Tuesday, July 31, 2012



Solitude and silence. The emptiness of the living moment
subsumed in the mundane middens of the soul, clam shells
and sheep bones, the shucked content of the heart
cherished again as the afterlife of the evidence
I once lived here along with everyone else.

Before I write, this archaeological seance I hold with myself,
this ingathering of everyone I’ve ever been
flowing back into me where the mindstream meets the sea.
The continuous stillness of this contiguous awareness
where everything is a symbolic event in a dream
trying to wake up from itself to set the dream people free.
Emotional effusions of the moon bleeding among the coral.
Solar flares of conceptual insight returning like ingrown hairs
to the source of their deception like unwanted children
though I’ve franchised orphanages all over my mindscape
to shelter my rational thought from the persecutions of my intuition.
Serpent’s tongues that have been struck by black lightning
humming like a choir of tuning forks half a note off
like a lie they told God, they’ve been living ever since.

No piety. But a natural kind of reverence for the life of the mind
breathing me in and out of my body like a bellows
trying to boil spiritual gold out of my default metal of lead
as things begin to heat up like the tongue of a sword
on the anvil of my voice. And by that I know
prophetic heads are going to roll on the growing edge
of an imaginative insurgency nothing flammable with life
can resist for long. I know anything I say about this,
if experience hasn’t cooked you in the same cauldron
I was born in, will seem unpatently absurd, but then
so are thermals in the open fields just before sunset
and the hawks that ride them for the sheer joy of airing their wings
unpertrubed by what’s moving in the grass down below.

Infinite grammars. Myriad alphabets. Space talks in tongues.
Everything that is lives and isn’t intelligent, but intelligence itself.
Chaos the mercurial cornerstone of an order that’s lost
the rhythm of life trying to syncopate its heartbeat
to the unmusical paradigms of stone-eared preconceptions.
I see crows with rubies in their beaks as if
they’d just isolated the gene for symmetry.
In this miasmic swirl of images and wavelengths,
third eyes coalescing like starclusters
out of clouds of unknowing breaking into light,
and the shadows they cast no less prepossessing,
how uninhabitable I feel as a planet hoping the night
will prove me wrong and make all things
communicable and clear as a mother tongue
I’ve been speaking for years without knowing it
even when I exile myself like the sacred syllable
of a native son wandering the earth like a rootless tree.

And there, do you see that constellation rising
like a distillation of the starmud I’ve walked in all my life?
Doesn’t it make you want to dance under it with the wind
like a chandelier you’ve thrown rocks because it’s beautiful,
as if someone were standing in it like a window
with the elevated perspective of the Pleiades
shining down in equanimity upon its desecrants
as if by their fruits you shall know the luminous generosity
of a windfall of light that falls at your feet
as if someone were germinating star sapphires in your bloodstream
to give you something higher to aspire to
than just teaching fire how to swim through the blues?

Inside the allegory. The logic of metaphor.
Hidden harmonies in synchronous pictographic fields
that resonate like cave paintings with otherworlds
that are not occluded by the imposition of space and time.
The younger ore of the outer world smelted down
like imagistic strokes of luck into the visionary elders
that transform them in the fires of their imaginations
into the igneous bloodlines that pour out of them
like the mystic metals of swords descended from ancient stars
that can give and take life at the same time
in these homeless realms of sacred ambivalence
before the dark mother tempered the forms she engendered
in tears that broke like the waters of a docetist womb.

Things here don’t relate like thought-trains on parallel lines
that never meet, whatever the destination, they associate
like chords and keys you can hear with your eyes
and see with your ears in a synteresis of the senses
that wash up on the shores of cosmic, island consciousness,
all wavelengths of the same inexhaustible oceanic mind
that doesn’t make things appear so much as emerge
like species efflorescing into the medium they’re working in.
Alloys of light and earth. Hybrids of water and fire.
The sky calling its birds. The river its fish.
And the longing of time in the mouth of the earth
to call us out of the starmud and bathe us in the rain
gentled out of her atmospheric acids so as not to burn
the tenderness she lavished on us like eyes and skin,
a new kind of shining to enhance the radiance of the stars,
light upon light in the skulls of the unbegotten ancestors.

