Saturday, March 5, 2011


The clouds and the crows

don’t walk the same roads I do

and the dust and the stars are journeys unto themselves

but we all share the same solitude

in a universe that’s going south.

There are things I wanted to be

with a happy brain and a good mouth

that had the spiritual life of a garden

and eras away on a distant island

I took up the pathless path of water

hoping it would follow the map of my roots


into unnamed flowers and stars.

It was easier to see way back then

that sight is a kind of love

and life is the briefest of bubbles

than it is now

the enigma of light

is caught like fireflies

in masonjars and Hubbles

and the constellations are evicted

from their ancient faces

by the deathmasks of corporate logos.

As you grow you notice the windows you once looked through

at the distant blue hills of your longing

are subtly turning into mirrors

and the heedless dice

you once threw against the walls

like moons and skulls

in spontaneous raptures of virtue and vice

are beginning to talk

in your voice

as if they had no choice.

You realize

there are as many lies

as there are truths

based upon the facts

and when people say they’re lost

and don’t trust the direction they’re headed in

it really means

they’re afraid of living themselves.

They’re terrified of their own rarity.

They’d rather be dead and secure in the darkness

than alive to the dangerous clarity

of following their mindstreams out of Eden

wherever they may lead

and whatever they may turn into

whether it be the ginger fountains of Salsabil

blooming in heaven

or the Styx Lethe Phlegathon of hell.

You can tell by the halo

around the black hole in their eyes

where the light goes in

and never comes out

that what used to be an iris

has lost its faith in rainbows

and nothing is well.

No manner of thing is well.

Even time gives up on them in disgust

at the lightyears it’s wasted on them

like flowers afraid of the Open

and leaves space to measure their lifespans

like event horizons

on the thresholds of tents in a desert.

After them

there is no deluge.

No arks on Ararat.

Just components and bones.

When the mind forgets how to flow

the body sheds its blood like a rose

that’s forgotten how to dream

on the dark side of its eyelids

that its thorns are the swords of a solar matador

at war with the bull of the moon

not a memento mori

thrown by a lover

on the coffin lid

like a kiss that blunts its lips on stone.

But a rose is a rose is a haemmorage.

The moon is gored by the solar sword

and the plenum void

pours forth its dark abundance

to feed the dog and scorpion alike.

It’s hard to look at the world for long

and still think of it as some kind of cosmic favour

some unknowable god did us in passing

but it’s one of the more delusional graces of crazy wisdom

that even to be grateful for its mere presence

and whatever dark energy

insists on being us in it

is a compassionate form of self-respect.

Of according a dignity to existence

simply because it’s you.

This agony of being

we share with ants and Cepheid variables

with great trees broken by lightning on a hilltop

with the fossils of hummingbirds

with those who sit behind curtains

at undetectable angles

with no words for what they’re looking at.

With the maggot the snake and the rat.

With the anything that everything can be.

I’m grateful for the barking of dogs in the morning

and the history of life in the light of the stars that haven’t reached us yet.

I’m grateful for my fingertips my scars my broken bones.

I’m grateful for alarmist poppies and bruised violins

and small creatures burping in the sand through their blowholes

after every wave that washes over them.

I’m grateful for blue

and oscillatory electromagnetic fields at rest

and the lies that parents tell their children

to keep them from growing up too fast.

I want to say thank you for my voice

and the old Arab in the mosque

who taught it words were living creatures.

I want to say thank you for skulls and harps

and the fact that every thought

has an afterlife of its own

that’s as sure as inspiration.

And thank you for the secrets

the paradoxes the enigmas the mysteries the questions

the insights and uncertainties.

Thank you for my emergence out of the random

like the spontaneous formations of thousands of birds

turning on the tilt of a feather.

Thank you for my grief lust rage and ignorance

and these prophetic shades

that are in compliance with my senses.

I’m grateful for the gates.

And I’m grateful for the fences.

What is life?

What is death?

What am I?

Is it light or darkness to wonder?

Thank you for Jesus and Muhammad Buddha and Brahma

and Silam Inua of the Inuit

that were engendered out of our suffering

like cool waterlilies out of the heat of our festering.

Thank-you for the clarity of smoke

and hiding what everyone is looking for

right out in the open.

Thank you for the seeing that engendered my eyes.

The hearing that shaped my ears.

The touching that wired the nerves in my skin

to the raindrop and the butterfly.

The saying that gave me a voice.

The feelings that ripened the green apple of my heart

so that sunset is sweeter than dawn

and to let go

is to live on.