Monday, September 26, 2011


You’ve got to learn to let it glow.

Cool bliss.

Ride the dragon.

The sun god’s chariot.

Not come undone like Icarus

over-reaching everybody’s best advice.

You know how to plunge

let go

but I can’t remember the last time

I saw you rise

or even try to hang on.

Yesterday you were gold

and today you’re the ore

and it feels as if you’ve had your heart ripped out

and there’s nothing precious about what’s left.

Take space from space it’s still space.

Who needs to put a gold ribbon around it

to prove there’s a gift inside?

Diamonds are born in the darkness

not the light.

The root’s more crucial than the blossom.

Alcohol, women, valium, sleeping pills, coke,

I know you’re a martyr to your body and your mind

and that cauldron of a heart you used to hover over

like a cloud around a visionary mountain

seeing things the rest of us could only guess at

has turned into a pharmacopoeia of sprites and goblins.

How many paths are you going to let yourself

be lead down by the nose

before you realize

they all leave you blind at a crossroads?

No starmap.

No windsock.

No astrolabe.

No compass.

No weathervane.

You’re immanentally on your own

with the rest of us here

apprenticed to the greater magic of the mind

that keeps casting spells upon us

it takes the transformative traumas of life to break.

So we can grow.

So we can get out of the egg

whether it’s a cosmic glain

a fortune cookie laid by a bird of ill omen

or the opal of a hummingbird.

So we can shed our skin our sky our myth

our preconceived attachments to a self

that promises one sip

of the snakeoils of death and desire

and you’ll fall in love forever

with wild dancing girls

swaying under their veils

like mirages on the moon.

And what a feeble affair

if life ever needed a why to live.

Who knows why?

For the fuck of it.

For the ride.

Because it’s inconceivable

that it’s being done everyday

in the most sublime and trivial ways

by people who say they can’t.

I’m not trying to scold your heart.

Or renew your burnish in an acid bath.

In Zen they say the mind is an artist.

Able to paint the worlds.

But that doesn’t mean

it just paints things you like to see.

When do the stars ever get to choose

what they shine down upon?

Stop strolling through the galleries of life

like some aesthetic voyeur

with a monolithic view of prophetic vision

discussing the relative merits of this and that.

Turn your lucidity around like an inner light

and illuminate your own masterpiece

like a work in progress you’ll never complete

because only the mediocrities

assess their successes in life as fait accomplis.

Real genius risks nothing less than everything all the time

for nothing

for the unattainable

knowing that failure’s a truer measure

of the ongoing attempt to avoid

the inexpressible outcome of its creative intensity

by filling all that dark abundance up

with the bright vacancy of a shapeshifting universe

than the self-contained success

of the goose that laid the golden egg

but couldn’t peck its way out of it.

I can’t imagine a river anywhere along its flowing

whether it’s hoisting the garbage barges of a city

up on the shoulders of its waves

or sporting yachts like feathers in its cap

thinking of itself as a loser or a winner.

Rain on a garden.

Rain in the gutter.

Is this successful

and that a failure of water?

And truth to tell

even the mirages can’t be held to blame

if you fix on them like a picture-frame

or a walled garden with no gate

that anyone can enter by.

They disappear like planetary atmospheres

that didn’t want to be held that close.

Mirrors with wanderlust.

But in your disappointment with life

isn’t that water?

Aren’t those real tears?

How can anyone or anything

within the expanding precincts

of these worlds within worlds

be considered false or lost or lacking

in this space where even the lies come true

and grow and bear fruit

rooted in their homelessness

like the thresholds of stars

leaving themselves

and the past behind

in all directions at once

as if the only future available to them

as for all of us who shine

whether we grope through the darkness

like a candle or a galaxy

a flash of lightning

or the merest hint of a firefly

is to open our eyes and see.

The drunk in the doorway is not junk mail.

And the ceo in the board room

dictating loveletters to his secretary

is not the last word in self-promotion.

If the mountain weeps

it’s not because it feels

it’s let down the ocean.