This is the morphological matrix of knowledge forms
shaped to the organs of perception like neuronic synapses,
enjoining efferent axons to the walls of nervous villages
waiting for the news of what they’re experiencing
from the abstract receptors of oracular impulses,
construing the world as a dendritic grapevine
tendrilled like Celtic silverwork throughout the mind
rooted in space as the closest similitude
to the emptiness that is the ground of its being
and the great commingled watershed of its subconscious commons.

The simpler the window, the cleaner the view
so I attend to my seeing like a nightwatchmen
attends to his own eyes like the glow of a lantern
warns and reveals the shadows of his presence in the darkness.
Eye to eye with the sky at either end of the telescope
things of the world are things of the mind,
cosmology the bubble-brained psychology of the multiverse.
And there are some nights, waiting for a poem
to bloom like a flower in the flames of my intensities,
I swear I can overhear from stars away
the exhilarated echoes of alien voices ruminating
on how we might have changed the gestural expressionism
of our shapeshifting, river-turning, morphotic souls in their absence.

Probable concourses of multiplicitous insights
into the jewel I’m turning in the light of my mind
like the sun and the moon at midnight and noon
when the measure of words is the wingspan
of whatever sky I happen to be flying in
like comets and birds and maple-keys
that have unlocked my heartwood and set me free
to blossom like an alphabet on a pilgrimage of trees,
to express myself like an inconceivable wind
with wings on my heels in the hermetic shrines
of this unearthly solitude, this estranged silence.




I love the world the way a mother loves a dead child
and sees its ghost everywhere.
I look at the stars and more and more
I see the disappointment in their eyes.
We waste each other like clear cut forests.
In the sacred groves where the priests
are the birds of death, you’re either
a chainsaw or a nail protesting a passion play.
Ever since the last lyric died an agonizing death
poems have become gadgets
in the hands of inventors without fingerprints.
No growth rings in the heartwood of a dead tree.
Tone-deaf door-knockers who write poetry
as a kind of white noise to drown out
the shrieking of the innocent in their crawl spaces.

Chronic renewal of one-eyed overviews.
Most people’s lives are just big enough lies
they’ve told themselves often enough
to believe there may be something to it.
Wounded earth, I weep for you like a slayer
weeps for the slain. You were not my mother.
You were my child. Nemetic humanity
raises its own assassin in paranoid despair.

Measure of the mighty in the power of a dam,
how easy it is to forget the omnipotence
of a drop of rain. It’s still possible to open
cosmic gates of the aviaries and let
all the winged horses fly free and riderless
like the silk paratroopers of the milk weed pods
or the albino umbrellas of smouldering dandelions.
But for the most part
beauty and truth lost heart long ago
and were turned out like fashionistas
on the celebrity catwalks of surrealistic irreverence
and now the peony is wearing the thorns of the rose.

I still go out at night far from town by myself
to amuse the stars with my humanity,
the dents in my shining, the legends of light
I turned into black farces of self-righteous fallibility
as if I had acquired the power to reverse
a diamond back into coal. The mourning dove
studies the occult magic of the crow
and the sacred clowns look for enlightenment
in their shame, in the irrelevant antics
of the painted tears that fall from their eyes
whenever they address themselves
like mirrors in a green room putting their make-up on.

Been in the tide of this night sea of awareness
so long now, I’ve developed a tendency
to round the sharp corners of the crucials
out into more spherically embrasive wavelengths,
kinder pieces of sand-blasted glass
to insulate myself exponentially from the details
as if a full moon were some kind of antidote
to its own fangs and the harvest wasn’t toxic.
But I know I’m only trying to divine my way
by white lightning on the moon illuminating a road
as wide as everywhere. And my childhood rage
is stilling tearing down gates and fences
around open fields where the wildflowers bloom
without starmaps, and the bounty of the earth
isn’t a menu that determines your place in the foodchain.

