Sunday, February 12, 2012



Bright morning, blue, and the clouds gossiping with the treetops and the fallen ladders of the impossible horizons. I sustain six lives simultaneously in a wounded apartment that’s been bleeding for years, continents of plaster out of the walls, the cartography of aging, rewriting the maps as the world drifts like a cinder across the seas of its weeping eye. The trees sway in the wind like smoke, and I sit at my desk, waiting for my hair to dry, smoking, drinking black coffee, happy to be enthroned in my solitude as my dreams pale like stars in the extremity of the light. Lost. I couldn’t tell you who I was if you showed me, and the mirrors have grown bags under their eyes like the heavy pollen of time in bee-satchels, silver wombs that are still trying to get my birth right. I’ve become an apostate of reflections, erasing my face with a sleeve; or watching it shrink like a warm breath on a cold windowpane. Maybe the hive of a mind somewhere is turning me into honey. And I remember lovers I’ve had, and lovers I will never meet, and all the changes of a comet as it approaches each one to glow luminously in the darkness of the bottomless watershed that is always within me, the familiar one-eyed abyss. And there’s a wing of my heart that opens and passes over them like a generous eclipse to bless them all for the time I spent in their mansions of blood and tears, for the candles that ached like joy in the mystery and led me to the eras where they wanted me to stay for the night. They left a desert by the bed and I drank it like an hourglass, true to a calling that exceeded us both. Like the wind, I left a note, extolling their beauty to the webs of the morning, hanging on the bell-ropes of the flowing diamonds that wander the labyrinths of the wet peach hair and Appalachian earlobes I dampened with my tongue. A language of one, I drank from their intimate stars and played the skeletons of their burning harps in a controlled fury of power and hunger as the earth convulsed with islands of flesh, bolts of black lightning that illuminated oblivion in a flash of annihilant ecstasy. And habitable planets were born of the encounter, two children, old enough now in their passage of nights and days to know that it’s life that flows, not the river, that their wings are bridges of light and blood and breath that once offered themselves like the crutches of winter trees to the sky in a paradox of love that wanted to lay down roots and fly. What a dream it all is; what a vast and amazing hallucination of darkness within darkness, shadow writing on shadow, a confusion of gates trying to enter one another with both eyes closed, fire obsessively trying to coax the hydrant of the heart to open up before the house burns to the sky and the ground, uncertain whether it’s a root or a flower, a bone or a star, a desert of light, or the whisper of a billion gestural galaxies.



Meet me where the rivers
never cross their legs
and the starwells entwine like snakes;
and the trees pin notes from the light
like leaves to a bulletin board,
and the sun is a blemish
of impoverished fire compared
to the mystic dark
that floods the far fields within
with the fragrance of the moon
as it makes lilies of the clouds
and sacred lakes of the two of us
realizing each other in the shining.
And don’t take off the world
when you come,
bring your shadows
and the rubble of your smashed masks,
and the dictionary of scars
you’re trying to translate
into a dead language,
and the silver snail paths
of the necklaces you wear like ripples of heartwood,
and the black bells
that ripen in the night
like the eyes of guardian dragons
and the shadow of the knife
that always points to you like north,
and I will bring my meteors and shipwrecks,
and the sorrows of my rain-sodden books
glued shut like eyelids and onions
and the broken yarrow sticks
of my thresholds and horizons
and the seed of the island I keep
in the locket of my skull
to carry into the next world
like a bird beyond its wings,
and we will make a bed on the wind like deer
and devote ourselves
to roseate oblivions of blood
that would make the orchards of the angels envious
of the roar of our imperfections
giving birth to the sea,
of the dragonflies and fleets of love-letters
that emerge from the hovels
we pieced together of decaying mirrors
and the detritus of junkyard autumns
to gerrymander a shrine of transformations
into a winged palette with two eyelashes for brushes
that sits like an easel on the lip of a flower
and paints the world with pollen.
I have had to become the sky
to bridge the space between us,
a junkie who snorts the stars
like a line of coke he’s railed into an arm of the galaxy
to reach out and touch you
in the rush of another dimension,
a gust of eyes in the back alleys of your neck,
the luster of a ghost on the wing of a nightbird
that delivers itself like the message
that hurls itself into the abyss like a bottle
I have drunk to the lees of tomorrow,
and eaten the visionary worm
enthroned in the fire-robes of ecstasy
and signed the moon in my passage
with a scrawl of harvest geese
to let you know
you are the black pearl
that has become of me
like a grain of sand
on the urgent tongue of the night,
the raven palace of plundered silver
you grew from the stone
in the brittle blossom of my heart
like a veiled planet
that I wander like water,
like a sleepwalker in a waking dream,
calling out to you from the inside
like the fountain of fire
in the heart of the earth
that unspools its longing like continents.
I don’t know what love is
when you unfold it like a map,
I can tell you it’s got your eyes
and your blue-tipped hair
and a gearshift in its pierced tongue,
four on the floor with overdrive
that can pop the clutch like a grape
and lay rubber or wine
down the main drag of a reckless mind,
and I want to touch it with the fingertips
of tender emergencies
and the feathered caresses
of homeless doves sweeping over its skin like morning,
and kiss its scars open like shy irises
and hidden starfish
and ruin myself like a kite in the hive of a storm
to taste the tine of its honey and lightning.
Your absence is the empty vase
of a flowerless cosmos
when I search the abyss of fugitive shadows
for a feather of your own
to exceed the wounded ink of my blood
with the eloquence of the wind
trying to light your candles
with a flaming arrow of the virgin bow
I cut from the forbidden grove of my voices
to sing to you through the night.
How often have I stood
in the doorway of your poems
like a city lost in the labyrinth of a stranger
and wanted to belong to you like an address;
or the ghost of the moondog on the window
you veil with your breath,
wondering if you’ll notice when I leave?
Do you know how many times
my mouth has turned into a furnace of poppies,
a holocaust of bees and coffins,
how many times I’ve drawn a razor
across my throat trying to bleed
my way into an afterlife with you
like a slash of milk
from the scepter of the dream queen?
I shed lives like a serpent sloughs
the surgical gloves of terminal eclipses,
or the cherry beds its blossoms
in the rain cradles of the gutter,
or the moon pulls away
from the wharf of its hills like a ferry
between one abyss and the next,
to pour my life into yours
like stars and rain
and the death-bed wish of a thousand secret extinctions,
an ancient wine crowned and anointed
by all the deaths and candles
I have wept my way through like a window in a morgue
to stand breathless in your shadow again.