Thursday, June 30, 2011


Life’s not a struggle

it’s a lottery.

An improbable concourse of chance.

You can organize stars

into constellations

and adorn them with myth and meaning

and teach them what laws to obey

and what superstitions to ignore

but they’re still just a roll

of the eyes of the dice.

What was so lucid

within and without once

is now so twisted

with knots of pain

in the heartwood

the tree of the body

so ruined by disease

the roots and the branches

so gored and broken

no cross is more a token of suffering

than a human that has endured everything alone

like a battered pine at the edge of a precipice

that isn’t a threshold to anywhere

with an overview of the unknown

that’s brought it down in a storm

for no reason

other than it was there

to be destroyed.

And babies die in car accidents every day.

And millions are just left to starve to death.

And there are war crimes and atrocities so hideous

afflictions and catastrophes so absurd

ideologies so cold and indifferent

frost burns the rose of flesh and blood

and abstractions coagulate in the wound

like anti-matter practising pseudomorphosis

as if we were all changelings in the womb

born to this agony

in the name of nothing

that not even God or evolution

can remotely relate to as human.

A pain so old and deep

it’s devoid of ancestors

though anyone who’s ever lived

including the animals

has felt it as up close and intimately

as a scalpel at their jugular vein

in the hands of a psychopathic barber

doing surgery in the mirror

after he lost his license to practise

for not keeping his cool in a crisis.

Poor body.

Poor heart.

Poor mind.

Blind stars that shine

without knowing it

or what it is they illuminate like braille.

Nothing but signs symbols words.

Aviomancers of hidden nightbirds

in the sacred woods

that have been clear cut

like Druids on the Isle of Mona

by superstitiously liberated Romans

bringing civilization as a consolation for their greed

like a chainsaw to the pagans.

And then those

who fleeced the lamb

like the shepherds of man

looking over the fold like wolves.

What an abomination

has been made of so many afterlives

so a few infallible liars

could thrive well here

without waiting for their lies to come true.

But there is no judgment.

There is no karmic redress.

No feather in the scales

to weigh the goodness of the heart

that’s being torn apart by the jackals of death

like a baby rhino that’s wandered away from its mother.

Breathing is believing

and the only religion I know

that doesn’t offer you airmiles to Jonestown

or turn the wine at the wedding of Canaa

into black kool-aid

in a six pack at the back of the liquor store

is the one that encourages me to abhor it.

Life’s the ultimate infidel

when you understand

that there’s nothing holy about death.

That suffering doesn’t have a purpose

for each and everyone of us

as if pain were transcendent

and excruciation

a work in progress.

But you don’t get over something

by going under

is the most commonly ignored advice

among suicides

with their left hands cut off

and no place to be buried in the graveyard.

Things are so unbeautiful among us

that life has had to resort

to the art of horror

to keep the wonder and inspiration

of being here at all

alive in us like cattle-prods

in an abattoir.

Thick-skinned muses

and mermaids on the rocks

in wet suits

with aqualungs

trying to recall something alluring

that can tie like a hook

to a catchphrase

at the end of a two minute song.

Humans are winged serpents

with fangs for claws.

If they don’t kill you with wisdom

they’ll kill you with laws.

And the cure’s just a bagman

for the original disease

putting the squeeze on your mind.

Whatever way I characterize it

what do I know

in this nanosecond of a lifespan

among the shadows of the fireflies of insight

that I could spread out like a starmap

of the master plan

that could make me say

without laughing out loud

like an angry rude Chuang Tzu

beating on mushrooms with a bamboo rod

to bring them to enlightenment

the light of life in this one

is shining the right way

and in that one it’s gone out?

War is just cosmology with a body count.

People who have more faith in their ignorance

than they do the clarity of their courage

not to make everybody try to see and be

what isn’t there to stand for

when they kill.

I make a jewel of the emptiness

and turn it in the light.

And I see fat politicians and lobbyists

as corrupt as their own interests

talking about ensuring

the future of their middle-class children

and yours

by taking food and medicine

like budgets out of the mouths of the poor.

While the chronic goldrush of Wall Street

cashes in on the problematic prosperity

of class warfare.

The rich say to the poor

though shalt not have

as if water and food and shelter and peace

and cures and antidotes

schools and vaccines

were private possessions

and someone starts handing out AK-47’s

instead of wheat

and the poor go to war against the poor

to satisfy the supply and demand

of their military manufacturers.

