Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This prophet swallowed the whale

and there’s a sorrow that haunts me inside

like a heavy bell that’s already written the music

but hasn’t caught up to the lyrics yet.

I’m riding a wave of tears like a dolphin

nudging a drowned man toward a shore

that keeps disappearing over the horizon

like an island that’s afraid of the dead.

I am encumbered by a grief that weeps glass

and moves like a python of lava

a wavelength of life

that’s a path unto itself.

An old unknown sorrow

an ancient ore of suffering

that hasn’t ripened into gold yet.

The empty wombs of the hydrogen clouds

that were the first to give birth to the stars.

The echo of exhausted siloes

that finally found their voice

when there was nothing left to say.

Something I can’t see

but I seem to understand.

And sometimes I even think

the rocks feel it and the trees

and it’s rooted in the very heart of things

like our veins and arteries are.

Not a longing for anything that exists

but an absence that’s been waiting

to be fulfilled by someone.

An incomprehensible sadness

that probes the disposition of humans

to determine the fate of a star.

And yet it has the wisdom of a mountain

and the weight of the sea about it

and in its heart

a thorn like the crescent moon

and the blood of a million roses

that didn’t end in love.

Sometimes it’s so intense

I think I can hear far back in the cave

a wounded Medusa crying alone

that even her tears turn to stone

when she looks at herself in a mirror.

I know the drunks feel it

especially at night

after they’ve fallen down

for the last time

before the morning light

and they look up at the stars

that don’t mind where they sleep it off.

Sometimes it seeps into my dreams

like the taste of saltwater mingling with sweet

and there’s a plea in its presence

as if it were asking me to bury

the afterbirth of death

so it can rest easy in oblivion

knowing the right thing was done at last.

One moment it’s the wasteland

of a lunar watershed

resigned to its lost opportunity

like a widow at a window

making love to the rain

and the next

it’s an unborn child

that’s been wounded by its future

in the womb of now

and knows more about abominations to come

than even the most inhuman of us do.

Bruised flower.

Blue lotus.

Black rose.

Your sadness is a strange elixir

on a poet’s tongue

a fragrance of pines in the shadows

their resins sticky with moonlight

like slow emotions that keep to themselves.

I experience you like a mysterious symbol

of all that is injured and broken by life

of all the struggle and agony

of those the mountains cast down

like the bodies that lie frozen

with their mouths open

on the unapproachable slopes of heaven.

You are the old woman

who comes late to the battlefield with the crows

looking for her son

like a ring that slipped from her finger

knowing the real devastation

doesn’t start until the war is over.

Not even a maggot has ever fouled the light

that shone upon it

but I can feel the silence of your compassion

for all those who have been deluded

into thinking they do

and pass judgment on themselves

like an eclipse upon their shining.

You are the custodian of prophetic skulls

and I sense the great tenderness

in the way you caress them like ancestors

who are grateful to have someone like you

to talk to.

What secret graces

do you whisper to them

to leave such silly grins on their faces

long after their faces have gone?

What do you say

that makes them gape?

If I were to ask them

would they break salt and bread and words with me?

Would they predict the past

turning their zodiacs in reverse

like deep sky objects

ahead of time and space?

Dark mother

what woes do you embody

what unspoken despair seals your lips

what unfinished lives

what green works

what blossoming passions that never guessed

by late spring

among ubiquitous beginnings

they were already past their prime

and perishing?

Is it your voice or theirs

that summons me to listen

to the abandoned picture-music

of these icons in exile

no one reclaims

from the spirit’s lost and found?

The undiscovered genius

who lived too long

to be a tragic loss

and the child prodigy

who died too young

to sacrifice her facility

on the altars of her art.

Do they find salons for the rejected

like eyes that weren’t acceptable

in the open abyss of your embrace

hanging their works

like constellations in the sky

so no can miss

what’s obvious about the night

and singularly rare?

I can feel the desolation in your sorrow

like an elephant in a graveyard

who can’t forget anything.

And what is this buoyant heaviness

but the perennial testamonial

of the leviathan within me

remote and deep

that never comes up for air

but what the sea feels

after so many millions of years of giving life

to plankton and whales

who took what they knew

about being wolves

and turned back to the water

like prodigal sons and daughters

with stories from foreign lands

and extra-uterine worlds?

