I’M NAILED IN SPACE
I’m nailed in space by counteracting forces. Paralysis. Dismemberment. A coincidence of oxymoronic circumstances. I know I’m being killed because I took my freedom as my birthright. I didn’t stoop to earn what was already mine. But right now my progressive liberal idealistic humanism has been trivialized by the gigantism of the sacrifice. And I’m tired of jumping out of planes and precipices without knowing whether I’ve got feathers or a parachute to back me up. Freefall. Racing Icarus to the bottom. They can bury my body parts in different parts of the kingdom as far as I’m concerned. I don’t even want to write. Any muse that gives me the eye I look at with resentment. I’m twisted by the crazy wisdom of a creative tantrum that overwhelms me like an electrical storm that abuses me more like a tv antenna than a lightning rod. Roses of blood on the vines of the razorwire. The great escape. My life is a joke that keeps me waiting for the punch line. But you mustn’t say that or someone will get the wrong impression and smell blood in the water. I’ve got to remember not to thrash around too much emotionally. I’ve got to stay as cool as the eye of a hurricane. I’ve got to put a bright happy face on things like a brand new reflection in a second hand mirror. Can’t show up in the morning of a new creation every day like the smear of a morning snail in the dawn. Sticky play dough covered in the decaying detritus of an unkempt garden. Try to act like a whole planet even when you’re living on the street among the asteroids.
No exit. No starmap. No affable demon with a suggestive way out. Maybe if I put shoe polish on my feet they’ll look like shoes. And I can tie knots in my snapped nerves and use them for laces. Or fishing lines with a live swan for a lure. Why am I writing this? Who is it to? What’s the good of sending an s.o.s. out to Atlantis. Or Mu? Or Pangea? I’m torn like a continent into different species of the same unzippered gene. Giant ground sloths and and proto-wolves already hunting in packs like killer whales. I keep writing loveletters in distress to extraterrestrial life forms but they read as if they drew for inspiration from the Burgess Shale. I have been spiritually disfigured by love and poetry. I’ve got three third eyes and an oversized windsock for a heart with a hole in it. I’ve been ordained a sacred weathervane. And the forecast for today? Crash and burn.
All my life I’ve known the humiliations of the destitute. The anguish of the caring mother in the kitchen trying to crack the koan of what there is to eat. Cosmic eggs and sacrificial meat. The judas-goats of piety. The void gnashes its teeth. The worthless father enraged by the drunken excruciations of ego and self-pity he’s going through by himself alone in the bitter bedroom. Squalls of ratty children with cold sores and ringworm the size of craters and lava flows you’d only expect to see on the moon. Dead seas and sunspots. Blasting caps and solar flares ready to go off like the Big Bang if the universe slight so much as a single atom of their air space. No one looks up when you fall from grace. And you don’t know why until a soliciting Sunday school teacher tells you you jumped. And if the Holy Ghost is within you even poverty shines and this isn’t a dump where you can’t flush the toilet. It’s a shrine. Point is. Poverty isn’t an economic condition that’s a sign of the times and the corruption of the rich who will always be with us. In the eyes of the Lord and his angelic hordes of social workers and in the seeing of those the Lord loves best who have enough or way too much. It’s a sin. It’s a fiscally superior reproach of your soul. You’re seven years old and already you’re cast out you’re evil you’re a pariah a leper a threat a scapegoat a plague rat a warning a burden a lesson to everyone else who thinks they’re better than you in what not to be. Who to avoid. Not what to avoid doing.
Boo hoo. So what? I said to myself. But that’s the kind of tough scar tissue you have to put on like the moon to keep face among so many death masks of yourself. By the time you’re in your late teens spring just seems like a lot of cut flowers in a cemetery where every gravestone bears your name. Intense heat. Unusual sprouts. And what’s not numb about you as you begin to thaw like a snake pit evolves into a strange empathy with weeds stray dogs and tragic acts of random chance. Your wavelengths stop flatlining like the entropy of social justice and rage lifts weights with your pulse. You’re dangerously alive. You stop spoonfeeding the phoenix its own ashes. You feel like an arsonist in a volunteer fire brigade. Peace with complicity seems like a maggot’s death compared to the tigers of wrath who die snarling. Cut a tapeworm enough slack and eventually it will hang you. The rent grows up inch by inch. How is it that the rich get to live symbiotically while the poor are forced to live like parasites? The gastronomy of economics. Are the poor why the rich suffer? A hungry man goes to bed with an empty stomach and all night long you can hear it prowling and growling like a jaguar in a zoo that’s pulled its fangs. A rich man goes to sleep on a full belly bulging like an anaconda that’s just swallowed the cosmic egg of a global corporation whole. But it doesn’t make the same kind of sound going down. More like the rasping of scales on satin sheets. More well mannered it puts its hand over the peeps and bleats of its victims.
