Gravitational eye of a galactic hurricane.
Ship going down
I’m clinging to a plank
in the great nightsea of my awareness
as if the last great threshold of chaos
were the lone oar of a lost lifeboat.
The moon is weeping jellyfish like willows.
There’s more isolation
in one human emotion
than there is in the whole of the universe.
The abyss draws near
blurs the mirror
obliterates all thoughts from my mind
and pushs my feelings
on crutches and wheelchairs
off the Peripeteian cliff
down to the Periclean rocks below
where they expressed their democratic distaste
for baby girls
and condemned criminals.
My skull shakes with sudden headquakes
like a cosmic egg that fell out of the nest
and smashed on the earth below.
The sun haemmorages a bright yellow
like the dusky blood of embryonic dragons.
I can hear music in the distance
like windchimes made of shattered windows
and my nerves are running their fingernails down a blackboard
that’s scribbling my name over and over and over again
like the writing on the wall
in runes of chalk
and quicksand hieroglyphs
and then rubbing it out
like an afterschool punishment
for saying what I meant
when I said I had nothing to say.
Since when has an empty mouth
been a sin of omission
or silence a confession of guilt?
The void’s got a voice of its own
and can speak to itself
in Etruscan linear A
but everything else in its grasp
is a word that was left as speechless
as the rubbished first draft of a tongue-tied play.
Sometimes I look into the future
send my eyes off into the night
like a crow and a dove
from the stern of my rudderless ark
to see if there’s anywhere to land
and they come back wounded
by the slings and arrows
of what they’ve seen.
Worse than losing your faith
is losing your sense of humour
when you’re a cosmic jester
in the tragic court of King Lear.
You can act as if life were a joke
but the gods aren’t laughing.
And all my best insights
have turned into Higgs-boson God-particles
that bend space with sticky grids
and take on mass like spiders.
And here comes Rilke like a gust of stars
to remind me that sometimes
the heaviness of life
is heavier than the weight of things.
For every angel that jumps from heaven
a demon rises from hell
and then there are those
who fall between the cracks
like cherubs with stone feathers.
I’m a Medusan snake-bird
with the eyes of a dragon
congealed like tears of glass
in a blast furnace
from lightyears of broken mirrors.
One moment I’m enlightened
and the next
it’s hard to know if what I’m looking at
is poetic vision
or the death throes of a violent exorcism.
And even when I’m dispossessed of myself
I still can’t tell
if the road I’m on
is the return of the prodigal son
or just another homeless demon on the street again.
So much pain.
Black mold in the walls.
A radioactive muse
abusing the watershed I drink from
until I glow in the dark
at all hours of the clock
like a nightlight in a morgue
for the dead who like to get up and walk.
I’m an unsychronized happening
in a discharged particle field.
I jump orbitals
like trains and thresholds
and coldwar wine-bottles
in a game of Russian roulette
with the empties
but all my photonic insights
are scattered like fleas on a hotplate
and even my tears hiss like scalded vipers of acid rain.
Worse than losing faith
in the candlepower of your imagination
like a canary in a coalmine
to enter a blackhole
and come out the other side
into a whole new universe
like the key that makes it true
is losing faith in your eyes to follow you.
But the only religion I’ve ever adhered to
is my next inspiration
and I owe my origin
as much to what hasn’t happened yet
as I do to the morphological past
reading the I Ching
like the Burgess Shales
while referring to
Nine in the fifth place.
Blue herons fishing like pens
in the starless eclipse of an inkwell.
Sometimes the light goes insane
and starts stabbing at mad shadows
that sit for their portraits like windowpanes.
Pain without reason.
Without explanation or alibi.
Time without transformation.
The bigger the space
the deeper the isolation.
Insight lost in a labyrinth of cul-de-sacs.
Imperatives without creation.
I break the crescents of the moon like a wishbone.
Soon the starving dogs
will gnaw at it like a fortune-cookie
to get at its mineral marrow.
