Sunday, January 2, 2011




thinking of a friend’s suicide


There’s a twilight zone between dissolution and creation

where life can exist for awhile

as the polar extreme between two non-opposites

that share the same nature

like two bays of the same heart

where the departures are just a way

of making room for the new arrivals.

It’s the way life gets around like blood.

It’s the way the moon trancends itself

without giving up an inch.

It’s how your eyes give birth to windows and mirrors.

It’s how your seeing mothers the world into being.

If you’re only clear enough

to see beauty reflected in the autumn hills

and not in the filth of the polluted valley below

like the oilslick of a fly with rainbow wings

then you’ve only got one eye open on things

like a badge-minded cub scout

learning to tie knots in your thinking

that even Alexander could undo without a sword in his hand.

There’s a middle extreme

between nothing and nothing

between waking and dreaming

between what’s false

and what’s true

between your tears and your laughter

your darkness and light

between the adult and the child

that’s trying to keep itself alive in you

by keeping one breath ahead of death

like the runner behind you

not the one you’re trying to catch up to.

Life is a sea that braves its own weather

as if there were no difference

in the shallows and depths of water.

That’s reality.

What brings us together is space.

What keeps us apart

is a sign of the times

looking for a fresh start

like a new mask under an old face.

Whatever mediums you master.









If you can’t keep faith with your own absurdity

without losing your mind.

If you lose touch

with the light at the end of your fingertips

even when your genius

gropes its way through the darkness

blinder than a mole with a starmap that doesn’t shine.

If you haven’t understood yet

that even when you cast your life aside

like a fish you throw back into the sea

because it’s not big enough

for the both of you

it’s just another way life has of hanging on to it like a lifeboat.

If your feet have misjudged the journey

and your winged heels

are no match for the speed of light

and your shoes are old turtles that are tired of holding up the world

or being run over on the road

and you’re looking for a resting place

among the lost hubcaps in the drainage ditch

smothered in white sweet clover.

If you’re not as wily and cunning as the morning glory

or the single-petalled wild roses

that are holding up the abandoned fence

that’s given up keeping anything out

or holding anything in.

Then all you’re doing

is trying to approach

what’s open and free

and accessible about you

like a gate that won’t let you in.

You’re dying of thirst beside a freshwater lake

that doesn’t impede the flight of the white clouds

anymore than it’s disturbed

by the departure of the waterbirds

heading south with the souls of the dead

like the homesick thoughts of the living.

It might look like taking.

But it’s a thief’s way of giving.

Even if you were born the child of an executioner

with a long lineage of dynastic skulls

that have slowly evolved into a family

and there’s nothing alive on earth today that wasn’t

every breath you take

is an eternal flame

that never goes out

among generations of the dead

who gather like ghosts around it

to remember what they died for.

If you can’t feel the rapture in the ashes of moths

that burned their bridges behind them

like loveletters to God

in the light of a candle

that summoned them out of the darkness

into the deeper darkness of an unknown medium of life

that brightens things up

by turning the transient fireflies

of today’s heretics

into the fixed stars of tomorrow’s martyrs

like every moment of the life you lived until now

then your eyes have been numbed by their own seeing.

As if the tears

the lachrymae rerum

were cryonically frozen deep down in the heart of things

like the blind embryos of the children that were born of your shining

to look up at the stars

and see flowers.

To look down on the flowers

and feel alive as light and rain

called to the seance of a rose

that lets them use her voice

to say their names

before their days were crossed out

like the Xs and echoes of a used calendar

that time ran out on like a bucket in a waterclock.

You downed yourself in a single gulp

and turned the glass over like a barfly

to say you were finished

with pouring one universe into another and another and another

down to the last drop

until your mindstream leaked out of itself

and all that was left of the conversation

between you and the dead

were hieroglyphics in a dry creekbed.