Saturday, September 10, 2011
YOU COME HERE TO DISCUSS YOUR WOUNDS
You come here to discuss your wounds like a political identity crisis because you think I have a way with words that makes you feel inspired to try your hand at healing. I remember when I first saw you looking at me with those two big witch hazel eyes that flowered as if they’d been raised on laser beams shot at the moon, not ordinary sunlight. I was up on stage at a poetry reading trying to address myself to the depth of the feeling I had for meaning what I said. That people have a right to eat what they sow with dignity in the starmud of their own bodies and minds whether it’s starwheat, tares among the lilies, orchids in the shadow of an outhouse under a full moon, or these black burnt roses you keep bringing me like the ashes of someone important you feel it’s crucial I get to know. And I keep asking, and I’ll keep on asking for your sake, what was so heretical about you that you did that to yourself? An auto de fe. The bouquet of a burnt matchbook quoted like the holy scripture of a fanatic to justify the ways of your mysterious self to you. Have you ever confessed to anything you didn’t torture out of yourself? Drunk gypsy doing a sacred sword dance with the scalpels of the moon. Rose of blood on a vine of razorwire. Pithia in the oracular snakepits of
Imagine what kind of story your life would make if you were to tell it to yourself as a child. Would you go to sleep feeling fulfilled or black holes emptier? Would the heroine teach you how to have compassion upon yourself in a way that heals everyone at the end of your trials and tribulations? Could you take the training wheels off your high-wire act and trust your own spinal cord for a sense of balance that bridges the abyss like the middle extreme? Would your life flow down the middle with intensity or would you hug the shore of one severity and leap from the precipice of the other until your fairy tale turned into a failed experiment? And even then would you see what there was to learn from it? That the nightmares shape us just as surely as our dreams do like the other hand of the potter on the wheel. And it’s not enough just to seek the eventual forgiveness of the dark because you’re pleased with its work. Try to be grateful once and awhile. Not everything was engendered by daylight. It’s not that I’m suggesting you walk on the dark side unless you want to and feel you have the footware for it; it’s just that sometimes if you intensify the night, stars emerge and everyone can see what there is that’s shining in you. They’ll make up stories about you as you shatter like a chandelier coming through the upper atmosphere. You can crash and burn on a cosmic scale and give rise to your own species like a creative cataclysm. Or you can anoint yourself the Black Queen of Killer Bees with a drop of holy snakeoil on your forehead to purge your third eye of the things it’s had to witness in a single lifetime that makes it wish it had been born blind. Everything was created in the likeness of everything else. Even when you fake it you’re imitating the universe in everything but yourself. Interdependent origination lends a wholeness to the body and mind that’s more than unitive enough to include the black holes as well as the new stars in the Great Orion Nebula. The dragons that afflict you are just what became of the butterflies whose chrysalis you forgot to kiss good night. They cast big shadows that loom mightily in your brain. But they can’t bite you without hurting themselves. Because it isn’t pain they’re after. It’s a more tender part in the story. A gentler oasis. A softer flying carpet. A more forgiving prayer mat than the one you’ve used so long to abuse yourself before the unknown. If you’re bad, then we’re all complicit. If you’re good, then everyone’s wise enough not to think it makes that much of a difference.