THERE’S A TWILIGHT ZONE
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.
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.