Poetry’s been the longest good night I’ve ever experienced
and life the deepest, most gracious bow
to all the people, events, and things I’ve ever cherished.
Not too hard to see the lowest common denominator
of all values has become a quantum mechanical lottery
and physics is just a screening myth
for what gets murdered along the way to the promised land.
Enculturated to our own pollution like fish,
though we swim out as far as the spring equinox in Pisces
to pour the universe out of the universe,
worlds waterclocking into worlds, still
after washing ourselves off in stars like water and sand
seeping into our graves like the mirage of an oil spill,
we’re still recognized immediately among the worlds
by the indelibility of our filth, having yet to learn
not to track our identity in after us into the house of life.

The ululation of the loons wailing like Arab widows
reverberating across the lake sounds more
like an angry plea, than a call to prayer,
but who could lament the immensity
of that kind of tragic absence in a single lifetime
without emptying their spirits out like dry wells in a desert
that navigates like a madman by the full moon?
When I was young, I opened up a night school
to explain what a human was to the stars,
but now my soul’s a lot more illiterate than it was
and it’s me that’s asking them to teach me to read.

Even if you look at it like a leather boot
that’s walked down one too many roads
not to feel the pebble of the world bruise its heel,
even though we’ve made a great mess of it,
it’s still a great mystery, yes? Give your assent
without hesitation, or the moon will know you’re lying.
The mysterium tremendum et fascinans of the Romans.
The bright vacancy in the dark abundance
of the ore of our unknowing. Even the hardest heart
bleeds like iron out of the sacred rock
transformed in the forges of the fireflies of mystic insight
into a sword of moonlight worthy of being
laid down upon the waters of life in tribute.
Even if you had to fall upon it more than once
to get the point before you returned it in gratitude.


Sunday, July 29, 2012



If only I could remember you as you were
for a few, brief radiant moments as indelible
as light in space and not as time would have it
the way things have changed. To see you
lingering in the doorway on a winter night,
the snow lying lightly on your hair like the Pleiades
over your shoulder descending below the treeline
as if it knew more about saying good-bye than you did,
and o how I loved you for it. If only I could
remember that lonely ghost of a mirage
that hovered over the watershed of your tears
and looked at me like the first lifeboat
you’d seen in a thousand years respond
to your s.o.s. in a hourglass. If only I could remember
the fragrance of the summer rain on your skin
as if it had mistaken you for one of the flowers
and how I used to like wiping your tears away
with my opposable thumb like plum blossoms from your cheeks.

Eternity coming to the surface of time
like old corduroy roads and bones in a makeshift graveyard.
Not likely I’ll ever see you again in this life
but if only I could remember you before circumstance
underwhelmed itself and killed the ambiance
of our last dance by turning all the lights on at once.
But there you go, no help for it. The nightbird
transits the moon and the eternal sky as is said in Zen
doesn’t inhibit the flight of the white clouds.
And this moment, too, though it’s endured
a thousand deaths to come to this afterlife,
always saying good-bye to some aspect of you
that symbolizes the evanescence of love and life
in metaphors that buff the open wound
like scar tissue on the moon, like fireflies
welding living insights into the dead brain coral
of this encyclopedic coma life
can sometimes seem without you, even after
all these ensuing misadventures it would take a fire
and half a dozen bottles of wine to tell you about
if only I could remember you as you once were
like the lamb that laid down with the lion without fear.

For light years, images of you have flashed out of the abyss
as sharp and quick and vital as moonlight
wielding a sabre, or a bird quickened by a purpose
out of the unknown into the unknown
and I recognize them as blossoms that have blown
far from the tree that was lovelier
than the whole orchard to me, though angels
attended upon it like scripture from its roots to its leaves,
you were the locust tree with your demonic thorns
I wanted to tear my heart on like a rag of blood
on the galactic razorwire that encircled your heart
like a storm of dark matter with unlimited potential
for creative destruction that got the light out of the way
long enough for us to see what glowed behind it.
If only I could remember you as you were
when we both made eye-contact with each other
like exo-planets in the void, and understood spontaneously
it wasn’t going to take much of a wavelength
for either of us to understand this immediately
as if we could read each other’s shadows like Mayan calendars.

Water hemlock, wild parsnip, sometimes
the memories scald like volcanic dew on bare skin,
but seldom have I ever regretted
that I lived through you for awhile,
when the stars raged in my heart like a madman
obsessed by the crazy wisdom of a woman
who had the wingspan of a bow on a bent event horizon
but knew enough about compassion
to push the burning arrow of my fascination with her
all the way through like a blood sacrifice to love and life
and the mystery that moved in the darkness up ahead
like the fork in the road that separated us,
like a wishbone that had granted all it had to give.

