Wednesday, June 13, 2012



It’s not like the face in the flower of the star
grows more beautiful the more times it’s looked at,
it’s just that it’s humanizing
the vast, cold spaces within you
with your own awareness of it so that
when you spot Arcturus shining through the trees
as you have since childhood and call out its name
it’s you that shines brighter
a magnitude more for the moment.
Affable familiars in a big, lonely space
acknowledging each other in passing
as if, animate and inanimate, the same,
what we all hold in common
since we started kicking in the womb
is this life of perpetual exile. Shape-shifters,
driven out of the bliss of oblivion, to bury the bell
of our agony in the stillness of an alien place
and try to love everyone who’ll let us
as if they weren’t a stranger at the gate.

O the appellations the mind applies to its formlessness
in a world of forms to befriend its cosmic isolation.
That fills space up with stars and birds
suggested by its senses and then casts a spell
like a grammar of things to turn them into words
to start a conversation with chaos as if we weren’t all
talking to ourselves. We put lifemasks on everything
like an old Greek play and act out our tragedy
like a dilemma gored on the horns of the goat gods
as if they had a clear grasp of what we were talking about.
Asking a question doesn’t change
the ambiguous nature of the issue
and when no one answers isn’t proof
the silence is divine. Bright vacancy, dark abundance,
nothing includes everything in it
like a table of contents for the mind
that plays host to its own imaginary guests.

The door bell rings and the world’s
standing in the doorway bearing gifts
that have no other meaning other than
they’re addressed to you the way life
nourishes itself on its own emptiness
as if every moment were a cause of celebration
engendered by your own inspiration.
Every song in the distance is the ancestral echo
of your own voice in an abyss
you’re trying to relate to by listening
as if you were sounding the depths
of the mystery you must be to yourself
to live among your own creations as if
someone signed you too. Your name
scrawled in cadmium red blood across
a white canvas of albino eyes in the dark.
Imagination obedient to the freedom
of its own lawlessness to create as it is urged to
on a caprice, a gust of stars, the nudge of an atom,
whole new paradigms of space and time
it will answer to as if someone called its name.

If the same eye by which I see the star
is the eye by which the star sees me,
then who’s the creator, who’s the creation?
So if someone were to ask me the colour of my eyes,
I’d show them a painting I did
of blue weed towering beside a dirt road
or a moonscape I dashed off one starless night
between the clouds. Or even further afield,
if I felt they’d been siderealized sufficiently,
the blue auras of trace elements grinding galaxies
into mirrors they can see themselves in
like leggy gazelles come down to the shore
to drink from their own reflection of themselves
like telescopes alert to the eyes that lie in wait for them.

Everywhere I wander down these pathless ways
through my homelessness, I meet myself
like a mirage at the end of a cul de sac,
and I walk through it like a wall
or two galaxies passing through each other
without disturbing a star, I embody such distances,
and I encounter hypnotists from all quarters
that call themselves seekers of the truth
trying to wake up from their own magic
as if they hadn’t caught on to their own minds yet
and were still underestimating the power of their illusions.
Why wash the stars off the windows, or sweep
the scars of the autumn leaves off the stairs
expecting the enlightened arrival
of the lord and lady of the manor any day now
as if you could get a grasp on the nature
of your own emptiness like a servant
looking for a master in your own image?

Everything nasty and blind,
everything beautiful and sublime
are the facets of a clear jewel
turning in the light of the void.
All that is separated, all that is enjoined,
all that are searching and finding
and losing themselves again like solar flares
on a return journey back to the sun
or rivers flowing into themselves
as if every wave crossed the threshold of itself
into an openness exhilarated by
the expansive gesture of its presence,
are just the hidden secret of you
wanting to be known by a world
you whisper into your own ear
as if you’d never heard the sound
of your own voice before the wind
began to throw the sea into turmoil
and you were swept ashore out of
the inconceivability of your own emptiness
like a myth of awareness sadly in need of an origin.

So you end up creating a world
out of your own inner resources and calling it
mother or father in the hopes it might be able
to explain what you’re doing here by yourself.
And that’s how you get lost in the labyrinths
of your own being, that’s how your wires get crossed
in the short circuits of your lifelines
tangled up in kites like morning glory
that wouldn’t fly. You keep asking simulacrums
of your own creativity about things
that only you on your own, lonelier than God,
projected imaginatively like a lifemask
you created in your own image
onto the formlessness of an invisible space within you,
can be the answer to. The moment
you say I am to yourself and realize
that you’re not even there to recognize it
the little thumb puppet in three pounds of starmud
dematerializes like something solid
into the presence of the real. You revel like a child
in the creative liberty of not keeping your own distance
from anything in existence, knowing
in the crazy wisdom of your second innocence
the only thing that binds you to it
or separates you from it, is a sense of play.
That everytime you say I am without
including the whole universe in it as well
it becomes the wayward paradigm
of another brilliant mistake with feet of clay.
Or as Archibald Lampman said
dead of a heart attack at thirty-six,
poor shining angels whom the hoofs betray.