I wish tomorrow wasn’t already too late
or fate preferred joy to sorrow
but when there’s only
two kinds of people in the world
toys and tools
you’re bound to end up
with a lot of deconstruction sites
like nuclear disasters
in a sandbox
manned by fools and ingenues.
When I used to ask life
what life was all about
the Buddha would always hand me a flower
or point to the morning star
and whenever I needed a heart-transplant
the government didn’t oppose
I’d wake up from a trance in intensive care
grateful to the organ donor
who gave me a new lease on life
with a previously used rose.
Now I sip tragic elixirs
from the breasts
of a morphine-drip
in the poetic snakepit
of a Medusan phase of the moon.
One tit heals.
The other kills.
But you can only know
which is compassion
and which is death
by the way it feels
when it’s way too late for appeals.
My spine is a ribbed skeleton of serpent fire.
A kundalini ghost walks over my grave
without recognizing its old name.
One of the great unspoken skills of a poet
how to go down on the Medusa
without turning into stone.
Staring the dragon down like the razorblade
that first slashed its eyes open
like the birth-sac of an enlightened eclipse
without being blown away
like spun glass
by the intensity of the exchange.
You can’t grope around in the dark
like a piece of coal
looking for black holes
like star-nosed moles
in the tunnels of your mudmind
and expect to see like a diamond
on the cutting edge of the void.
Not even so much
as the blue petal of hydrogen
in the immaculate heat of perfect combustion.
Nothing left unconsumed
in the fire-womb
of this creative crematorium.
Effusions of freak particles
and rogue elements
with radioactive halflives
converting to black energy
in a total liberation of the light.
All attachments go as cold as a murder case
some lonely corpse bears witness to
as if she were picking waterbirds
that don’t leave the trace of a clue
out of a line-up in a one-way mirror
that keeps one eye on the way things appear
and disappear like evidence
and the other on an artist’s sketch
of what she must have looked like once
before everybody tried to identify her.
Algol decapitated by a drug cartel
in the constellation Perseus.
Medusa’s severed head
hung from a bridge
as a warning to the snakepit
not to get stoned on your own product
or believe everyone who shows you a shield is a cop.
Some people reach for the top.
Others dive to the bottom
when the seas get rough
and some try to hide
in the corner of their eye
and play I spy with a storm-front.
Let the shore-huggers examine the local rocks
for the dna of sirens.
Let the sly ones tie themselves
like the sails of Luna moths
to the mastheads of their matchstick ships
to hear the candles crying
without the risk of flying to their rescue.
Even when you know how the trick is done
it’s ungracious in a poet
whether he’s listening to a siren a muse a lamia
Andromeda on the rocks
or a cashier in a fastfood mall
to resist the magic of a beautiful woman
as if you were a bandaid
and she were a bloodless wound.
The black widow times love
with the hourglass on her back
as if she were cooking an egg.
After that she’s a cannibal
and if you’re late
at making a getaway
you’re food on the plate
of your own children.
No one ever looks
for the motivation
behind their happiness
but everyone needs
a reason for their sorrows.
Who X-rays their joy
or seeks a second opinion
on the prognosis of their bliss?
But just look at the library of alibis
that have borne false witness
to human suffering.
And the snake-oil salesman
who have shed their skins
like the shirts off their back
to bind them.
But one answer doesn’t fit all
like a unified field theory
doesn’t do much
to cure the weak nuclear force
of a kid with cancer.
And yet there’s more inspiration
in the black muses of the negative
than there is in any number of positive prints
I would imagine in the same proportion
of occult matter in the universe to white.
Of darkness to light.
I’m being keel-hauled on the corals of the moon
in a seabed of shadows
cast by the flowerless light
like Roman salt into my Carthaginian wounds.
I’m the photographic negative of a galactic starmap
that swarms with brighter worlds.