How tenderly painful the brevity of what
we actually relive again as if some moments in life
are illuminated by a different light than that
we read by in bed late into the night
looking for translucency in the windows of insight
that keep on opening their eyes in this recurrent dream
like the black waterlilies of new moons coming into bloom.


Saturday, July 28, 2012



The leaves sluicing the rain down the back of my neck
to put out my candle of serpent-fire
like an orchid in an abandoned house well,
lightning in its tears, thunder in the hollow
of its telescope when the white runaway horse
pounds its hoof upon it at four in the morning,
the muscled embodiment of moonlight made flesh,
the stars running to peer through their windows
to see what’s making that sound.
The sodden path down to the lake, rife with duff,
an Orphic descent whose picture-music
owes nothing to death, and the moss-pated skulls
of the prophetic rocks along the way, every precarious step,
the assessment of an omnipresent danger
that could kick the stool from out under your noose,
though you were foolishly hoping it might be
an Egyptian ankh, granting you long life
in an underworld where anything that’s violet
is the toxic shadow of an inconsolable grief
that laments that it had ever met the sun eye to eye,
and try how it might, can’t make a way of life
out of suicide. But I didn’t come here to grease
the hinges on hell like the wings of rusty birds
or desecrate the place with my omnipresence.

Once I realized the realm of the dead
is no realm at all that can be distinguished from the living,
I’ve returned to this underground river from time to time
where the roots try to take hold of my skull like the moon
as if it were their last chance at blossoming,
and my bones are scattered along the banks
like socket wrenches from a dead mechanic’s tool box
or a coffin that’s finally run out of things to fix.
This is where I come to return my harp of water
to a watershed of indistinguishable wavelengths
in homage to the source that handed it on to me,
a voice of my own, and there’s a bridge I stand on
no one’s burnt down yet, just a fallen log really,
but to me an overarching oxymoron that lets me stand
on both sides of the mindstream at once
to pay homage to a death I long to be worthy of
like a teacher my life is obligated to surpass
to fully honour her undisciplined transcendence.

Like water. A carrying away into a carrying away.
We couldn’t tell time if we weren’t all dying.
Eternity just a sundial that never closed its eyelids.
The wounded serpent of the waterclock bleeding out
like a human heart to remind us what hour it is,
what windfalls and harvests of the season of our soul
to leave in the begging bowls we place
at the eastern doors of our autumnal burial huts,
hoping we’ll see each other again, once are bones are dust,
like Canada geese returning in the early spring.

Some bring silver swords minted of moonlight
thrusting through the parting clouds
and lay them down on the water gently
like children they once cherished abandoned for life
as the greatest gift their hands had ever grasped.
I lay down this gift of a clear voice
that no fear or desire’s ever broken in like a wishbone
pimped out like tinfoil to the glamour of temptation.
Whatever storms raged in the crowns of its oracular branches,
this tree never injured any bird that ever sang in it.
I never hung my lyre like a dreamcatcher over the bed,
or used it to seduce butterflies into a spider-web,
dolphins into a bay of fishing-nets, nor yet
let its strings go slack like the pentatonic spinal cords
of a guitar that’s lost its nerve in the dark corners of life.
Nor did I ever refuse to sing what the dead asked me to
anymore than I did the living. Nor let the medium
intrude upon the message in such a way
the import of the song couldn’t exceed
the wingspan of the bird that released it
into the vastness of its interstellar longing.

Here the dead whisper their secrets to the waters
like coy sylphs of the wind flirting with waves,
and here where dissolution walks in the same shoes
as regeneration, and one step east is one step west
and though there’s a coming and though there’s a going
birth and death don’t know anything about this,
and Prussian blue the wet wind that’s been crying
about the sturm and drang of things to the broken pines
whose excruciations have become part of their character,
as if the haloes of the rain rippled through their heartwood
like the echoes of old engagement rings
from wide-eyed springs that have lasted for light years.

