O LADY WHAT WOULD IT TAKE
O Lady what would it take to get you to believe
I’d say almost anything to get into your pants
those lips those eyes those hips those thighs
those breasts like new snow on the mountain slopes
and that marachino cherry ass of yours
so self-possessed that it never leaves anyone in any doubt
when it leaves the room
who’s sitting on top of things
and what someone with a business sense for beauty
looks like when she’s got her shit together.
O Lady you’d know right away
if I weren’t willing to lie to you,
mythically inflate the truth,
bend space into gravitational eyes,
turn my black holes into wishing wells
and release thousands of fireflies like political prisoners
to convince you of how sincere I am
you should have a national anthem of your own
I would be far more culpable in your eyes
of being a dull boy as my mother used to call me
whenever I asked her to explain something
that everyone understood
couldn’t be put into words
like a feel for life
that touched its black and whites lightly
like the music at your fingertips
that never needed to consult the truth
like a voice coach
to hit those high notes an octave of silence
higher and lower than the stars in its throat
nesting like birds in the chimney.
Paddy, she’d say, don’t be a dull boy
and I could almost taste what she meant.
So if my tongue doesn’t stick to the truth like flypaper
blame it on my mother.
I’m just trying to be kind to butterflies
when I bait the traplines of the truth
with the third eyes of sapphire dreamcatchers
I hung over the dowdy windows of the sky
like thirteen houses of a whole new zodiac
you can firewalk through like the moon
without burning your delicate blue feet
with their morning glory skin on the stars.
O lady what would it take to get you to believe
that just because I add a little mystic charisma to the mix
and sugar coat my tongue with fireflies
and the pollen of wild irises
just to add a little lustre to the honey
I’m not just another witchdoctor in a trance of tinfoil
casting for mermaids on the moon like Captain Hook.
What an offence to a work of genius
if the truth just stood there like a mediocrity
without any superlatives in its vocabulary
to go any deeper into the inner vision of the artist
who mastered his solitude
by painting you in the flesh
than to put it under a microscope and say
at least he got the eyes right.
Why blight a ripe tomato in the sun
with forebodings of the obvious
when its skin is as smooth and spotless as yours?
If I take down the rotten curtains
of an abandoned one room school house
like spider webs from an obsolete star map
and replace them with the veils of the Queen of Heaven
and the cool mulberry silks of the aurora borealis
that whisper like ancient wavelengths of night
whenever the wind blows through them
like an eerie lyric of longing and light,
I’m not mixing rainbows and oil slicks
to artificially purple the truth with wild grapes
to take the spit and vinegar out of it.
I’m not washing the windows in wine
just to dazzle the sky with my polish.
Who approaches any ideal of beauty and lust
like a cleaning rag
and asks it to wipe its make-up off
as if somehow holding up a face like yours to a mirror
were a way of lying to it?
Flowers aren’t afraid of colourful metaphors
and the truth isn’t always a Protestant.
Sometimes it’s an apostate pagan behind a mask
that rains on it own ghost dance
like a watercolour at dawn.
O Lady what’s it going to take to get you to believe
that when the moon breaks through the crowns
of the ironwood trees like the white goddess
undoing her bodice in the sacred groves
where she goes to renew her virginity
among the unicorns dipping their horns
in their own toxicity
like a taste of their own medicine
to temper the heat of the waters
before she gets in
the nightbird on her cold shoulder
isn’t bearing false witness because it sings.
What shepherd moon of your beauty born so lowly
that he would approach
the lapis lazuli Bull gates
of the Whore of Babylon in prose?
Who talks to the moon
as if they were grazing a herd of goats in the Colosseum
when they know she’s listening for wolves in the wild
that know how to howl like unrequited lunatics
for the muse of the madness that inspires them
to go crazy under her window?
Would it be anymore plausible
if I showed up every moon rise
with a choir of frenzied Luna moths
flapping their wings against the bug screen
like castanets in the hands of wallflowers
looking for someone to dance with
to laud your candlepower
like a Byzantine scholar
with a vocabulary of mechanical birds
who can’t wait to get into you
like a third-degree burn
in the urns of the ashes of the truth?
O Lady what would it take to get you to believe
that there are some rare moments in life
when the truth can’t be expressed
by a middling ghost writer with a pen in his hand
fiddling for the main theme of a journalistic novel
to record his encounter with epiphanous beauty
like an interview with the ocean
he swallowed hook line and sinker
from the dry fountain mouths
of credibly quotable unnamed sources?
Sometimes it takes a poetic heretic
half out of his mind with desire
to step over the line
out of sync with the choir
and drag his own stake to the fire
to do it the justice it deserves.