NIGHT OF CREATIVE ANNIHILATION
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.
Haven’t you learned yet
that indifference is the best insecticide
no place on stage
no part in the play
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
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.
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.