FOUR AND A HALF POUNDS OF SUNLIGHT
Four and a half pounds of sunlight
hits the earth a day
like heroin hits the streets of
I forget who ran away with her spoon in the lullaby
but the moon’s cooking rocks in her craters.
Madness is more of a particle than a wavelength.
A pigeon flys by my window.
I’m staring at the garish red depersonalized logo
of the Bank of Nova Scotia across the street.
It’s trying to teach me how to live
like a sexless drone in a heartless bee-hive
but it’s stolen all the gold from the flowers
and there’s no pollen
there’s no honey
left for someone like me to gather.
So I’m writing this poem to no one instead.
It’s not a Luna moth
caught inside a store-front window
fluttering against the glass to get out
and go crazy in the rapture of the streetlight.
My heart is buried in it
like an improvised explosive device
that’s been timed to go off lightyears from now
when I go supernova
like the buddha on a brainwave
that had an insight into nothing.
I’m wired for detonation like a candle
that doesn’t know when to quit.
All the stars take their light from it.
And all true lovers their inspiration.
Vegetable vendors in the souks of
Vietnamese monks in the streets of
Giordano Bruno at the stake
at the beginning of a new century in
Or me sitting here like a nightlight in a morgue
so the dead can find their way back home.
Creation is self-immolation
when it’s intense enough.
Burn baby burn.
No Holy Ghost like smoke in the urn.
No holy war in the hallelujah of your hooka.
No bones in the firepit of your last cremation.
An abuse of time
in an extravagance of space
is a day in the life of Ivan Denisovich
on Dostoyevsky’s deathbed.
Unravel your rivers of lava
like a volcanic fireshed
tempering its words
like swords and islands in the sea
to give them an edge up on life.
You haven’t got both eyes open on poetic insight
if you cherish the light
and despise the ore
that carries it like life
in the nickel-iron core
of a spermatazoic meteor
to planets that have never been green before.
Standing in the doorway of your coffin
cross the threshold
break the taboo
that incarcerates your heart
like the royal seal of a blueblood
and reprieve yourself as if every moment
were one minute to
for the pumpkins on desolation row.
Carve your own features
into a skull
with eyes that burn
like cosmic candles
at your own funeral.
Irony is the failure of a black farce
without enough life-force
to transcend its own poetry
by turning the immoveable mass of night
into dark energy.
Let there be light.
Nur wa nur.
Light upon light.
But you can’t see it with your eyes
because seeing hasn’t devolved yet
into the names and forms of things.
but nothing to enlighten.
No Bodhi Tree.
No Morning Star.
Nothing to reflect upon
in the eyeless void of the mind-mirror.
Look at this.
Look at this as if you were blind.
Look at this before there were any veils.
Look at this before God realized
what a secret she was
and nothing was hidden.
Look at this like the witness in a dream
stands on a high hill like a Druid
overlooking a war
between the names of God
and says carry on.
Or no more.
The name of your god is Bran.
There is more under heaven and earth
than is contained in your i-pod Horatio.
Once it’s fallen
even in spring
the green apple
is as old as the ripe one.
Getting back to your roots means
you give up your blossom
your dusky sphericity.
Root radix radish
returning to the source means
being totally radicalized by the void
by the emptiness you embody
like an empty cup
hanging like a mutant dewdrop
in empty cupboard
on a question mark
that isn’t so much a hook
or a Scythian sword
as a scythe.
Getting down to essentials means
you run out of elements before you get there
so no on ever arrives
who’s aware of it.
The extremes of chaos
are the fundamentals of a harmony
that sets you free.
Peace isn’t the leftover of a war
that cannibalized everything.
A morsel on Caesar’s plate.
It’s the creative dynamic of a ferocious freedom.
It’s living without prophets and dolls to talk to.
It’s speaking in a voice
that isn’t the first among echoes.
It’s looking into a dark mirror
that isn’t addicted to your reflection
and seeing that nothing is seperate or isolate
because there’s nowhere
the Big Bang or God
can cast creation away from herself
like a torn veil
or turn her back on the world
without coming face to face with herself
the way an old widow
disapproves of a drunken teen-age girl.
You fall in love like a hole.
You make love to a hole.
You see through a hole.
