Tuesday, January 24, 2012



Nightbird on a winter branch.
Dark blossom of the new moon,
Last kiss on the eyelids of the dead
As the snow falls like apple bloom.

I see you’ve left the door ajar:
The backdoor of an eclipse
To let the first crescent of the light out.
The sacred syllable of the mistfits

Lost in the silence and the solitude
You raise like heretical mystics into songs
That only you alone can sing
So that each in their homelessness belongs

To the false dawn of the same secret
They weep over like empty lockets
That stole the moon from their windows
As they burned at the stake, rockets

Martyred in the fire of the holy books
That inspire them deeper into exile
This late at night far from anywhere
Distance is measured by the mile

And not the wingspan of the light-years
It’s taken me to write this.
Like a bird that flew out of the darkness,
That left no trace of the witness

As it blew a kiss of sudden insight.
A word in passing from the dead
About who’s behind the death mask
Of the snow that’s covering my head

Like the polar ice cap of a planet
With the prophetic wisdom of a skull.
Life in the birthmark of the new.
Death in the harvest of the moon at full.

Emptiness devoid of all light.
The first sign of renewal in the urn
Of a nightbird on a winter branch.
Diamonds of ice and insight that burn

Like coal in the eyes of a snow man
With the passion of a phoenix born
A star in the cold furnace of the sky.
Where every passage is a rite of return

That hides its brightest jewels
blossoming like enlightenment on the wing
In the dark ore of a nightbird
When a deathmask opens its mouth to sing.




And though it’s dark and cold now
in this ice palace of broken windows
that don’t know whether to bite their lips
or cut their wrists like a suicide
that took it one step too far
like an eclipse that went into exile
I remember the swell and release
of your breasts in moonlight,
rising and falling like a lunar tide.
I remember coiling my finger around
the soft chestnut tendrils of your hair
as if I were dialling a long distance call
to someone I knew light years from here
who was living her dream
like the black sheep of a shepherd moon
she was giving her life up to.
You were an atmosphere on the nightshift
on the intensive care unit of a hospital
applying a cool poultice of moonlight
to the volcanic burns
of more terminal passions
than I ever aroused in you.
Or thought I ever could.
Though time stopped
dead in its tracks like a coma
whenever I was around you
and everything the good doctors
found incurably bad about me
suddenly went into remission,
I knew I was merely
a minor miracle in your life.
Intermission. Time out. One day
every four years to tune up the calendar
A blue moon in late October
after the harvest’s in
and the small birds
are gleaning the rags of a garden.
Canada geese in the cornfields
shredding the last documents
of an abandoned embassy heading south.
We were Indian summer
together for awhile both knowing
the frost would come soon enough
and one morning I would wake up
and look through the window
on your side of the bed
and say, hey, look, it’s snowing
and you wouldn’t be there.
And when the time came, you weren’t.
And I spent the next six years of my life
numb with understanding
in the snake pit of a Zen morphine drip
blessing the beauty of the knife
and the wound you left me with
like a thorn of light under the eyelids
of a new moon in full eclipse.
An eyepatch over the third eye
of an enlightened planet
that felt just like any other
starless night on earth without you.
And though I hurt like a lamp
that couldn’t see you
even when the sun shone at midnight
I knew enough about attachment even then
not to hold up hope
like a cage to the wind.
I never laid a trap line
along the path you took to leave.
I let the silence and the solitude
I returned to like a night bird
to a white-out deep in the woods
efface your footprints in the snow.
I knew I had to stay.
And I knew you had to go.
That one mile east is one mile west
like two feet going in opposite directions
down a road that doesn’t have any.
And though sometimes I look
at the moon these days
and say to myself
what a little scar it is
to cover so much
that’s dark and wounded
about the human heart,
I still haven’t changed the broken windows
I often find myself standing before
to take a long, good, hard,
dark, radiant look at life
to see if it’s still crying outside,
for a thermal-paned, fire-walled website
prophetically updating the virtual weather.
I’m still throwing stones
with loveletters attached to your absence
like the moon through the windows
of a glass palace in an ice-age
I know will thaw by itself in time
like the whirling Castle of Arianrhod,
the hot gem of Celtic heaven shining
in the afterlife of the Northern Crown
down upon these small human acts
of estranged encounters with our own kind
where we meet each other in passing
at the gate of a cosmic garden
that no one was tending at the time,
and long after the one has gone their way
and the other has gone inside.
Long after the flowers have died
that were strewn across
each others’s paths through life
like the spring on a windy night;
no matter how vulnerable it makes us
to being a prime candidate
among many with their sensible shoes on
to firewalk barefoot
on a starmap of burning thorns
into the darkness of enlightenment
to stay attached to the unattainable
the way we both were to the same stars.
Even when the morning glory
overruns the New England asters,
we leave the gates thereafter open
as if the whole heart of the dark matter
of why we love and suffer, bloom
and come to fruition
in the light of each other
as if the aurora borealis
that mystified our nights on earth
with the sheen of cool Persian silks of insight
blowing over the flesh and blood of mystic serpents
then die back into our brief lifespan
like a solar flare back into its sunspots
were still hanging
on one star
one eye
one wing
one prayer
one hinge.