My spirit longs for fireflies and stars by a lake where I can sit alone for hours and heal like water. I hate it when my scars open their mouths as if they were taking the stitches out of Frankenstein to see if he still knows how to smile. It’s human to want to feel that God’s in her heaven and all’s well with the world even when it isn’t. But it’s hell to forgive it if you’re sitting in the walled garden of an absentee landlord admiring the neo-gestural brushstrokes of the masterpiece flowers knowing there’s a hurricane of people raging around your third eye like a haemorrhage of poppies waiting for an ambulance that can’t afford to come because they don’t have a medical plan that covers them. I want to listen to the waves and the crickets and wonder like the smoke of old fires that have gone out what my ex-lovers are up to now. And how we ever thought we couldn’t come to this trying to evolve that many scales into a few feathers of love that would fly away with us like Pegasus at the beginning of a movie that promised to be uplifting and transformative. And who knows maybe it did change us somehow but instead of horses we took to the air like prayer rugs and flying carpets. Wavelengths of the sorrow there is in radiance. It’s soothing to think about these things. It’s a wild herb you can chew on emotionally and smear like a cooling ointment of the moon on your burns and wounds. You can spit antiseptically knowing it might do you some good. I love poetry but what good does it do in the world if it’s merely the opiate of a physician who heals himself while the poppies bleed out like children caught out in the open like terrorists in their infancy? And don’t call that silence when it’s an aesthetic sin of omission. You hear the nightingales and see the moon running down the blades of stargrass like a sacred syllable but you don’t hear the screams of the women and children. Or listen to the vows of violent men who’ve turned as cold in their hatred as the absolute Kelvin of silence and science.
For as long as I’ve been homeless I’ve been on a heretical crusade of one to liberate my human divinity from the profaned shrines of the holy land like the black dwarfs that became of the stars that used to shine way way off in the distance. I’m not a choir boy. I’m not a magus. I’m not a pilgrim. Even less so a prophet with the mouth of a furnace. And even if I did know. I wouldn’t tell. What’s the use of the truth in hell? It could only add to the agony. Who calls for an evangel when they need an exorcist? Who wears a charm bracelet of skulls and funeral bells to curse a wedding in the wilderness like a black mass trying to turn cool-aid into wine by uprooting the vines and blood lines of paradise just as it is right here where everything’s a sign of everything else? I don’t dance with angels on the head of a pin that’s stuck through the third eye of a voodoo doll in the arms of an abused child. There’s got to be fresh water ahead in this hourglass desert that no one’s ever drunk from before. A well that doesn’t know what wishes are because one drop of it’s enough to green the wounded rage of an angry planet for a lifetime with thornless thistles for the killer-bees. And hollyhocks for the hummingbirds. A secretly funded public fountain that can’t keep its mouth shut like birds giddy in the dawn of a new age that doesn’t taste like sewage. I was a revolutionary in the sixties because all elections felt like mass defections of what I was fighting for to me. I’m older now and revolution looks more like the evolution of reality tv to judge from the way it’s promoted as the truth. Revolutions like dictatorships happen because they can. The cause has nothing to do with the final effect. You can blame the sea the storm or the mermaids on the rocks for why things go down the way they do. But more often than not it’s the ship that’s the cause of the shipwreck. Things just drown in their own depths. The cause is the effect. Atlantis went down to Atlantis. And I look around today now that things have gotten a lot worse and I say without a doubt there are exceptions but I see how most of the leaders of humankind in politics business art and religion are monostomes. They defecate out of the same mouth they speak with. They reek like orchids at the back of an outhouse. Forty-one percent of the House of Representatives are millionaires. Every ten seconds a child dies of hunger somewhere in the world. And his brother gets even by eating his own. Starve a child. Breed a terrorist. Mosquitoes can adapt faster to insecticides that they can be invented. Bread and circuses used to work to keep the population docile but now there’s a lot of circuses but no more bread. It’s exactly the same as when I was a kid. Some fat toad’s sitting on the garbage can lid complaining about water lilies to a swamp full of corpses and crocodiles. Carrion in the well. Carrion in the watershed. Carrion on the wind and in the cloud and rain overhead. Unforgivable. Unforgiving. And the dead still smell far better off than the living.