Thursday, October 27, 2011



Night of creative annihilation.

Lightning and rain.

The lightning not a revelation.

The rain not enamoured of roots.

October exhausted by life.

The windows weeping in a frenzy of tears

as if someone took a scalpel to the sky

to give the mirror a facelift

and peel the cataracts off its eyes

like the withered skin of wild grapes

trying to turn their root rot into wine

too late too late too late

to intoxicate the chandeliers

with stars in the eyes of the fireflies

that have gone cold as the black dwarfs

in a monastery of burnt match heads.

I hear the nightwind howling like a dog

in a graveyard of lighthouses

for the dead master

who once took it in from the cold.

The apartment furnace

flares and hisses like a poppy of gas

with a black starburst like a spider

in the bottom of the goblet

like the last and the worst of the heritage toxins

I’ll be asked to drink to belong here with the dead.

My goldfish Toke

languishes on the bottom of the tank

like Ophelia drowned in her orchids and veils

shrouded in fins like the broken sails

of a long sea voyage we’ve been taking together

light years away from our point of origin

like wavelengths of poetic fire with a redshift

far into the wee hours of the morning

looking for a shore we could be washed up on

like two ghosts from the same lifeboat of milkweed

that haunts Perth this time of year

when the sea gives up its dead

with every drop of rain that falls.

I’m up writing myself to death

to quell the mutiny in my ranks

that would rather seek shelter

in an artificial paradise

than man this shipwreck

all the way to the bottom

of the foregone conclusion

of its last port of call.

And if my goldfish can still burn underwater

like a comet of white phosphorus

and I can manage to shine a while longer

like a first magnitude star off the prow

this might turn into a Viking funeral ship

cremated on a pyre of oars

or the firewalk of a phoenix

who got to the other side

without having to stop and talk to the fisherman.

Tired of listening to the atrocities of gossip

that leak like pcps from storage drums

into the watershed of a small town

as winter approaches

like a drunk ice age on the rocks.

Sick of watching beauty fester

like waterlilies along the banks of the Tay

like bud rot on a crop left too long in the rain

like the sour laundry of a rose that turned

sanctimonious and matronly

in the way it nurses its malignancy

like a worm in its heart that’s gone viral.

I put my ear down on the tracks

that pass by the Perth Memorial Hospital

and I swear I can hear the nightmares

on the nightshifts of the terminal

among the drunks and snakes and suicides

who lay here once like one-way tickets

waiting for the train to pass

like one long periodic sentence

of the last judgement of their lives.

Long before the train hit them

they fell on the words that fell from your mouth

like hand-grenades and i.e.ds

land mines and elitist meteors

who didn’t like dinosaurs

with their mammalian hors d’oeurves?

When some roses lose their beauty

from the inside out

they swell like rosehips into tumours

they sharpen their thorns

on one another’s psyche

and jealous of things that bloom

pop every full moon

that wanders into their vicinity.

Eclipses trying to renew their virginity in a snakepit

they bring tar and feathers

to plume the serpent that doesn’t fly

because dragons and closet arsonists

that live like smouldering root fires

aren’t on the same wavelength

and the smoke of their Promethean efforts

gets in your eyes

and smells just like the flesh

of cooked turkey vultures

who forgot that one of the functions of fire

was to kill parasites

that thrive on the bile in the livers

of the firegivers they’re not hot enough to defile.

Mississauga rattlesnakes under the rosebush of a smile

they try to shake their tails like kites

tied to the keys of the mystery

in an electrical storm

but they’re not real shamans

and it’s not the delusions

of the barnyard weathervanes

that wakes them up like false dawns

and calls the lightning down upon them.

Words are living creatures

animated by thought and feeling

to express what lies in the depths of us

like the moon among the corals

like archetypal lifeboats in Atlantis

with a bad sense of timing

that left them green and futile

on a dead branch of an apple tree in winter.

Al humaza al lumaza the Koran says

the backbiters and backstabbers

like one of the first worst things on Allah’s mind

go straight into the fire like venomous snakes.

Words are living creatures

animated by thought and feeling

and some get around like rabid foxes

and some attend to details

like the bacillus in the flea

on the back of a pet plague rat.

But tonight I like those

that can purge and cleanse

these oilslicks of feeling

that cling to me like skin

that wanted a tattoo of a black hole

in full eclipse indelibly.

It’s better when the butterflies

are talking to the dragons like friends

but that appals the spiders of discontent

who kiss your hand

and leave little red bumps

of the irritants they inject

even as they’re weaving webs

on the looms of their bodies

on a nightshift of life in a dark corner.

Boat-tailed grackles in a chimney full of creosote

or nightingales caught in your throat

I want my fathomless sea heart to be deep enough.

I want my boundless sky mind to be big enough

I can turn the reek of human malice

into the fragrance of a gust of stars

and let it drift down the mindstream

like smoke from sacred fires

and failing that tow the bad meat

with carrion souls

that keeps throwing itself down

everybody’s wishing wells

far out to see like surgical barges

that move like crocodiles full of body parts

and start a feeding frenzy among the sharks.

Blackflies of the mind.

Olaceous life leeches.

Dead meat maggots.

Grubs in the heart of the rose.

Tapeworms in the mutton of the flock.

Pestilential parasites.

Haven’t you learned yet

that indifference is the best insecticide

no place on stage

no part in the play

no lines

no minor characters

no understudies buzzing like reviewers

close to the emergency exit signs.

Just these dragonflies I send out

like C.I.A. drones on black ops missions

to clear the air the water the light the heart the mind

of your kind of carbon emission

that leaves a skidmark on life

as if you spoke through your assholes

like monostomes

and wiped your mouth

with your underpants

to add some class to the shit you thrive on.

Clear the air

to make more room for the stars.

Try to remember

lions don’t hunt flies

and you’re known as much

for the calibre of your enemies

as you are your friends.

Use all my dark energy

to accelerate into an enlargement of space

to leave the killer bees and red army ants so far behind

deprived of their voodoo dolls

they jab themselves to death like scorpions

caught in a ring of fire

that spreads like slander and gossip around them

that they were hoist by their own petard

to quote the bard.

Nemetic karma.

And taste in every sweetness of life

on the tines of their forked tongues

the sour notes of their own stingers

like splinters of broken glass

fouling the cadaverous honey

that oozes from the tumuli of their hives.