You can blame this shit on God

for taking both sides at once

if you want to

or you can take to the ice

with a sense of justice

like a zebra with a whistle

but I took one look

at what there was to belong to

and took the long homeless path

of a spiritual refugee

whose only sense of direction is away.

Heaven isn’t a place of rest

when you live in a world like this.

It’s a state of exile

with the blessing of the abyss.

Ah how many loveletters to oblivion

have humans written

in the blood of the dove

with their return address on them

that have waited like weathervanes

for the breathless answer

that never came?

How many prayers pleas vows entreaties pledges deals

have we sent off into outer space

like digital images broadcast of us

to let someone know we’re alive

through radio telescopes

that can speak like us through their ears

and hear with their mouths at the same time

and not so much as the whisper of a wavelength back?

And yet we go on feathering the cosmic egg

like Quetzalcoatl

the plumed space serpent

who’ll make his blue-eyed return one day

if we crack enough skulls in his honour

bleed enough hearts

drink enough blood

eat enough death

to build an observatory on the mountain

to foretell our doom.

There wouldn’t be

a trace of life on earth

not a mammal

not a blade of grass

or even a habitable planet

if the sky hadn’t been falling into place

like a marble or a bullet

in the roulette wheel

of a navel in space

from the very beginning.

Life as we know it

owes as much to random catastrophe

as it does to the oceanic notion

of intelligent design.

What the watchmaker broke

when he wounded life with time

the watchmaker might repair

if he changes his mind

and stops acting teleologically

like a terrorist with an alarm clock.

Innocence is in a coma

and mercy can’t keep up with the shock

of revelation after revelation.

Beauty studies the aesthetics of desecration

in a cosmetic school for the liberal arts

and the inhumanity of man to man

opens a speechless university in Auschwitz

to study the terminal effects

of prolonged exposure

to the obscenity of bloodless politics

upholding the ancestral devotion

of fanatical houseflies and maggots

to the extermination of whole nations

because this one wears his heart on his sleeve

like the corpse of an Aryan pinwheel

washed ashore like the galactic waste

of a theosophical starfish

wearing a swastika the wrong way

to be creative

and this one a yellow star on his sleeve

like the only thing he’s got left to be true to

and wish upon

as he’s being dragged out of his doorway

in front of his children

by a frenzy of Nazi dogs

for lying about being human to his gods.

Show me something reasonable about rabies

and I’ll know you’re a life-form

that isn’t based on water.

You’ve got a silicone heart implant

like a microchip processor

with a binary pulse

that delights in flatlining

the old wavelength you shed like a snake

inching out of your humanity like a used condom

to be worthy of the obelisks

they erect

in Times Square

to the kind of prick you are.

Recurring nightmares of hatred and suffering

with designer logos on their arms

like Jungian symbols of their psyches

trying to express new ideas

for a unified field theory

to a corporate universe

in an executive bathroom

where trickle-down economics

is a way to relieve yourself of the poor

by letting your excretions run down your leg

until even the princes of the palace

come to your table like hunting dogs

and beg.

Have you noticed in life

how the selfishly insufficient

never find sufficiency enough?

To be accurately graphic about it

they’re gnawed on by their own appetites

like tapeworms with flesh-eating disease

trying to balance the budget

by sending Chicken Little out

to convince the poor

they have to stop eating

for the good of the economy

and the future of their children’s welfare.

But you don’t have to be Merlin to see

into the available dimensions

and inconceivable abysses of what’s to be.

Want and misery and savage indignation

watching a degree of pornographic luxury

mudwrestling in the filth of their wealth

like sumo wrestlers on cable tv

that threatens to cut

the bread and circuses off

like an umbilical cord to a corpse

if they don’t keep up with the costs

of sustaining a coma.

And they see by comparative mythology

through a veil of pixels

the ruse of greed

behind the party mask

the rich wear like a mirage of water

in a desert

that wealth is just another alibi for evil

whose worst mistake

was riding in a golden chariot

through a slum

as if it forgot

it were less than human.

Why should one man’s tumour

be removed with a golden scalpel for free

and another human be cut from theirs

like a budget in the hands of a chainsaw

as if they were what was carcinogenic

about the problem?

