Saturday, February 26, 2011


Wired to looking for Gardens of Eden at the wrong end of my dopamines.

Want to move back to the country

and live in a secluded place

you couldn’t find unless I led you there.

Want to take pride again

in knowing all the names of the trees and stars and flowers

as if they all lived in the same small community

of intimate immensities that I do

like pebbles on the edge of an avalanche.

Tired of playing Russian roulette with the asteroids.

Want to live somewhere even the animals know

the plants know more about healing than they do.

And it would be great

to have a woman who knows how

to think and feel and fuck there with me

to laugh at what a brilliant idiot I am

to know how to make soap out of the sap of flowers

that smell like their names.

Bouncing Bet.

Pride of London. Lady at the Gate.

I’m not looking for purple noons and honeybees.

I’m not trying to make a big splash like Basho’s frog in Walden Pond.

Just want to lie down in the tall yellow grass of a September hillside

and feel like a freshly baked loaf of bread

cooling on a windowsill

like a philosopher’s stone

as the sun goes down over the hill

and the dust of many roads

gets in the eyes of my starmaps

like gusts of stars

that makes them water with the wonder

of being here at all to know how lost and homeless I am

even in the depths of the dark womb that first imagined me like water.

I cling like a tree to my lucidities

and I’m rooted in the light

as much as I am the dirt

and I sprout poems and paintings like flowers and leaves

and even when I’ve been struck by lightning

the dead branch blooms like the moon

and you can hear the drums of silver apples

marshalling at my feet

like a troupe of white-winged horses.

Like the pulse of the windfall

when death first entered the garden

to let me know how alive I am

in this present moment

that has no death or birth in it

no beginnings

no ends

and goes on forever

as the only feature of time

that doesn’t need a calendar.

But I’m not waxing Biblical about the brevity of days

and I’ve always been grateful

that I was born too stupid to be a cynic

and looking up at the stars from anywhere

one of the greatest wonders of life to me

is that so few people are amazed.

They’ve never listened with their eyes to the night

so that when their eyes speak

they don’t understand

the mother language of the light

and the fireflies forget how to talk to the stars

and everybody’s looking for an interpreter

to tell them the meaning of things.

They don’t know how to enjoy

being alone

with everything they don’t understand.

That’s why I like New England asters and purple loosestrife.

That’s why I like being kept at home by snowbound roads

and unanswerable fires.

I want to sit at a carved picnic table

under a locust tree in the morning

when it’s in full bloom

and humming with thousands of bees

and wonder aloud in a poem that’s writing me why

whenever you find nectar

there’s always thorns

as if my life depended upon it.

I want to approach my material confinement

with the suppleness of water

given that’s what I mostly am

and have no fear of spiritual evaporation

after I’m dead

and gone beyond into

the transformative darkness of my original watershed

because I’ve seen the same thing happening to the shapeshifting stars

that everyone says are fixed.

I am not deceived by appearances

into believing there’s any kind of reality behind them

as if a mirage were lying to a desert.

Water’s no less of a window

when it reflects the moon on its surface

than it is in the depths of the sea

that grows it like a pearl.

If you can only see with the eye

and not through it

as Blake suggested

then you’re inundated with visuals

as impersonal as the camera lense

that follows you through the city

like an upgraded form of state shadow.

But out in the country where no one’s watching

but the occassional squirrel

once you let the light in

your seeing isn’t just

a phenomenological reaction

to photonic randomness

but a creative response to chaos

that makes images out of visuals

and symbols out of visions

and facts out of purposeless experience

like tiny mouse skulls

and abandonned herons’ nests

that don’t make a liar

out of your imagination.

I want to live somewhere in peace

without thinking I’m selfish or a coward

to observe the world around me

as if it were the expression

of the beautiful absurdity

of this reclusive artistic discipline

that keeps making me up as it goes along

to fill in the lyrics

of a half-forgotten song

it’s singing to itself like water.

I’m tired of the gibbering of the sacred monkeys

who don’t know what’s holy about life

unless it’s washed in blood.

I’m tired of the intrusion of the good and bad

into my solitude

as if the mob

and the government


culture and education

had a right to homogenize

the taste of life in my mouth.

Not the same.

Not different.

Not exclusive.

Not effacing.

I’m sick of gaming the rackets of life

for my daily bread.

Sick of the maggots

laying claim to the pedigree of butterflies.

Sick of the tapeworms

trying to convince me they’re spinal cords

and shoelaces

or downed powerlines that are the envy of cobras.

Sick of never underestimating

the violence and ignorance of humans

without always being right.

Are there ants that go to sleep hungry tonight?

Are there bees in the hive without honey?

Just want to walk out late at night up to a high field

with a broken gate

by myself

or with someone else

that hasn’t been closed in years

and delight in going creatively mad under the stars

exalting in the radiance of human eyes

in an exchange of lucidities

that proves we are not strangers to the light

here on earth

or in any other place

where we greet each other like guests without a host

wondering why we are gathered here to ask.

My heart is torn under its own weight

and all my dreamcatchers

have turned into unsustainable spiderwebs

by accumulation.

My soul is the swan of the full moon

unfeathered on dark waters

by a snapping turtle

that keeps rising from its depths like the world.

I’ve walked so long down this long road on crutches and stilts

it’s forgotten the feel of my feet

and all the mystic auroras of my spirit

robe me in meat

and chameleonic anxiety.

Sick of technological progress

that is the equal and opposite reaction

to the devolution

of what’s beyond comprehension

into the truth

into wisdom

into knowledge

into facts

into data

into lies

that upstage the myths of the stars

with mutative alibis.

Want to go somewhere I can scream

and the hills will understand the echo.

Want to go somewhere I can look at the spring columbine

growing out of the green moss tupe

on the lichen-covered rock

and not see it covered in the blood of children.

Want to walk out into the darkness

even on a starless night

and feel like a vulnerable mortal

made wary by the innocence of natural dangers

and not the deranged perversities

of ghouls off their meds in the cities.

Want to get away from the maggots and tapeworms

that govern the body politic within and without

like the corrupt flesh of a dead horse

that died of exhaustion

pulling the milkwagon uphill.

Don’t want to walk any more roads that turn into quicksand.

Just want to kick my cornerstones like pebbles

down a dusty lane

as if I had all the time in the world

not to explain to anyone

why it seems so crucial

to get the colours of the New England asters right.

And I know it’s a dream.

I know it’s an illusion.

A mirage of the way I feel.

But sometimes even water

is wounded by this desert

where the only roads are snakes

that make paths in the sand and the stars

and it takes a mirage to heal.

Sometimes it’s better

to let yourself be decieved by appearances

to be relieved by the compassion

inherent in the way things seem to the mind

like a cool herb on a severe burn

than go blind.