You drink from a hole.
You eat and speak and breathe
through a hole
Your body is a bag of water
with nine holes in it.
Gravity’s a hole.
You dwell in a hole
and labour every day
digging holes for a living
to fill the hole in your belly
like the little Dutch Boy
who stuck his thumb
in a hole in a dyke
to keep the sea from taking back
the hole of his excavated country.
is a blackhole within a blackhole.
Behind us the abyss of a hole
and before us
the available dimension of another.
Mommy was a hole
and every groundhog’s got two of them.
Cradle to grave.
Hole to hole.
All the bubble-brained membranes
in the whole of the holistic multiverse
are just thin-skinned holes
twisted like wormholes
into the shapes of rabbits and dachshunds
like party balloons in the hands of a clown
who’s full of cosmic laughter
at his own playful creativity.
Water looks for the holes in everything
And you might think
that it’s thought
that keeps the mindstream going
and that it’s thought that it’s after
but it’s the hole in the argument
that keeps it growing.
We put our dead in holes in the earth
where hell dwells.
Shouldn’t we let the birds
peck holes in them
like winter apples
that overstayed their welcome
if we expect them to get to heaven?
Seven come eleven
like eyesockets on the abacus of the dice
that only rolls whole numbers
it’s counting like grains of rice
sown on the stairs of a church wedding
that gutter like skulls
that went bowling with the bride
because they didn’t have the vigor of grass
to sprout in cement
and there were no holes in the event
through which to pass.
And that’s what I’m doing here.
I’m a seed on rock
dreaming of all the things
I’ll never need to be
that would exhaust my potential.
I’m this emptiness
channeling creation out of the void
with my ear up to the keyhole of an open door.
I’m the vacuum that nature abhors.
And I’m the bloodflower
of an ancient star
that pours long wavelengths
of red-shifted light
like a well-aged wine
into the skullcups of the two of us
until our tongues are blacker
than a fortuitous eclipse
in a liberated telescope
that drank deep from its silver mirror
like Narcissus at the water’s edge
and drowned in its own constellations
when no one else was watching.
I’m the myriad-eyed astronomer
in residence for the universe.
I’m the inquisitive physicist
who obeys the law in reverse
and doesn’t think one size fits all
the knowledge in the multiverse.
It’s not my nature to judge or curse
but if I’m mad at someone
I intensify my blessing
until it hurts.
Mass is the sensation
of the mind’s gravity
in its own presence
and time and space
are the illusion of gaps
A unified field theory is dead.
But a unifying one
lives like a mind that’s never finished
converting dark matter to light.
It never goes out of date.
Time isn’t early
and eternity isn’t late.
And then there is that which shines
that the light itself is the shadow of.
What’s the cube root of love?
Sisyphus might be absurd
but he isn’t blind or stupid.
His brain isn’t the engine
of the energy of the insight
that is equal to his mind times
the velocity of thought squared.
He’s got eyes.
But that’s not where his seeing is.
He’s got more selves
than Esmeralda Marcos has shoes
but that’s not where his being is.
I’m an electronic boddhisatva
who jumps orbitals
like the wheels of birth and death
on a photonic freight train
carrying the remnants of my factory brain
like a war effort
beyond the Urals
to be reassembled again
where the bombers can’t reach it.
I’m the lead end of the Golden Horde
stabilizing my radioactive half-life
in Keeshteem in the
I’m a dirty bomb that refuses to go off.
I’m a homesick terrorist in exile
because I’m not fanatical about God.
It’s hard to tell the wavelength
from the particle
when the moon walks on the water
like Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra
five hundred years before Jesus
walked on the
I am the
Everybody walks on me.
I’ve got streetlights bobbing all over me
like a Christmas tree
like fireflies manning a ghost ship
but the crosswalks aren’t in the places
they used to be
and no one can read
these s.o.s. s I keep writing
like loveletters in Etruscan linear A
for someone to come and rescue me from me.
So my works are returned to the Library of Congress
like the anonymous empties of a two-four
back to the beer-store
like Japanese fishing floats
free of their nets
to ride the tides of hyperspace
like a bubble in a world of thorns.
There’s a tender center
in the middle of my moondog haloes
and there’s a point to my horns.