The grey rain riffs on the windows
as if it’s been listening to too much rap.
Fragrance of gasoline blooming in the gutters.
People all look like daffodils in baseball caps.
Wish I wanted something enough to buy it again,
and it’s been a while since I’ve been with a woman
who wanted anything for me. I’m inside here
dethorning the intensity of the black rose
imploding under its own mass as its core
condenses in a withered star like a heart
whose light’s run out. The fire in my blood
took it all one nightshift further than red
and now I can see in the dark like a black hole.

Nightvisions in broad daylight. I can see the stars
shining through the smudged pearl of the sun
trying to glow its way through the clouds.
I can see the skulls of insurrectionist dreams
deep underground in the cults of my cells
trying to assess the direction of the bomb blast
to insure the maximum damage. Not all roads
are trying to make friends with people
who walk them like cowpaths littered with road kill.
It’s better to be lost as the lesser of two evils
when clarity scorches the heart radioactively.
Dissociation, Deconstruction, Disintegration,
I’ve evolved like a language into a grammar
of oxymorons just to keep my thoughts and feelings
together in a syntactical world of unpunctuated scalpels.
Alloys of a stronger metal are not estranged
like copper and tin from the cutting edge of the sword
by the colour of their skin or religion in the Bronze Age.

Love comes at me in the darkness of these depths
like a crossroads of light from all directions at once
by which I know the radiance that’s found me
is not just another flashlight that’s still looking.
And there are Sufis whirling like weathervanes
in blue woollen robes, and enlightened Zen masters
gently picking the fleas out of their chest hairs
and thanking the thieves for leaving the moon in the window,
and demonic demons with the insight of black diamonds
all telling me you lose control if you hesitate in the moment,
or stand up, sit down, walk, or run, but whatever you do
don’t wobble. And I plunge into the galaxy with both feet
hoping to make a big splash in the red tide of the stars
and I either drown in the light, or I end up
blowing hyperbolic bubbles into a bulky multiverse.

I haven’t turned my senses into lenses,
starmaps, and spectrographs, but I’m not blind
to what’s living under my eyelids in a chaos
of crazy-wisdom playing picture-music
in a band of clowns, just to get a good laugh
out the oracles that are prone to never
take their own advice so seriously
they couldn’t change their minds.
You can’t refit a round suggestion
into a square meaning, and it’ cruel to try.
I have long wavelengths of thought
that burn like iodine and salt in sea kelp
but I don’t whip the eyes of the tide
just to get things flowing like tears my way.
I don’t throw acid in the faces
of tomorrow’s beauty queens learning to read
the writing on the wall as just the wall’s way
of threatening you into letting it protect you.
I don’t boil kids in their mother’s milk
and I don’t practise the kind of spiritual judo
that uses a person’s best ideals against them.

Especially as I get older, I would rather be
obliterated by wonder and gratitude
that I got to be all this without any effort of my own
than have my awe underwhelmed
by petty renditions of the black farce
that welds some people’s eyes shut like
an eclipse stronger than the original bond.
But there again, if you’re happy being a scar, mend.
What could it mean to the stars
if you can’t see them during the day?
And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again
to those of you who have taken a more radiant path,
blazing is a kind of blindness too
that keeps you from seeing the diamond in the coal.

Yesterday oxygen was alien ore as toxic
as the love apples of superstitious tomatoes
two hundred years ago it was death to eat.
And it’s poignant to remember that any ground
you plant your flag in like a flower without a root,
like a placard without a rally, is
a charged particle field that reverses spin
synchronistically like a revolution
in an hourglass relationship with what it overthrew.
Consciousness is necessarily bifurcated by its blossoms
into two points of view, but deeper down
in the bloodstream of its darkest roots
it doesn’t make a distinction between an I and a You.
Subject and object aren’t separated
by a skin of water empty as the mirage
of a bubble within and lustrous as the stone
that broke the window without. This world
isn’t happening to you from the outside
and you’re not making it up within like a lie
you can tell your children about being alive.

No one’s wholly wise who still possesses a mind.
No one’s totally ignorant if they give
a red cane to a blind traffic light to see it coming.
I don’t trim the wicks of my comets
as if they were candles at a black mass.
I can breathe fire like Draco at the North Pole,
but when I’m not axially aligned with the earth
I can look into the eyes of my fiercest dragons
and see at the bottom of a telescopic well
millions of fireflies lost in a labyrinth of mirrors
looking for an insight into the nature of life
that would true all the others like crystal eyes
caught in the eleven dimensional net
of enlightened lies where time and the timeless intersect
and synderetic sparks ricochet like spiritual eagles
off the slopes of mountainous eras of grace.