Death isn’t the derelict of life’s glory.
Just as peace isn’t the end of passage.
Mid-summer squanders as many flowers
on the capricious rivers of life as it does
the funeral bells of the fallen water birds.
And maybe that’s all these words are,
wild iris and daylilies lifting their skirts
above the flowing like troupes of gypsy fires
that like dancing to the flutes of their own desires
as they burn on the pyres of their floral reflections.
Who knows this late in the day, but maybe
I’m just trying to approach my own death
like an unopened gate to a garden
the way I did as a novice to love
when I couldn’t tell a larkspur from a hollyhock
nor what sign the star sapphire of the borage
wanted to be planted under like the Pleiades?

Anyway it pans out is ok with me, though.
I like it here where the waterlilies reset their sails
like redemption out of their own salvage
and after a long, grey day of funereal rain,
the clouds begin to clear around nightfall
and my eyes are seeded with the stars
of unnamed constellations of New England asters
that don’t conform to any known starmaps
I can follow genetically back like a fuse of dna
to the Big Bang of my first flowering into life.

And maybe I’m a mutant in the ancestry of death
that has always been the subliminal motif
of a symphonic life that wasn’t immune
to the picture-music of the celestial spheres
but I can’t help noticing how the bones of the muskrat
and the skeletal remains of the heron’s stilts
toppled by the stealthy fluke of a fox
all resonate like musical instruments
laid down in tribute on the roots of the trees
and on the sides of the paths that broke like melodies
on the ears of the dead who could taste them
like the tears of the moon on their silver tongues.

In this realm of radiant starmud in a state
of reanimating life out of its own detritus and decay,
I can hear their ghosts returning to life
like native atmospheres
returning to the songs of the lunar night birds
that don’t abuse their solitude with a sense of loss
without sweetening the music
with the ripeness of their silence
just before the grande finale
of their next windfall of transcendent whole notes.




I circumnavigated my eyes
to wash these ashen rags of grief off
like the torn sails of the Magellanic Clouds.
I knew how deeply I was lost
when I set my starmaps afire
because they got in the way of the shining,
to give them a first hand experience
of lighting things up for themselves
like arsonists playing with draconian desire.
Took me years to get the last shadow
of your misdirected spearhead out of my heart,
make white noise out of the snarling chainsaw
that accompanied you like a seeing-eye dog.

At first the intensity of the pain
clued me forensically into thinking
the sheer immensity of your crime of passion,
the number of times you stabbed me through the heart
meant you loved me more than you cared to let on
but then I noticed all your knives were smiling
like scalpels that had just blooded the moon in my eyes
and I could see the savage delight
you took in my Orphic dismemberment
like an artist in a surgical theatre of vivisected hearts.
Incisions I’ll remember for the rest of my life
like paper cuts from a black belt in loveletters.

I forgave what I could and deliberately
misunderstood the rest to let you pass
without being noticed by the demonic lighthouses
that kept watch along the coast like candles
at a black mass for a continental shift in perspective.
I think I was still half in love with you
when I was assessing the drift of our separation
in light years, and the grief, at times, when it didn’t seem
potentially lethal, was almost suicidally beautiful,
but as my afterlives dragged on like retrogressive epicycles,
as you did when you pulled the stars out by their roots,
I let the garden return to the wild
and laid out a defensive position of black holes
the dead who once bloomed here
never need worry about being exhumed from.

And I remember standing on the trajectory of a bridge
throwing the bones of my body parts off
like the pages of a calendar scored by a sword
in a cutting edge experiment with oviparous clones
born like mystic comas from spiritual replications
of the same cosmic egg you could never break out of
even after I defused myself like the supernova
of an unexploded terrorist who was once wired to you
like the memory of an old risk that wasn’t worth the cause
or the collateral damage it would have done
to the startled innocence of the bystanding stars,
not to mention the traumatic disheartening of the sun
in having to realign its shining with midnight
like a firefly in a dream on a flowerless, terminal ward.

