Tuesday, May 1, 2012



Isn’t it obvious by now
matter is the language
of the spirit
that expresses itself
as flowers and trees
and you and me
just as we are.

Matter is the mother-tongue
the alphabet
the periodic table of elements
of what can’t be said about God
without resorting to signs
like water and oxygen.
The runes of the mountains.
The purple passages of the sea.
And the moon who couldn’t find
anything beautiful in her bleakness
long before Samuel Beckett.
Out of an almost perfect vacuum
out of nothing
out of space
its thirteen atoms of hydrogen
per cubic centimetre
like magic beans
a longing for existence arises
spontaneously out of the abyss
as if it just remembered the name
of something that came back to it
like a lost thought
and happily blurted it out like the Big Bang.

God mind the abyss nothingness
the cosmic id
call it what you want
they’re all just waves of the same sea
iridescent bubbles rising out of the depths
like independent cells with shapeshifting nuclei
or the membranous worlds in hyperspace
that start with a kiss
and end with a face in the window
staring out into the same old darkness
like a syllable of dust
in awe of the silver-tongued stars.
Mind does its best
to take a good guess
but it doesn’t really matter
if you’re right or wrong
because everything’s
been clear and true all along.
The point is.
There’s no point to this.
You just break into song
like a bird that can’t help itself.
You gather everything into yourself
like a blackhole
with a creative affinity for stars
and a key turns deep inside you
and suddenly you’re walking
through an infinite number of doors all at once
that have freed you from yourself
like a replicating cell.
Water looking at itself
with eyes of water.

Mind looking for mind with mind.
The snake trying to swallow its own head
as a sign from infinity
that it’s going to take forever.
Illusions of light
burning like jewels
in the mirror of rain
rooted in the starmud
of the human brain
that thinks if it elaborates enough laws
it can hold the universe to account
for the cause of its behaviour.
Oceans roll off its tongue
like drops of water
from a blade of grass
and things keep on happening
like galaxies and starfish.
Be the bright vacancy
that shines out of your dark abundance
like a waterlily putting a white spin
on the death and decay of the swamp
that aspired to it
like the Buddha watching Venus in the dawn
or a magnanimous loveletter
as long as autumn
at the end of a mean affair
that sweeps it like stars and leaves
off the helical stairways to heaven forever
like the memory of mutant genes.
Be the eleven that comes of seven
and dot the dice with the starmaps
of the chance constellations
that rolled your way
like a genome
without asking for your advice.

If you were really down on your luck
you wouldn’t be here to know it
so why not risk it all
like a universe in the beginning
in one throw against
the wall in a dark back alley
that’s been breaking banks
and bringing the house down ever since
like an incommensurable decimal
that escaped the confines
of a whole number
that couldn’t restrain it like a straitjacket?

Add yourself to things like zero
and amplify their effect
like a deep canyon foretells
the echo of things to come
that are well beyond your voice.
You don’t need to choose
when there’s nothing you can’t refuse.
There’s nothing to win or lose.

Time may well be
the adolescence of eternity
that puts cracks in its vinegar
and wrinkles its wine
but who wouldn’t rather play
than work at being who they are?

Honour the wound with a scar
that’s worthy of what you have suffered
to express yourself as you are
like a firefly in a palace of light
with a deep insight
into the black mirrors of dark matter
that multiply your afterlives like stars
in the eyes of the windows
in the house of life
that were broken from the inside out.
Astound your own vision
with the kind of crazy wisdom
that knows the crown of the universe
doubles as the dunce-cap of a cosmic egg
and say what you have to say
to add yourself to the conversation
like a bridge to the few bars of picture-music
that look and sound just like you
when you refused to crush
the head of the serpent under your heel
like the end of the long interminable road you were on
to salvation.

And you were amazed
when it struck you
like an elixir of life
emerging from the eclipse
of a dark venom
you didn’t get up off the ground
like St. Paul who had been Saul of Tarsus.

And you weren’t the Tiresias of either sex.
There was no blind catharsis.
But your heels sprouted wings
that mastered the wind like words
and the snake flew away like a dragon
with a lot in common with birds.




