue.

As above so below.

Heron’s nests in the crotches of dead trees.

Mermaids that ran before the prow of the ship like dolphins

and wooden figureheads parting the waves

like the cleavage of their breasts

now in slingshot bikinis high in the crow’s nests

among the masts of a sunken navy

on the lookout for a northwest passage.

But I’m not fooled.

I’d be a drunken sailor

on this or any other ocean

from here to the moon and beyond.

On the great radiant sea of awareness

on the third watch of the night

I’d drink stars from my skull

until I slumped down in a coma of insight

that showed me my way through here

like a life boat through a northwest passage

with an oceanic view of things

even when it’s scuttled in a swamp.

Goblet cup or cranium

It’s the heart you pour the wine of life into

that determines whether

it’s a poison or a love potion.

Death might be the medium

and this swamp the rite of passage

of a drunk through his delirium.

But whether it’s full or empty

a loveletter or an s.o.s.

life is still the message.


Saturday, October 22, 2011



I want dark energy.

I want release.

I want riot.

I want wishing wells

too surfeited with the prayers of the undeserving

to haemorrhage like watersheds

thrown from the balcony of the theatre

like plastic hysterectomies onto the anointed heads

of my immaculate conceptions

of blue madonnas in the audience.

I want tantrum.

I want chaos.

I want nemesis.

I want pandemonium.

I want a black mass

where the wafer of blood and flesh

isn’t a cookie on my tongue

that wasn’t burnt in the oven

but celebrates my suffering

in a holy communion of razor blades.

I want freaks with distractive affinities for the implausible

to rat their hard drives out to the police

like copycat serial killers

downloading corpses

like a motherboard at a seance

channeling the voices of virtual reality

into a living host.

I want the anti-muse of fire

to stuff my mouth with the ashes of urns

that weren’t inspired by their own negativity

to let the medium eat the message of the people

like a government dedicated to its own preservation.

I want to spit out toxic lyrics

like a cobra in disgust

at what it’s expected to swallow

like the sound-bite of a happier fatter afterlife.

I want heretical stigmata

to make the sign of the cross

like the blade of a Swiss army knife

to suck the poison out

and spit it back into the eyes of the Taliban.

I want foreign advisors

to parachute into my third world emotional life

like a snake pit they’re training to bite other people.

I want enlightened voodoo dolls

with boundless sex appeal

to reverse the curse of the blessing

that lied to me about who it was from.

Empty the slums the jails the ghettoes

the asylums the low rent housing projects.

Undo the first and last crescents of the moon like handcuffs

and free the beautiful lunatics

from their straitjackets and meds

to do post-doctoral research

into the genius of the stone-age tribes of Borneo

who knew how to shrink heads long before Freud

went into a trance and started playing witchdoctor

to a cauldron of biochemicals that can’t dance

like sugar plum fairies.

These are not the nabobs of madness.

The wrong miscreants have been committed

into the care of worse deviants.

Justice is an economic condition

that depends upon the law of supply and demand.

Build a prison.

And they’ll come

because nature abhors a vacuum

more than a black hole of economic isolation

with the singularity of a contagious victim

trying to tunnel through the bottom

like a drug cartel into the black market of another universe.

I want to reverse the order of things

like a digital hourglass

whose moment has come at last

to stand the pyramids on their heads

like the reflections of moonboats

capsized in a sea of sand

whose cargo sinks to the bottom

like the trickle down economics of an afterlife

that’s leaking down the leg of a drunk

in an executive urinal

dreaming of sweeter intoxications to come.

If what they tell me is true

and the tree of life is rooted in heaven

then it’s time we all started raining up

and shining from below

as if we were walking on stars

instead of rooting like thermophilic bacteria

seven kilometres down in a diamond mine

ready to regenerate life on earth by default

after an astronomical catastrophe

or being harvested

by corporate blue whales like krill.

Road kill like refugees

all along the panicked highways to hell.

I want an antidote

to the spiritual syphilis

that afflicts the human imagination with false hope

like snakeoil salesmen

milking the fang for a sure cure

to the other one that kills you

by convincing you to humbly bend over

and faithfully take it up the ass

like a syringe full of immunity to asps.

Disgorge the black honey

in the hives of the killer bees

and spread oilslicks like molasses

on their daily bread and butter

on the waters of their life

on the air they breathe.

For all the folksy spin

of their hand-painted commercials

consider how difficult it must be for them

to renew their virginity like a brand name

in the same public facility everyone else uses

without getting caught

fouling the earth like a toilet in an executive bathroom.

Monostomes that shit out of the same mouth they eat with.

Bring on the bitter the ugly the outrageous.

Bring on the doomsayers

who wish upon the first star they see at night

to be vindicated like a Mayan air raid siren

for howling like a banshee at the prophetic window

of another astronomical catastrophe.

Bring on the mythic inflations

of the apocalyptically hysterical.

Bring on the species we raised

like an assassin in our own house

to replace us with the same relentless indifference

that we showed to those that no longer exist.

Bring on the nightmares of feudal despair.