And o come on now

who really thinks

you can live long and happy lives

like butterflies

yachting on the honey

in the hives of killer bees?

Or that militant materiality

flexing its influence

like a finger it gives to the mob

like a ballsy pedagogue

isn’t going to have its dick cut off

as a lesson in how to conduct yourself

when you’re in other people’s living rooms

and you don’t take your lifestyle off

as a sign of respect for the dead.

How can a fixed casino

ever understand

the underlying reality

of a ripped lottery ticket

that sticks it to the poor

by giving them a chance

to become a whore in advance

of anything they could have wished for

and then laughs in their face

at what a fool they were

for playing the odds

when all the evens were missing?

Evolution didn’t hold any genes back

like a pharmaceutical company

in the growth of our species

or an ideologue cloning his image

like the racial politics of stem-cell research

in the DNA of his agenda

for a whiter tomorrow.

If you don’t want to fall victim

to the spread of your own disease

it’s obvious you share the cure with everyone.












You don’t have to apply for a research grant

to look very far for the cure.

You just have to dip the other wing of the fly

in the milk and honey

of the promised land

if you don’t want to be tainted by the side-effects

of being the bad meat

that gets thrown down the well.

How often have you said to yourself

you’ve got to keep the blackflies sweet

or they’ll turn into the erinyes of Hades

or the banshees of Celtic hell

and pursue you like ice-cream

to the ends of the earth?

When wealth puts a noose of bling

around the neck of blindfolded justice

standing on a footstool

the golden rule rises up

and murders Midas

for being a touch too much

for the unradiant ore

of the labouring poor

to stomach.

Gigantic spiders

out of all proportion to their webs

dripping with wealth

that’s tearing like

the lifelines hanging from their necks

under the weight

of their massive corporate bodies.

Time has run out of demand

like sand

in the thorax

of the trophy hourglass

that declared this pyramid

with its gold capstone

a winner with an afterlife

and all the runner-ups

in the rest of the competitive world

losers sitting like dunces

in the corners of quicksand

doomed to be forgotten

like the lifespan of a bad movie.

The hour has well past

when the rich can sleep comfortably

with the daughters of the poor

while their mothers clean house

and feel assured

they can still afford

the same delusion they did yesterday.

Gold is purified in fire

when sunspots begin to show.

It’s poured down the throat

of the Roman billionaire

who killed Spartacus

like a vainglorious swan of a man

being waterboarded in Iran

like the Islamic version

of anachronistic anti-matter

in the eyes of Allah

who doesn’t let a bad metaphor off the hook

all that easily.

You can bet your book on it.

You can’t talk like a peacock in a depression

and not expect the world mountain

to come down on you

like an avalanche

that walks the walk

all the way to the bottom

of the valley of death you dug for yourself

with that silver spoon of a tongue

you were born with up your ass.

Don’t piss on the sherpas

as if they were of a lower class

when you’re trying to climb Mt. Everest

and the only thing you’ve got to rely on

to make it to the top

is a starmap in the wormhole

of a large intestine

to give you a sense of direction

of the final outcome of your affairs.

And if I sound prejudiced in this

then I declare

I am prejudiced against the poor

being condemned by law-abiding thieves

to endure their lives

like a minimalist painting

where less is more

except if you’re rich

like a lamp without a genie

that doesn’t want to know

once the election is over

what you wished for.

Most politicians are kites

not birds on a powerline

who run for high office

with their spinal cords

in the hands

of conglomerate oligarchs

who fly them in elections

like lost leaders

in a department store window

to get you in the door

of a political arena

where they do unto the poor

what they’ve always done for fun

to people in a Coliseum

who either fall victim

like meat to the lions

or murder their own

to win their freedom

like a wooden sword

that was too much of a heavy lift

to be crucified on.

What a squeal goes up for justice

when the rich steal from the rich

but if a rich man steals from the poor

he’s considered fit for political office.

He knows how to cause suffering.

He knows how to deny a child

a heart transplant

because he know how it feels

to grow up without one

and as hard as it is to overcome

the bloodless blackhole of a heart

that’s imploded on itself

out of the sheer moral exhaustion

of transcending your lack of humanity

by letting what isn’t in you out

to cannibalize yourself

your family

and everyone else

look what it did for him

and then look at what he did to us.