Life’s a genius.
Not a mediocrity
looking for reasons to live in the morning.
Life’s not a plan.
It’s a spirit that doesn’t need one
whether things go right or wrong.
Life is light and water.
It delights in going everywhere at once.
Mediocrities have genius
but they don’t know how
to play with it like a child.
Their eyes peek
through knotholes in the fence
but they sacrifice their longing
on the conventional altars of common-sense
and never throw the ball back over the hills
like the moon coming up
or the sun going down
without worrying about
breaking the neighbours’windows.
Life throws whole mountains around
and turns the cornerstones into quicksand
and goes down with Atlantis
only to come up again like Moby Dick
spewing stars out of its blowhole.
Mediocrity has its feet planted firmly on the ground.
It never goes anywhere it hasn’t gone before.
It’s the kind of fire
that sleeps with an extinquisher
in case things get too hot to put out.
Mediocrity shares.
But life’s the kind of genius
that gives like an apple-tree
that fully expresses itself
through infinitely more
than four seasons
no two alike
without caring if it’s of any benefit to anyone.
Mediocrity’s stunned by the blossoms.
Genius tastes the fruit.
Life’s the kind of fire
that doesn’t have a root
you can pull up and take home with you
to add to your garden
like a new word to your vocabulary.
Mediocrity spells it out.
But genius is the dream grammar
of a spiritual alphabet
that isn’t used to taking orders.
It doesn’t have twenty-six words for inspiration
like potted geraniums all in a row
and only one for freedom
it weeds out like morning glory
and dandelions
whose vagrancy threatens
to overwhelm the rest
with a longing
for the happier memories of their homelessness.
Mediocrity’s a highway lined with roadkill.
Genius is a river
that goes around
not through the hill
and though there are fleets of waterlilies all along its banks
that gather like the Spanish Armada every year
to burn the infidel irises on the far shore
back into the true church
they never set sail.
They stay anchored to the coast
like loveletters from buddhas upstream
rooted in the flowing.
Mediocrity writes a great poem.
Genius lets the poem write itself.
Mediocrity signs its own vanity.
like a work done well.
But genius doesn’t have
anything to sell
that ever belonged to anyone
in the first place.
Life is the generosity of space
that blows stars in your face
and gives you the eyes to see them.
Mediocrity confines the muses to a hareem
to compel their obedience.
Mediocrity is a great sea without any tides.
Genius sleeps with women
it never thinks of as brides
because it can feel their power
like a waterbird feels the waves
breathing like the sea beneath it
wild and profound
cannibal creators
oceans in the black rose
dripping like the blood
of enlightened virgins
from Kali the Crone Destroyer’s mouth
eating her own like the moon
as if she were life itself.
Mediocrity never includes
enough destruction in its creations
to be credible.
It goes along with the swans
like afterlives in the moonlight
but not the snapping turtles
that drag them down into the mud
like constellations brought back to earth like kites.
Mediocrity defangs the moon.
Genius flows down
its first and last crescents like blood
knowing one fang kills you
and the other heals you for good.
Mediocrity is hemmed in
by thresholds it never crosses.
It never colours outside the lines
into the negative space
of the forbidden white beyond.
It’s never gone gone gone forever gone beyond.
It’s a star with a lazy eye in an expanding universe.
It never reads the writing on the wall
between the lines
like fossils.
It’s afraid of the dark.
It fills whole galleries
with works like arks
with two of every kind
that are signed like truces
it made with its imagination
as if the imagination
ever kept its word
to anyone who was afraid of it.
Mediocrity keeps an eye on itself
like a documentary.
It comes to the right door
but it never gains entry.
It’s lost in the labyrinth
of its own fingerprints.
It leaves too much evidence
at the scene of the crime
and turns over on genius
at the drop of a dime
for getting away with everything
like the mastermind behind it all.
Mediocrity sings like a canary in a coal-mine.
Genius howls at the moon
among the mountains
high above the timberline
where she takes
her first and last crescents off
like handcuffs off an escaped convict.
Mediocrity lives
as if it’s always
making up an alibi
for something it never did.
It’s easier to lie about a sin of omission
than it is to tell the truth
as if you weren’t signing
a celebrity confession.
Genius lives out in the open
where everything’s well hid
like a mason jar full of fireflies
without a lid.
Mediocrity hugs the shore
like a lighthouse
that’s afraid of everything
it can’t shine a light on.
Mediocrity shows you its scars.
Genius shows you the wound.
Mediocrity’s amazed
that the universe
got as far as it did on its own.
Genius walks the rest of the way alone
and doesn’t care if the path it’s on
reads like an exit or an entrance.
Mediocrity looks for acceptance.
Genius throws the audience out the window
like an old typewriter with keys missing
and all its loved ones
smiling in the front row
as if they were in on the know
and sits down by itself at the piano
and lets the silence play
whatever it wants
all night long.
Mediocrity makes a big splash
like an inert gas
in a flickering neon sign
advertising one night stands
in a cheap roadside motel.
Genius shapes space like black matter
that stays hidden
on the far side of gravity
behind the leaves
that grow on its boughs like galaxies
that wait like nests in the treetops
for the shamans babies and birds
to fill their bright vacancy
with the dark abundance
of a language older than words.
There are lyrical swords
that have mastered the art
of writing their eloquent history
in scars that pre-date cuneiform.
That’s one muse.
And when the dark mother
who gave birth
to the ten thousand things
whispered the mystery of the universe
into her own ear
she said it in stars.
That’s another.
And when you listen to the moon
as she summons her own
like lost echoes and mad shadows
to the fullness welling up inside her
she sheds her eyelids like loveletters
she’s read over and over again
out loud to the lunatics
like cracks in a dry creekbed
or a prophetic skull
waiting for rain.
She’s beauty pain and death
all rolled up into one
black rose of inspiration
she hands out
to those of us she loves
like an eclipse
without an explanation.
Mediocrity doesn’t understand this.
Three lucidities in one black mirror
before the arising of signs
and all it’s looking for
is its likeness
in the meaning of everything.
Humans may have been created
in the image of God
but the world’s not created
in the image of humans.
It’s a lot crazier than that.
Mediocrity makes a habit of significance
to justify its eyes
to the nightwatchman in the mirrors.
Genius pulls the hat out of the rabbit
and the magician disappears.