Bring on the extortionist thugs

of privatized health care

withholding the drugs

of a cancer patient for ransom

like dealers hooking junkies up to a higher price

knowing they’ve just got to have it or else.

Bring on the media pundits come

like scar tissue and rational bandages

with antiseptics on the tip of their tongues

to doctor the spin on the wounded psyche

of a disease they’re carrying

like the story of themselves.

Bring on the medicated luxury

of being able to feel something

with varying points of view

where tolerance too often

is just another norm of indifference

in the comfort of your living room

the one message the one headline

the news carries every night

like an after dinner mint

when one half of our global brain

watches the other half slaughtered or starved to death

raped enslaved kidnapped and decapitated

or swept like collateral damage under the monuments

to the lies we like to tell like modern history

about why so many had to die

so we could feel as special

as an NBC documentary on a national holiday.

The one mantra that’s being subliminally repeated

even if you go off to bed

disgusted at the obscenity

of any average day on earth

and take a soporific

to just tune out

and get a good night’s sleep

and wake up as refreshed as a web page

is keep things the way they are

because isn’t it good to live

in the shadow of the

biggest brother on the block

and look at the world as if you were exempt

when all was said and done to everyone else but you?

Most people aren’t looking for freedom anymore.

They’re looking for exemption.

And if you ever do see someone these days

out in the open as if the sixties weren’t over

nine times out of ten

unhinged by their perceptions

they’re looking for a good strong door

that keeps everything out and nothing in.

Bring on Armageddon.

Bring on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Bring on Adajal the red-haired one-eyed Liar.

Loose the Goog and the Magoog from behind their iron wall.

Let the shepherds of the black camel

build tall buildings in the desert.

Let no birds sing in the eucalyptus trees of Israel.

Let the last man on earth

grovel in the dust at his sister’s feet.

Let the extreme chaos of conditioned consciousness

load their hadron colliders with anti-matter

and have it out like gunslingers

in the streets of Laredo

as if an expanding universe

weren’t big enough for the two of them.

Here comes Alaric in the year 410 anno domino

with his Visigoths to the pantry of Rome.

Here comes Hulagu and his Mongols

and the black plague of 1348 anno domino

and the danse macabre of the flagellant fanatics

who tar and feather the night like a black swan

they set afire to keep the ugly ducklings in line.

Here comes the gamma radiation

like a starburst flavour in a wad of gum.

Bring on nuclear winter to savage the flowers

the grass the trees like a black sheep of seasons

that crept in among the flocks

like the shepherd of wolves

in the Duc d’Berry’s Book of Hours.

Let the earth put its big toe

on the last crescent of the moon

and pull it like the trigger of a double-barrelled shotgun

it’s got stuck like a mantra in its mouth

like the red hot ball of a koan of doubt

that’s been eating it from the inside out

and is about to break through

to other side of enlightenment

with the meteoritic impact of the Late Cretaceous

upon the chances of new mutant life forms

adapting to the desecration of the womb

that miscarried them into life

without a myth of origin

to explain their devolution from us

who took up all the oxygen in the room.

I want a more merciful chaos

than the relentless drone

of this blood-sucking order of doom

that plants its cosmic egg upon your forehead

and eats the butterfly out of the caterpillar

before it’s had a chance to bloom.

I want leaderless spaces

where everyone can move freely

wherever they want

with no back or front to the line

when everyone’s on a wavelength of their own

multiverse by multiverse

No more derisible politicians

with the integrity of fire hydrants

running for election

that any dog with money can piss on

in a house that’s already burnt to the ground.

You let me have a casino here

I’ll let you do cancer research over there.

I want to announce last call to all awareness

if the only thing we’ve figured out to do with it

is abuse it by arguing over whether

this obscenity of human lovelessness

is petty or profound

when the heart doesn’t bleed out

it haemorrhages before the last act of atrocity

has been played out in the belly of the beast.

The number of the beast

is the number of a man.

Could have been Decius.

Could have been Nero.

I want an infinite number of zeroes

behind my name.

What’s so scary about 666

in a triple X society five times as bad

and twenty-two times as mad

than Caligula making his horse a senator?

Let Rome burn.

Is Paris burning?

Has Beijing caught fire yet

like a red book in a cultural revolution?

I want dark skies in the eyes of my skull.

I want everything to go missing.

I want to fulfill my creative potential

like an unlit candle at a Zen funeral

that expresses everything I don’t know

about poetry and life

like an eloquent ignorance

that’s sensitive to light.

In a world as radioactively irrational as this

I want to be wrong for all the right reasons.

I want to play musical chairs with the seasons

and be the one that’s left out.

I want a medium with no message

it can identify with like the stem cell of a word.

I want to fall toward paradise

from such a long way up

I’m sure to burn out in the upper atmosphere

like a snowflake on a furnace

long before I ever get there.

Let someone unworthier than I am

take my place.

I want the cool background bliss

of my liberation

to put the cosmic hiss of my creation out

like a flickering candle

with a snake’s tongue

witching the air for the direction of prayer

between my godly forefinger

and my prehensile opposable thumb.