YOU WHO CAN FEEL
You who can feel the unborn future in your veins
giving breath to the dead.
You buried in the hollow-cheeked mirrors
of your prophetic skulls
that keep you like a secret to themselves.
You who risk disclosure
of the intimate details
of your ruinous solitude
and live under the whip of your self-discipline
and never cry out like a wounded rose in the night
to reveal the pain you’re enduring
just to feel you’re alive somehow
in a way that’s hard to imagine.
Merlin’s at the window again
and the wind and the leaves are stirring
and there’s a panicked madness in the air
as if someone just took a bite
out of the psychotic apple of the hawthorn
like the last chance to cure themselves of hydroponic rabies
like the coincidence of the contradictories
in a madman’s view of reality
as the black magic of quantum mechanical physics.
The cauldrons might vary in shape and size
from mighty amphorae on the bottom of the sea
who are as faithful as clay to the wine within
to the slim syringes that come unravelled
like little red ribbons of birthday blood.
But the fire and the vision remain the same
like lightning and rain above the graveyard willows.
The starless starless rain
and all those eyes it’s never going to open
like the loveletters of the irreconcilably estranged
to the deranged modalities of the legendary shapeshifter
that moves like the oviparous thought waves
of a sacred viper in a desert of stars
as if it were music to their hearts and minds and ears.
black as shark
and all these bleak flowerless tears
running down the glass cheeks of the windowpane
reflected in the storefront glory of the rain
behind the veils and chandeliers of toxic jellyfish
hanging like the head of Medusa
in the place of the dreamcatcher
that committed suicide
when it got caught lying to itself
about what it saw when the lights went out.
You who have chewed through your umbilical cords
to free yourselves of the trapline
by giving up a little to get away with a lot
I commend you on the severity of your enlightenment
and the alacrity of the shortcut you took
to come to this feast of clowns
so ill-prepared to break bread with you.
O dark presence at the gateless gate
I ask you to unhinge convention
and spare the innocent
your lack of discrimination.
I see the rags of the defeated
flying at half mast to remember
the ghosts of their surrender
the day the names of their gods died
in the mouths of refugee children
who’ve only known vipers of white phosphorus
not manna from heaven
to fall upon them in their exile
like word from above
in lieu of a myth of origin
that would take them in as one of their own.
Merlin’s at the window again
drawing kingly thoughts like metaphoric swords
out of the meteoritic damage
he did upon impact to his brain
just to get a few protein molecules started here
like Frankensteinian knights of the round table
seated like signs of the zodiac
in exoskeletons of Jurassic armour.
Comes a time to trade your scales in for feathers
and plume the serpent like Quetzalcoatl
and promising to return one sunny doomsday
like a comet to a prophetic s.o.s.
just get away
as fast as you can
anywhere you don’t have to receive
what people are willing to sacrifice
just to keep their lurid imagination
of who you are supposed to be appeased.
Leave them on their knees
in front of the corpses of their servile children
who played musical chairs around the altar
of the pointless martyrdom
of their parents’ worst fears
just to see who got pride of place
at their own execution.
Leave with tears in your eyes
like these windows if you must
leave like a kite someone let go of
leave like a bird before the snow.
Seek a space for yourself
that nobody knows of
in a nondescript constellation of black holes
with no appetite for the light
or the configurations on a starmap
that takes a mutant’s view
of the wingspan of your shining.
Merlin’s at the window again
under the cloud cover of his own unknowing
trying to divine those fireflies of insight
that set the lightning off like blasting caps
in the beaver dams around here
that keep the waterclocks from flowing on time
like the valves of a heart
without a lockmaster
to elevate the mindstream
with commonsensical winches and gates
into the creative mystery of the salmon pools
of crazy wisdom.
On the half-burnt pyres of the maple groves
smouldering in their own immolations
like bodhisattvic protests
to the Chinese occupation of tantric Tibet
fire eats the flesh and heartwood of the tree
like the rainbow bodies of enlightened rinpoches
but leaves the bones
like relics of the true cross
to a sky burial with lots of homeless birds.
O there are measures of madness
that are more spatial than lunar
that cast a wider net than moonlighting fishermen
to draw the stars up out of the depths
of their own darkness
where they’re blind to their own shining
because life like death and time
is a carrying on and a ferrying forth
like a radiance without eyes
into the void we come from
like lightning and rain
like fire and water
like insight and compassion
like apple bloom and ripened fruit
that can bring tears to a windowpane
that taste like sad elixirs
welling up in the eyes of an inscrutable magician
that knows it will be light years
of visionary wandering in the heart of the storm
before anyone realizes
the flash of the lightning in the eyes of the rain
dispels the shadows in a world of forms
that tempt us to back track on ourselves
as if retrogression in a decaying orbit
were some kind of planetary advance.
You there with your insect night vision
green as the seeing of a praying mantis
and you who wash your hair in fire
and you with your gasoline breath
and matchstick mouth
and you with the ion eyes
who stare blankly into the darkness
like a hole in the ozone
and you with the mailbox heart
shaped like a wholesome loaf of homemade bread
that eats its fill and makes you feel so empty.
Don’t let other people put words in your mouth
like bills and loveletters and junkmail placed
like sainted syllables and sacred wafers on your tongue
that say paradise is only a suitcase away.
Perdition is the human condition
that sent a death threat to itself
with the return address of a suicide note.
Symbols mutate into the tragic farce
of an unsalvageable religion
that took its lighthouse of a legend
way too seriously not
to be blinded by its own blazing
or listen to the warning bells go off
even as it ran up on its own Rock of Ages
fighting with the Taliban in the wheelhouse
about whose hand should be on the rudder of the ship of state
like another maggot who sticks his head
up out of the corpus delecti like a microphone
to announce he’s running as the butterfly candidate
to stand up for the rights of the corporations to be people.
Kneel down to this
and they’ll stick their steeple up your ass.