Tuesday, August 23, 2011


On this dark night one by one together or alone may these words find your windowsill like whole notes and night birds and say something soft and kind to the singing-master of your voice that’s lost the heart to raise it again in praise of the art that you’ve made of your life. You may be looking through a starless window right now but it isn’t a starless life that misses the light. Shine. And give your eclipses equal time. You don’t need to seek the eventual forgiveness of the dark when it hasn’t committed a crime. Don’t accuse yourself of an innocence that’s still strong enough to be hurt by the things you’re open to. The tree stands out in the field to greet the lightning knowing in that one moment of contact there is so much bliss in kissing the head of the cobra you realize how intensely you live when you run the risk of being destroyed and you’re not. Hasn’t it always been so with the lovers of the world who divine something in their nature that transcends its contradictions heresies and conventional convictions with the rarity of their own humanity? You are not flotsam. You are not jetsam. You are not salvage scattered along an impoverished coast that lives by stripping the dead of their lifeboats. May these words bury the drowned sailors with gold earrings dangling from their earlobes like small planets in orbit and whisper something mystically intimate over their graves. The hunter home from the hill. The sailor home from the sea.

We antagonize our lives until one day they turn the darkness around on us and surprise of surprises savage us as if we worked harder than we needed to to deserve it. We punish ourselves prophetically for things we haven’t done yet. You can hear the air raid sirens of the future screaming in bedlam from wherever you are on the earth tonight. The angels are assigned to painting the plague-doors and the banshees get to howl at the windows like death masks come to fit their faces to the original. It’s not so different from now. Even what we’re living right here this moment came with a warning yesterday that we didn’t abide. That’s how you get to the other side. If you’re a great spiritual warrior you build a bridge like the Canadian Army in Afghanistan and let that do the talking and the walking for you. If you’re still more apprenticed to the truth than you are compassion. You build a life raft. And when you get to the other side you pick it up like a new religion and carry it around like a turtle on top of your head for the rest of the duration as if you’d been saved from something you knew wasn’t true. Hallelujah. You’re an ark without immigrants stuck in the Taurus mountains with no way of coming down. A lost cause is the theme song of a noble exile that has condemned themselves to solitude to keep from coming face to face with the hard bitter truth of a self-inflicted wound. It’s the lost cause that catches on like a black sheep the shepherd’s gone to look for not the other ninety-nine that won. Every act of creation is the destruction of the way things are. You wound the pristine whiteness of the blank canvas everywhere in harmony with itself with a slash of cadmium red whether you’re wielding a paintbrush or a scalpel. A rose of blood in the snow. Your passion bleeds out. Do the slain ask forgiveness of the slayers? Is the sacrificial Judas-goat the natural prey of God? When have the sins of the people not been blooded by false messiahs talking of peace with swords under their tongues? Wherever whoever whatever you’re looking for tonight banging your head on the doorframe of an empty room to keep the ghosts at bay or staring long and hard at these words just outside your window trying to make up for the lack of stars may they ease the agony awhile with cool herbs of light. May these words offer you new grails for the older ones that are bleeding out. I cast them out like spells like seeds like cures like meteors with upgraded DNA in their nickel-iron cores. I cast them like Persian violets out of the vertigo of a Sufi dancing at the crossroads of the sun because in the desert the gender of the sun is feminine. And the moon is a masculine cross dresser. I throw these words like swords of tribute into your sacred mindstream from the middle of the Rainbow Bridge here in Perth one warrior to another who knows that water is a higher path to follow than blood. I despair when I think these words might not do you any good. To be enlightened by a comet is not as good as being enlightened by a star but that doesn’t mean it blazes a trail for nothing. Make of it as you will. But make of it. Something. Your own. Without reference to anyone. A species of flower that blooms once only seventy-six years by the light of Haley’s comet. If there is a God consider the endless possibilities of what that might mean to her. A new way of looking at her own creation. She looks at it through your eyes and sees what you mean about living the way you do. Before you how could she have known? It’s hateful to be alone when you’ve already been alone too much. Make yourself up and get out on stage. Everyone’s a born actor. What are you doing sitting alone by yourself in the audience waiting for the play to begin? Let yourself in on what your heart is saying to the blind. You just took the play off the stage to play witness to your mind. But the play is less clear to the audience than it is to those on stage. Turn the page like an apple blossom a butterfly Queen Lear junk mail an obsolete calendar with all the eclipses crossed out like plague doors the last diary entry of a suicide or the Doomsday Book and whether you’re the villain or the heroine of the story express yourself to the utmost as if that were just as true as anything else in a spontaneous universe where evolution is the improvisation of a mutant not a shining example of the way things are. Be a rogue star and forego your place in the scheme of things. You don’t need to design a wardrobe for a dream out of hip high-fashion magazines. Expose it naked if you must. Expose it to art. Expose it to lust. Expose it to the shock of cemeteries and the people on the street waiting for the same long sleep to shame them back into life so they can reveal who they were to us like a spiritual kind of lap dance that expects a big tip and a signing bonus. One risk in seven has a chance of not getting snake-bit by the dice. But seven come eleven. Roll them again. Win lose or draw the danger’s not in vain. Your hands are warm and your breath is lucky. Why drop out of sight like a window when you know there’s nowhere you can hide the sky? All those stars that depend on you to keep looking at them are a dead give-away. What cause could ever be lost if the final effect is a universe that stops like a stranger at your gate and asks you for your blessing and your curse as if both resided in the same shrine like time and space and the Janus-faced hinges that turn both ways when you let someone in? Or someone out? Bliss and pain are the same breath. The same lover you turned away is the lover you summoned. He came. He went. He heard what you had to say. Saw what you had to show him. You breathe love in and then you breathe it out like roses and blood and oxygen. Worthy of joy are you unworthy of lament? Sorrow doesn’t wear a widow’s weeds or wear a veil of snakes to hide her face from the light like a black mirror that’s afraid of turning to stone. There might be frost on the sundial but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gypsy poppies deep within you in full bloom fore-telling the misfortunes of blue bloods that abuse the heart. You can mistake the prophetic skull of the moon sometimes for the lustre of a pearl of great worth and when you discover how your eyes have lied to you go diving among the corals for another that’s just as forsaken as the first. You can learn to breathe underwater through the silver gills of the moon as if you were swimming through stone. You can usher shipwrecks to their final resting place on the bottom and inflate the tales of your descent into the depths of yourself like water wings on Atlantis. Or you can make a lifeboat out of a bubble of nothing in a denser medium than the uninhibited sky you used to fly in and learn to float until you break back into your own atmosphere like a cat burglar at a second-storey windowpane. On this dark night you can be the thief that steals the moon back like the cosmic glain from the snake that swallowed it promising to make it rain on the dry sea beds of the dead. You can plant the skull and crossbones in the moonscape of your lunacy to take possession of it and go on robbing shadows of their cargo with the one good eye you’ve got left that doesn’t need to be patched by a spiritual eclipse until it’s healed under the scars of its eyelids. You can keep it open until the rest of us can see in the dark nearly as clearly and as far as you can.