Lonelier than the small self-effacing smile

of the Mona Lisa

resigned to the truth

she couldn’t share with anyone

that she would give birth

and die young

I sense in you as well

the same ambivalent incomprehension

that stills the wind

and leaves the tides flatlining

to see the number of needles

piercing the eyes of the voodoo doll

you played innocently with as a child

like harpoons in the side of the moon.

Sharkfin soup.

Canned dolphin.

As if the only food

that could be tasted anymore

in this feeding frenzy of appetities

the only things worth ordering

on this menu of an abbatoir

were all taboo.

Bad meat.

Blood in the water.

Peacock’s tongues

and butterfly antennae

the livers of black bears

and tiger dicks

original Viagra

elephant tusks

and rhino horns

and the hands of silver-backed gorillas

and whales in the morning

running from slaughter in pods

beached and dying

under their own weight

all along the beach

like a miscarriage of faith in life in Jonestown

because there’s nowhere left to swim

where the sea hasn’t turned into black kool-aid.

All the lifeboats returning like surgical barges

full of body parts

torn from your womb

as if it were the backdoor of a hospital

without a crematorium.

I wait like hieroglyphics

in this desert of stars

with long afterlives

and no islands

for you to open your mouth

like a Rosetta Stone of scars

and speak to me in the native tongue of your sorrows.

My gumboots are stuck in the starmud

like words that weren’t invited to the dance

and the guitar in my voice

is that dunce in the corner

gathering dust

waiting for new strings

like a puppetmaster

who can pick it up and play the blues

for a lady of the lake who’s worth more

than the dues she’s paid

to keep it all in

like wounded water

in a lunar womb

that never breaks.

What spirit of sad wine

are you trying to mature to birth in me

like autumn in the grape?

Have I not already thrown

the ceremonious sword of my lunar art

like a sacred blade

that was raised on my blood

from the rainbow arc of the bridge

as a tribute to your river

that it might be washed clean of me

without profaning the mindstream?

Young moon in the arms of an old light

it’s well past last crescent

and I still don’t know

if it’s a lover or a crone

that’s opening the gate

this late at night.

But I’ve left the door ajar

and a candle burning in the hall

for you to find your way

across the threshold of my homelessness.

I have established peace

among the duelling keys

that kill one another

to be privvy to the secrets of my heart

by taking off all the locks.

And every breath I take in the dark

is the atmosphere of an unknown planet

looking for signs of life

when it opens its eyes to see you.

Is Isis in mourning over my dismemberment

or are you the star on the left-handed sailor

that will keeping me from drowning

in the great resevoir of northwest passages

you keep like a private library in Atlantis?

How long must I wait

like a dead seabed of shadows on the moon

for your ancient ice palace to thaw underfoot

for you to lift your own veils

and throw off

this dark pall that shrouds me

in your carboniferous wisdom

like the cube of the Kaaba in imageless black

and offer me your longing and your lips

like the cornerstone of a meteorite

putting my forehead to the ground

I can bow down

and kiss?

And if I’m done.

If I’m finished.

If you’re the crone

who knows where I am buried

and you’ve come back for me

like a widow I am married to in the future.

Unhood Horus.

Take the blinders off the falcon of the sun

like bandages off the new faces

of the mummies and plastic surgeons

and let him make whole

that which is partial and scattered.

Gather me up like wheat you’ve sown

within the compass of your blade

under the second full moon in October

and let the wounded bull of my heart

ensure the fertility of next year’s siloes

by pouring the mystic bounty of my blood

the dark abundance

bright vacancy

of my life and art

like the high tide of a libation

over the skull of the moon

so that I can feel you flooding in on me at last

through the trees

through broken windows

through the mirrors that fear

they’ve lost their beauty

through the hidden jewels

in the ores of illusion

through the eyes of hurt children

and the adolescent lenses

of moody telescopes

projecting their passions on the heavens

through the cataracts of aging visions

that have let the clouds

overgrow their gardens in the sky

like weeds they can’t keep up with

through the damaged hearts of irreparable mailmen

who shut the moon out

like lunaphobic loveletters they never send

imagining somehow someone might actually answer

even the damned

who live in fear of miracles.

