Wednesday, August 3, 2011


You are not cast away. You have not been ostracized by the shards of a broken pot. You are not the torn bat wing of an umbrella in the spirit’s lost and found as the rain keeps pouring in through a hole in the ceiling as you feel the rafters heave like a ship’s hull in a storm. You have not fallen out of your constellation like a jewel or a skull. The night is not cruel to them. The darkness accepts you and when you rise in the morning. The day. Don’t greet the dawn in yesterday’s chains like spider webs you wove on a loom of dream catchers that can’t see anything without their jewels. And when have the windows ever turned you away? You stand in your doorway of shadows without any thresholds because it’s just as dangerous to go in as it is to stay out. Your eyelids are bruised bells and your heart is a scarlet rag of blood gored on a horn of the moon in a death dance with the sun. And now you feel like a ghost of yourself waiting in the anteroom of your afterlife for a doctor to tell you you didn’t survive. Love and betrayal. And the aftertaste of your sulphuric longing. The ferocity of stars you shave off the edge of the sword you don’t know whether to fall upon or kiss allegiance to. A judas-kiss. I can feel the mass of the anvil of your heart you beat things on like yourself to keep them in shape but it’s you that’s bending like space. Let the pain go. It’s a mechanical Byzantine bird in a rococo jinx wheel posing as a Chinese zodiac. It’s a viper in an hourglass you can’t train to bite other people. Give the moon back her fangs. All the known antidotes are too slow to catch up to those toxins. You’re not the turtle. You’re not the hare. There’s nothing to win or lose here. You were vulnerable. You risked the spear. You stood naked out in the open to show your lover you had nothing to hide. But no one can make a trophy of your wound. Medusa St John the Baptist Goliath Anne Boleyn and Caravaggio. You are not one of these. You have not been beheaded. Your lover has nothing to mount on his wall. He doesn’t clutch your skull by the hair and swing it like a small moon he’s enslaved in orbit. Victory doesn’t pass through the gates of the treacherous. A battle cry isn’t the hiss of an assassin behind the door. A rattlesnake under the rosebush of your heart. Two months before you had his baby your lover cut the umbilical cord like a back alley midwife with a coat hanger not a sword and now you feel like a box kite tangled in your power lines and the spinal cords of short-circuiting embryos. There are drops of blood in God’s beard and you wonder with a shudder what he’s been eating. And you long for the future you dreamed of once in paradise before you discovered you were the second mother of Eden and Lilith was the first prefiguring demon of Eve’s curse. Don’t nurse this. Don’t try to suckle a black hole. Don’t put the Milky Way on the menu of a leech that’s attached to you like a full eclipse of the moon. You’re not the blood bank of an artificial rose. Cut the tongue out of the snake and either use it as a way to witch for water in hell or root it like lightning so deep in you it can’t do anything but flower in fire. And as for leeches. Shove a match up their ass and watch them drop away like scar tissue. And don’t give the blackflies any room on your stage. Not a line in your play. Not a make-up artist a green room or an understudy. Indifference is the best antiseptic to the feeding frenzy of maggots that feed on any open wound of the heart. Don’t make a nest of thorns and razorwire to hatch the atomic eggs of innuendo and rumour. Why answer the buzzing of flies with the shriek of an eagle? Or take any account of the opinions of the fleas on a plague rat? There’s no cross on your door in the morning that’s been white-washed by nocturnal visitations of purgative angels. The moon hasn’t been stolen from your window by the furtiveness of trusted thieves. You don’t need to shed your skin for a Kevlar vest nothing can penetrate to keep the mosquitoes from flagging your blood like junkies getting a rush off your DNA like the first link in the food chain. And don’t think you have to make yourself credibly edible to be attractive. Put mascara on the eyes of a peacock and you’ll end up with a likeness of an old school Gothic rock and roll ghoul. Truth and beauty are like space and time. You have to learn to trust both the way you do your eyes. There’s no focus to seeing anymore than there is for the blind that isn’t your own mind. Don’t pry your dreams open to get them to bloom early. And don’t abuse the delirium of your innocence for not heeding a warning it didn’t have the heart to hear. Experience isn’t a sleepwalker on a collision course with a rude awakening.

Did you taste the mirages in the raptures of water that effaced you when you went down to the river to splash the acids of your tears in the eyes of your reflection? Did the mirrors break all around you like the sound of a broken word that love could not bind? Did you fall in love with the passions that took you hostage like the Stockholm syndrome? Love is a terrorist without a cause. Love never asks for a ransom that anyone can pay. Now here you are demanding proof of life even as you’re laying flowers on Ophelia’s meandering grave. And there’s nothing to save. Nothing to redeem. No vows you can take to prevent what you’ve lived like a nunnery. You can smear lipstick on the spear head that you pulled like a love letter out of your wound but that won’t keep the chandelier of your smile from bleeding like over ripe cherries all over the ground. And I know you feel denounced rejected put down. Cheated of your heart’s desire by a wishbone that cracked like a liar at the crossroads and left you standing there like the road not taken. And yes it’s more merciless than a straitjacket when space turns into glass and all that tender-heartedness is trying to swim like a goldfish upstream through a glacier. Or put the pieces of your skullcap back together like a synarthritic ice-age looking for its ancestors in the archaeological remains of a future with a bigger brain pan than that canvas of stone you paint on now in your own blood. Put your hand up to the wall and let the selflessness of the negative space say I am for you. Without really knowing what you’re pointing to. Once and for all. Be the spirit of everything you’re missing. Lover. Happy home. Adoring children. Thirty feet of asphalt driveway and a garage full of unused gym equipment. Spit-paint your dreams in black carbon red ochre and blood. Put your brand. Stamp your seal. Paste your logo. Spray-bomb your graffiti under the bridge. Make it your temple. Your shrine. Your paleolithic Taj Mahal. Your cave of Hira in Ramadan. Your Mosque of the Golden Dome with musical stalactites calling the faithful to prayer. See what you need to see to push the fish hook of the moon through your eye to get it out. Realize that you are what you need to be at every moment in this cosmic enterprise of being you. Even when you’re in that unnamed place you go to when you fuck up in hell and neither heaven nor earth want anything to do with you look the dragon in the eye like a mother eagle not a hummingbird and protect what’s young about you and your children. Show the dragon how an enraged Medusa having a bad hair day of snakes can turn a dragon’s scales into the most delicate stone feathers pressed like keepsakes in the Burgess Shale. Be the oracular priestess of the snake pit. Trust what is whispered to you like the nightsea in a shell the colour of dawn. Respect the wavelengths of the bonds of loyalty among your stars. And don’t be overzealous to take revenge should you discover a sidereal conspiracy of black holes among those you once called friends. Effortlessly the great sky bends graciously toward its extreme ends.