Monday, August 15, 2011


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.



On the cold side of the fire

where the poor sit

there’s more magnanimity in a maggot

than there is in a tapeworm.

At least you can see it.

It doesn’t eat alone in the dark

like a midwife with a garotte around a child’s gut.

It swarms.

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

in your duck-billed running shoes

and your strategic hair do

trying to rap about poverty around my oil-drum

when your daddy’s a slumlord

that’s enslaved half the neighbourhood to the rent

and you’re the latest issue

of a rich man’s brat

laid like the egg of a wasp

on the forehead of a caterpillar

that could have been a butterfly

if your daddy hadn’t eaten her out of house and home

before she had a chance to bloom?

Do you feel like the guest with the most

after you’ve eaten the host

like a parasite?

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

to show up here

like a cross-dressing closet in disguise

among people huddled in Salvation Army overcoats

with their hands and feet to the fire

burning fashion magazines to stay warm?

All these people sleeping on cardboard

and you show up here

like a giddy girl at a pyjama party

with your embroidered pillow and your flying carpet

for a stay over with the homeless

to make yourself feel real

by living off their nightmare

to fulfill your dream of becoming a rap star

by forging your credentials

like counterfeiters in the spring

as if all this suffering

were just a fashion statement without the bling.

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

that you’ve got to resort to identity theft

by stealing from the little the poor have left?

Don’t you have one of your own

parked in a three car garage?

Don’t you have a mirror at home

that can lie to you like a girlfriend

who’s been sleeping around with your homies

like a credit card on a shopping spree?

Did you buy those holes in your jeans?

Were you wounded in a robbery at the foodbank

or did you wear them out

trying to make ends meet like a welfare mother

wondering how to feed her family on three magic beans?

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

acting as if you’ve had it as rough

growing up as an anti-hero with a safety net

like a high wire funambulist

pulling strings

whenever you took a fall

like a spider-web of uncut umbilical cords

as these in a snakepit of downed powerlines?

What did you come here for?

You just another national anthem

slumming with the theme-songs of the poor

as if you got a whiff of real life

humming along with a garbage-can?

I don’t like you man.

I don’t like the way

you attire yourself in the skins of your victims

and wear your logos as if they were prison tats

you could buy at any department store

instead of earning them?

And what are those?

Stick on scars

you got from a package of bubble gum

so can look tough on the cover of your album

like ten thousand other rap stars

from the wrong side of the zodiac in Tinsel Town?

Hey baby

maybe they’ll put your star

on the walk of fame in Hollywood

right next to the bag lady sleeping

like the embryo of a voodoo doll on a heating grate

as if she were back in the womb again

and you can say you earned your name on the streets

like a false water mocassin

you fooled them into not treading on

by imitating the real thing

as if you had sting

not just the latest app for your cellphone.

It’s not cool to be a legend of light anymore

so what’s a prince of darkness like you doing

trying to pimp himself up like a constellation

that walks on water

and talks like fire

when you ought to be getting down

with the next generation of the deprived and the depraved

like a mugshot

a rose of blood

and a chalk outline

on the cemetery sidewalk

with its anonymous headstone

that leads to a grave nobody puts flowers on?

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

that you come on like the shining example

of a black hole to atavistic children

who envy your car rims

like steering wheels

that took their lives

into your own two hands

and drove like a golden chariot through the slums?

Hey goof

what’s a spoof like you

doing down here with your ear to the slang

trying to get the demotic patois of poverty down just right

like the language of people without a voice

who had to learn to talk to themselves

because you and your Daddy

and all the rest of your infestation

didn’t give them a choice?

And where’d you hire your girlfriend?


She looks like a cross

between Billy Holiday

and Amy Winehouse

singing Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot

on the stern of the Titanic.

What’s she supposed to be?

Tinkerbelle on angel dust?

A talented trophy awarded a starlet

in a look-a-like contest

trying to elevate

the living conditions of the destitute

to the catwalks of the runway and the stage?

When has their ever not been an age

when the fashion plates of parasites like you

didn’t make a career out of human suffering

by imitating their symptoms like money?

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

that you hang around here

like the noose of a tapeworm

trying to come on like a bad executioner

when you know there’s nothing to eat but pain?

You’re not a head hunter.

You’re just someone

who likes to shrink the brains

of the underfed

while they’re still children.

You’ll do what your Daddy did for a living

because you were raised and bred to it.

You’ll sit down at Thanksgiving

and carve up the world

according to familial protocol

and thank the Lord for giving it to you

as if the food

you took out of a child’s mouth

were manna from heaven

for living the good life.

And you’ll say that you know

what it’s like to be down and out

because you’ve been there

and you’re an expert

but when an ad comes on tv

showing a child too numb with hunger

to brush the flies from her eyes

you’ll make a grand gesture

and pass on the custard.

Hey goof

what kind of spoof are you

who thinks he can stand around my oildrum

and warm his hands alongside the destitute

as if we all went to the same church

and heard the same sermon?

Do you really think those threads you’re wearing

make you bullet proof

or are you just looking for a few more holes

to make you look convincing?