And though there might not be any colour
or iris in my eyes
in the clear light of the void
that can’t be stained by seeing
the primordial atom
that grew up to be arboreal Adam
knows enough about creation
to remember that the world began
from a period at the end
of the previous sentence.
A full stop at the end of the road.
A supermassive blackhole
that warps space
into the nucleus of a galactic cell
to protect the contents
like a flash in the pan
that came out of nowhere
until it could replicate its luck
like white braille in a dark room
playing with loaded dice.
Sometimes it’s fireflies on hot August nights
lingering in the valley
like the leftover cloud of a thunderstorm.
Sometimes it’s snake-eyes in the light sockets of a skull.
Sometimes everything in existence
all events and forms
wake up from being the stuff of dreams
and begin to factualize the acts
of its creative memory
as if everything
everyone in the universe
could suddenly see
in the saddest wavelengths
on the darkest nights
of their longest shadows
what inspired the stars.
Demonically confessed as I am
under the truce
of this white phosphorus halo
of horned snakes and black laurel
I might suggest
to the true few among you
still seeking the truth
without knowing what you’re asking for
to watch your step
on the threshold of an event horizon
that can have prolific effects
throughout the mirroring multiverse
of your cosmic consciousness.
Two dimensional holographic picture-music
of everything I could have been or not
projected on the cave womb wall
opposite the black hole that’s casting them
like the infinite paradigms
of everything I am.
Worlds within worlds
procreating at the slightest touch of the wind
each one the afterlife of the other
like waterclocks that don’t keep time
like a dynasty
with a line of succession
but let their mindstreams flow freely
like the vast nirvanic ethers of hyperspace
breathing on the waters of life
like light mirrored through a blackhole
into infinitely expansive bubbles of inconceivable insight.
The mind puts the whole of itself into every thought
and what feeling was ever denied access
to any part of the heart?
And show me the redacted passages
in the conservation of information principle
that never burns its tats off
never shreds the enigma of its limestone frescoes
would rather live half-mad sad and lonely
with what it knows
than please a blind lover
by putting its eyes out
to prove that all it knows and will ever know
is for her eyes only.
The present may be well married to the past
but it longs for the future like a mistress.
And light’s just the dove
that carries messages
back and forth between them
in the first rush of enlightenment
that comes like a loveletter in the mail
addressed to everyone.
From the very first word
to the last
that leaves even the silence speechless
from the alpha and omega
of one flightfeather of a prehistoric alphabet
to the wingtip of another
from the snakepits in the deserted saltmines
to the unearthly wellsprings
in the sacred grottoes of the stars
afraid you’re going to be upstaged
by your own suicide
or uncharacteristically vigorous
for a woman of your years
like the equals sign
between Einstein’s energy-mass equation
like a peace treaty between chameleons
like Monet’s Japanese footbridge
giving its blessing to the waterlilies
written where everyone can see it
smeared on mirrors in desperate lipstick
like the death lyric of haemmoraging snails
or written with a slow finger
in warm breath on a cold windowpane
like the nickname of a god
that’s late getting home.
Whether you meet God or the Buddha
Jesus working on his dovejoints
or surrender all the battleflags
of your holy wars
to the dark imageless beauty of Allah
or you’re working hard
on a Theory of Everything
to explain the unlocality of quantum events
like synchronous happenings
in a charged particle field
to explain how the message can get here
before it’s sent
like a future memory
of something that hasn’t been done yet
because reality is a singularity with personality
that takes the shape of the way you see it
like the pixellated skin of a space time continuum
with its tail in its mouth for eternity
stringing theories of picture music
over the supermassive blackhole
at the heart of a guitar-shaped universe
just to be
in this resonant medium
of interdependent awareness
you are that
when you’re looking at a starmap
but closer to home
where things are more
from a more intimate point of view
than quantifiably true
there’s no doubt in the world
that doesn’t affirm
by reversing the spin
of the definition
I am you
multiplied by the velocity of thought squared.
A boundless circle
with infinite points of origin
where the tail isn’t at the end
of where the head begins.