You were the anti-enlightenment that occluded my identity
as if I’d never been there in the first place,
and that would have been fine, I would have
happily lived for you as a better lost cause
than the one I was waging like an unholy war of one.
I would have burned in my inexhaustible solitude
like a discipline of devotion refining my passion for you
into a sword worth falling upon in the name of your integrity.
It would have been a privilege, a tribute, a blessing
to have had you there to give it all up to,
knowing you can never lose what you freely give away,
to get behind your dream like a demonically fulfilled familiar.
Capo, and consigliere, but the power went to your ego,
forgetting that arrogance makes you unguardedly stupid
and stupid will get you killed faster than evil,
but you didn’t need my advice to assist you with that.

Not to be. That’s the last plea of exoneration
from people who don’t know the damage
they’ve done to each other without even trying to.
The inert delusions of neon gas that highlights
the stations of the heart where we stopped
along the way for a garish night
of PyschoBabylonic heartbreak gone berserk
and solar flares ionized the gun-metal, electrical fragrance
of flowers going supernova in space as if
they were ripping the veils and spiderwebs off
the gutter wisdom of the upper atmosphere gone slumming.

Even if I didn’t need to, from playful firefly
to dragon sage with dusky yellow blood,
I would have transmogrified myself for you,
an oracular shapeshifter delighted to accommodate
the most delicate lineaments of protozoic desire
to keep you from bottoming out like the Burgess Shale
into a motile labyrinth of genetic cul de sacs
waiting for your traffic jam to turn green again.

Not to be. The gavel of whose will?
The officious seal of whose blood?
Better to be loved than righteous, feast the heart
among friends and lovers rather than
nibble on the bitter weeds of your isolated sanctimony.
You were always trying to salvage
perfection from its flaws, dehumanize it somehow
into nanodiamonds you wanted to genetically replicate.
Pollen of crystal flowers in a menagerie of bees
that turned their hive into a kiln of glass honey
that shattered like tears at your feet when you wept.

Who isn’t an approximation of the person
they hoped to achieve, who isn’t the fraud
of their own accomplishment, more disbelieving
in themselves than those who applaud with envy
the strawdog that gets thrown on the fire
after it’s served a ritual purpose no one
quite understands? Hard to find a rose in the wild
that isn’t supple and pudgy, blighted and marred,
soiled by life, armed and scarred, dust on its leaves.
You wanted to excise the imperfections
as if you were editing my emotional life.
I was always the diamond in the rough
you were going to send like a foolish jewel
to a multi-faceted finishing school
where they scrubbed your ancestry out of you
like bituminous coal off your immaculate, adamantine record.

Trouble is when you let that happen
you’re not rooted in life anymore,
you scrape the poetry of living
from out under the moon’s fingernails.
And there’s no way you can plough a mirror
and throw a seed in it and expect it to sprout
however you exalt and weep over it.
Life may be a black hole,
but it’s not an infertile ditch
of mercury trying to pass
for a thread of silver in the moonlight
through the eye of a needle wider than the Hubble
popping bubbles like worlds in the multiverse.

I offered you dragons, but you wanted me to be
a hyena with great table manners whenever
we were eating the leftovers of a lion
at your mother’s place, and I was always
the savage you picked on to say grace
as if the words would somehow burn in my mouth.

And I suppose I could have been seated
at the appropriate place at the table below the salt
and not eaten before those you considered alpha dogs did,
and torn my share of meat from the spoils
of the psychological leg-hold traps set for everyone,
and honed my night vision to take down
an albino baby rhino on a National Geographic documentary
to reveal that scavengers know how to hunt on the sly
nocturnally. Maybe you would have seen me
in a different light, maybe it would have become
easier in time to become what you had in mind for me
but I can shift hearts and minds as easily as forms
and when I assumed I was you for a moment
I could see, after the hyena, you had me
lined up like a chimpanzee in a cage
with needles taped to my shaved head
as I expired in my solitude like visiting hours
with pain the only nurse on the night shift
working over time in the lab of a perfumery
to make the abattoir you made of the roses
I used to bring you, smell more like blood than flowers.
And that’s when my sense of empathy
began to grow eyelids so I could turn it off at night
to identify with the dream figures
that didn’t wake up with me when I did
and I began to evolve an affectionate sensitivity
to the exquisite features of compassion inherent
in painting life masks on the emptiness
to amuse my own inconceivable sensibilities.