I SEE YOU LITTLE BROTHER, LITTLE ASP
I see you little brother, little asp, little junkie-adder.
You slide silently and slyly through the grass.
A single wavelength
but with just enough sting
to burn somebody’s ass,
nip them in the heel
and drag somebody down
into the underworld with you.
Compassion makes me look like a fool to you.
People feel sorry for you
and then you twist it like a blade
you think of as your edgy intelligence
and they end up feeling
like the dupe of their own best ideals.
And yet your power base,
that little charge you give your ego
as if you just hit the enemy submarine
and you were exalting
in that mean little smirk of glee
that squirts out from the corners of your eyes
while you’re machine-gunning the survivors,
that kind of power is strategically weak
because it depends upon
the approbation of its inferiors
for a mythically inflated estimation of itself.
You shouldn’t underestimate your enemies
but you shouldn’t overestimate yourself either.
What you lack, little brother, is clarity, accuracy.
You hide behind those heavy eyelids of yours
as if you were competing with rose-petals
and there’s an ambivalent scent
of patchouli oil in the air
mingled with just a touch of agent orange
to begin defoliating the rain forests in the room
to prove you know where everybody’s at
better than they do
but they can’t know you because you’re so deep
your mystic cloud of unknowing
has turned into mustard gas
the wind can only come near at its own peril.
Are you some kind of black hole
that’s got to suck the light out of the hearts
of the people around you
as if it were a privilege you accorded them
to let them care
you found a new way to degrade the darkness
by what you’re doing to yourself?
Every friend you’ve got
feels like collateral damage
because they loved you at one time or another
well enough in the midst
of their own frailties and catastrophes
to want to see better things for you than you do.
But what’s the point of all these oases
holding out real water to you
while you wallow in that mirage of star mud
like a dry wishing well
looking for something to drink on the moon
that tastes like nectar
in the land of the lotus-eaters in pill form?
You want to drink stars
out of your own hands
and blood out of everybody else’s skulls.
Little brother, there you are again
sitting on my couch pendulously
going through one of your famous
retrograde Martian mood swings
trying to give that grandfather clock face of yours
that went geriatric before you were forty
a face-lift by insinuating
anyone that finds the least fault in you
because you won’t do the job for yourself
is as hopeless and pathetic as you are
and when you shift it into second
on your mountain gears
when you really get going, worse.
But I’m not going to
exorcise, curse, demonize, pariah, or cast you out,
or try not to understand you
because the one thing about love
that’s impervious to someone like you
is that it’s got more antidotes on hand
than you’ve got poison
whether you bite them in the heart
or release it drop by drop into their ears
from one of your fangs like a morphine drip
beside that hospital bed
we’re always adjusting for you
so you can see yourself from another angle,
or dew from the last crescent of the moon
from the tiny tusk of that spider
that sits in the middle of your dream catcher
and puts you into a coma
where you hallucinate
you’re drinking soma in the company
of Indo-Iranian gods
as it sups on your body fluids
like an oil rig over the amphora of a fly.