THESE LATE NIGHT SESSIONS WITH MYSELF
These late night sessions with myself
that crowd the world out
to make room for me to be alone
delinquently with myself
while the rest of the town sleeps,
barring a cabbie, a cop, the grocery clerk
that works at the all night Mac’s Milk.
My pillow’s a hive of killer bees.
I’m swarmed by the lethal trivia
of high-maintenance anxieties.
The picture-music’s running the rapids
in a jazzy clash of high hats
and I was hoping for something like Paul Simon.
The medium waits like a seance
for me to appear
like the message that was summoned.
Something resonates like a wavelength
from a tiny point in space
and calls me home like a Martian rover
though I can’t say for sure where I’ve been
like a shadow at noon
I know the sun shines at midnight
when I’m together enough again
to remember what I’ve seen.
And when the dawn makes the fieldstones
of the bank across the street
blush with pink
like some shrink’s idea of a more quiescent prison,
I’m pinching the wicks of all my feelings
like candles in the morning
just to see if I’m still awake or not.
Between now and then
I’m watching a poem evolve like a chromosome
that’s trying to make me up on the go
in a game of snakes and ladders
as one enzyme opens the door to six others
like a Chinese puzzle box
or a Higg’s boson particle accelerator
and after awhile I’m looking at the genome
of a mirror image of myself
that refuses to recognize me.
As if a dragonfly
crawled out of the chrysalis of a fortune-cookie
and spread its wings to dry
like a winning lottery ticket
that just went through the laundry
in effusive elations of wind and sky.
One grey thread
of stray cigarette smoke on my shoulder
and I accuse myself of having a love affair
behind my own back
with someone more exciting than I am
when I wasn’t looking
and walk out on myself swearing
I’ll never trust anyone like me ever again.
Vagaries of unconditioned consciousness
feeling the first continental shudders
of seismic archetypes
slipping their continental plates
like a bad clutch on a fault line
pushing their seabeds up to the surface
to expose what lurks beneath
on the highest slopes of a mountain top
just to call the poker-playing stars’ bluff
as they lay their constellations down
like the losing hand of a Japanese fan club.
In the timelessness of this aloof hour
when it feels as if I’m the only one left alive
to know how the town died in its sleep
and there’s no one out on the desolate street to tell
no one to call,
awareness is all
as I drift off disembodied into all my past lives
to ask them if they’ve got any clue
about where I went
and what I’ve been doing for the last ten years.
I’m a snowman waltzing in an ice storm
under the brittle chandeliers
of the brutal stars of the first of December.
Warm blood in a cold northwest wind
there’s a scent of wolf in the ravenous air
and a death panic in the hearts of the rabbits
who risk a nightcrossing of Wilson Street
out in the open under the noses
of the dozy heritage streetlamps.
The ice age perils of Pauline
tormented by Oil Can Harry.
Where does the dream begin
like a myth of origin
that keeps you awake
when the next firefly of insight
is going to appear in your rear-view mirror
as if you were being followed
by the ball lightning
of some great revelation of reality
that promises to return your eyes to you
as soon as it’s opened them to what isn’t there.
I’m sleepwalking like the Bolshoi Ballet across Swan Lake.
I’m miming the sidereal signage
of blind men with prophetic vision
like a journey man among master seers
with hundreds of billions of stars in their eyes
looking for a planet that’s human enough
to cry like this one sitting alone at a desk
for the enormities of starless sadness
that underwhelm the trophies of those
who’ve lived a life of risk
and were victorious long enough
to be able to squander a living on their own defeat.
A bull elk being run to death
through deep snow,
the cold air slicing its lungs
like frozen strawberries,
turning to face a wolfpack
rack to fang
to wound them into
respecting their noblest prey
with a last act
of self-destructive defiance,
incite a little wolf fear
in those who fear none
to return the compliment
water to water
blood to blood
heart to heart
as if all parties realized
from the very start
it doesn’t mean much
but it accounts for everything
and that’s the way it’s supposed to go down.