Inundate me like Noah

Atlantis Mu Dilmun

The Bay of Fundy at high tide.

Let me drown like a lover

outside on a rainy night

when the streetlamps are smeared

like lipstick on a mirror

with a painting knife

and no one’s coming to meet me but you.

I picture you as the view

that all windows aspire to

and you as the janitor of lost causes

that sweeps the stairs of stars

like discarded lottery tickets

and scars on the cards and dice

that could have cut either way

but didn’t win.

Seven came and passed

but eleven was too much to ask.

To begin is to risk

and no one risked beginning again after that

because they had nothing left to lose

except you

and you took them in

like a condemned hotel

on the wrong side of the tracks

of the high-flying zodiacs

and gave them a place for the night

where not to have any luck

was still o.k.

Just because you’re a black hole

still doesn’t mean

you can’t be starstruck.

The ravens haven’t stopped stealing the silver.

And the fish still rise to the lure

like city pimps to something pure.

But I sense you’ve always known this.

That you’ve always been the best of healers

because you don’t apply

the moon like a poultice

to lepers

to draw the infection out.

You don’t attach leeches like eclipses

to bleed the fever

and treat the mind

by putting blinds on its delirium.

You are the mysterium tremendum et fascinans

and your eyes are more potent

than the laying on of hands.

You let the dead summon their own saviours

from the grave.

You let the cowards walk with the brave

so the heroes can deepen their courage and heart

by learning what it means to be afraid.

And for those who think

that timing is the content of life

you’re the bus that’s late.

Everyone’s a perennial in your presence

even the weeds and the wildflowers

and the hopeless bouquets

with expiry dates

arranged like Zen gardens in garbage cans

by desperately improbable humans

hanging on by a hinge

the slumlords won’t fix

like the quantum gate

to your infinitely expanding starfields.

Sex is an expression of love.

Love is an expression of sex.

And the word fuck

the English stole from the Dutch

when their fleets fleeced the golden ram

means to batter someone.

Do violence to their person.

As in I’m going to fuck you up.

Not let’s make the beast with two backs

in an alchemical connubium

of Hermetic transformation

and turn all this base flesh

into a gold rush.

But word on the street is

they’re both mafia rats

in a two way mirror

burning saints in the palms of their hands

making deals to open their mouths

taking vows to keep them shut.

An etymological confusion of sex and destruction

eros and thanatos

an alloy of breath and death.

Venus might hang on the arm of Vulcan

but she smells like the sweat of Apollo.

And you might be life

you might be death

you might be light and love

or the Babylonian Harlot

or none and all of the above

but my heart tells me

you’re the crazy wisdom

that blossoms like deadly nightshade

in the lonely recesses of an enlightened brain

where great pain speaks to itself

like the hard rock on the mountain

or a dry well to the rain.

Being and nothingness are not peers.

They’re not cloned from the stem cells of mirrors

and replication might be a material form of immortality.

Everybody’s eyes are black and blue

But reflection is the half-life of a cosmic radiance

that doesn’t see things with the same eyes

in the same light most people do

because when you blow it out

like a candle at the end of its wick

it enlightens the room for billions of years.

The moon jumps over the cow

and compassion transcends its tears

and even the tragic deliberations

of the most serious-minded fools

are the spontaneous schools of the buddhas.

Great illumination

keeps it secrets

like seekers to itself.

And it’s easy to mistake the truth

for that crumb of a dream

in the corner of your eye

when you lie to fake reality

but it’s not proof of anything

except that you’re not awake yet

to your own lucidity.

Your seeing maligns what shines

by not being it.

It’s your own blood

you’re wiping off the blade with your tongue

when the truth wounds.

Lies that heal are wiser than hurtful facts.

And even the midnight sun

that has nothing to do with flowers

when all is said and done

is not the sum of its acts.

Conceptual thinking

is like trying to fix the stars to your eyes

with thumb-tacks.

It’s not the stuff that myths are made of.

The moon doesn’t ride Zeus like a white bull

and Zeus doesn’t fuck swans

with a condom on

because all gods at heart

are socially transmitted diseases

that weaken the immunity

of your own human divinity

to keep them apart

like the sea from sweet water.

And I think that’s what makes you so sad about us.

Like a mother resigned

to the children who doomed

the dreams she had of them

like a miscarriage of life

long after it’s left her womb.

We’re fallible fire-gods looking for fire

among the shadows we cast

like the writing on the wall

in a dangerous neighbourhood.

The gods never ask about the divine

because it’s always

a human that answers.

The gods water the wine

of earthly compassion

that sweetens the bitter truth

like fruit on the vine

with our own tears.

But I’m only guessing

you’re the forlorn muse of the expired hope

that inspires the dead and the living alike

You’re as aloof as the rumours of truth

that disappear into the distance

like prayers and birds

and the smoke of burning heretics

purged of their humanity

at auto de fes

held in public squares

for private control

to remind the crowds

how dangerous it can be

to be

to be who

to be who you are.

To be the thesis



of your own triune identity.

The three in one version

not one in three perversion

of your own faceless trinity.

And as for me and my house

my spirit moved and bruised

by these suggestions

of who you might be afterall

following me through the shadows

of this temple wilderness

ever since I was a kid

growing up in the logging camps of B.C.

like a big cat

half hunting half playing with me

where parallel paths converge

on the periphery of prophetic vision

I choose the sanctity of a profane woman

to the profanity of a holy ghost.

Your blood is wine.

Your flesh is bread.

You breathe in the last breath of the dead

and you give it life again.

It blooms in you like a flower

and if it’s only for now an hour or eternity

it will still live as outrageously as life on earth

agelessly giving birth

to hearts and minds

that don’t need to waste their time

defending their humanity

against the blind groping for the blind

to put out the eyes

of what’s spontaneously divine

and earthbound about us.

And I suspect prophetically it’s you.

Or maybe I’m just a Sufi weathervane

that’s come to a crossroads in life

and falling to earth from sidereal spaces

like some panspermic meteorite

high on amino acids

I’m elaborating into protein

like the beginning of a new life

I’m finally getting up on my feet

and all this is just a mystic delirium

of prophetic vertigo

to let me know

which direction should take me

to go where I go.

And it’s hard to tell

by the calm of my awareness

whether you’re near

or I’m caught in the third eye

of a spiritual hurricane

like a bird on the wing

but I feel no fear

and I’m used to the pain

and whenever I see you

out of the corner of my eye

and glimpse the beauty of your compassion

and sense there’s nothing about being a human

in the way you look upon people and things

with the emotional wisdom

of your sad-eyed night vision

with all its stars and fireflies

lit up like candles and tears

in the chandeliers of the constellations

writing earthly myths for unearthly lamps

I know there’s nothing about being a human

by the way you love them

not just for who they are

but who they wanted to be

that was ever a condition of anything.

Infinite in your intimacy

you might be the morning star

shining alone in the sunset

of an estranged way of life

that accepts humanity as it is.

Holy water without the fizz.

Nothing to unmask

Nothing to reveal.

No grave to rise from

that isn’t the cradle of a prophecy

that’s already been fulfilled.

The whole shoreless sea

of enlightened awareness

in every wavelength of insight

that illuminates and adumbrates the mind

whatever the weather

and everyone mystically specific

and indiscriminately alone together

in the same lifeboat

rowing with every pulse of their hearts

to the rescue of the illusory bubbles

they wear like lifejackets

to keep them afloat.

And though every glimpse I have of you

is the merest suggestion of a flightfeather

from a nightbird folding its wings

on the waters of life within me

I can intuit from the way I feel

the Y of the witching wand

twitching in my hands

like the cross of a human

with uplifted arms

that you’re near

that you’re real

that you’re the muse

and the inspiration

that raises this goblet

and rises like a living fountainmouth

to speak for the great watershed of the dead

you carry in your womb.

That you’re the void in the voice

that engenders these worlds

within worlds within words

that fit the forms of things like skin

such that

eye to eye

inside and out

with faceless space

where all things end

is precisely where they begin

and the less I know about nothing

the more reason I have to sing.