Wednesday, June 27, 2012



All this stuff going on in my head all the time.
All my fixed constellations changing like fireflies.
All the burning ladders of my unsuccessful siege of heaven
lying down like crosswalks at the feet of the mob.
And the stars that seemed so aloof and untouchable
settling like dust on my eyes.
I want to go home but home itself is gone
and there is no one waiting for me.
I live in these nomadic tents of my breath
that the wind blows through day and night
and everything I touch
though I long for the will of a pyramid
turns into quicksand.
I observe the life within me going on,
this flux of intimate intensities
as if I were no more than the container
and sentient window of a stranger’s house
looking in out of the darkness
of my uninhabitable homelessness
that has always been my last known address.
Nothing is ever what it seems
in this shell-game of themes and memes
that shuffles me around like a hard pea
gullible enough to deceive itself
it might one day turn into
the new moon of a black pearl.
But I’m chained by my vertebrae to a slaver
in a caravan of all my wild sides
being dragged like a jungle
toward these civilized coasts
that put everything asunder
that God has joined together
and brand what they sever
with the savage logos of an enforced belonging
that death is the only escape from.
My private cloud of unknowing
with the occasional black lightning bolt of insight
that sets my roots on fire
so that the whole tree becomes its own funeral pyre
and sheds me in flames.
And trying to fit me like a shoe
to the newly washed foot of God
is a vain waste of time for both of us
when you’re life’s got a hole in it
I keep patching with poems in the cold
or keep stopping along the way to take off
and dump out the pebble of the world
I’m walking on with a limp.
And it’s as foolish for a river
to ask where its youth has gone
as it is for me to lament the passage of mine
that I sent on up ahead like water
to keep something flowing behind me.
I don’t look for grey hairs in the wind
when it’s as clear as grace
that time and space
don’t encroach upon the stars like cataracts
and everyone we’ve ever been
lives on in each of us forever
like water waiting in the open mouth
of the frozen moonskull
for me to swallow and thaw
so that the blossom can flesh the dead branch again
that trembles and bends before the wishing well
that all men drink from like a bell
in this mirage of fire in a desert of stars
to taste the lightning-tongued elixirs of life
that frees the serpent from its scars
like a discarded straitjacket of skin and pain
to go witching for water in hell again.




What chains we rattle in our own emptiness.
The void gnashes its teeth to dust. Is there love
Anywhere that I’m worthy of?
I want to scream in this straitjacket of anti-matter
but you are not here; your person is absent;
so I scream into this paper ear;
I abandon my own blood, turn red white
in my fear of losing you, witnessing your anger,
the small glaciers that inch through my heart
like ice-ages. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m old,
maybe I’m burnt out, maybe all these words
I throw at you mean absolutely nothing to you
or to anyone else, or even me, but there you have it.
I’m sloughing my old skin like a star-riddled universe
and I don’t know what I’m turning into.
When I want to know who I am I look at your face.
Lately I’ve felt like some kind of eclipse, some darkness
growing like fungus on the light. A leper in sunshine.

Am I broken glass; the black mirror, shattered? I mistake you
often; looking for you in every shard and splinter of my being
but the shadows are too young to give birth to stars
and you can’t seem to give me the reassurance I need
to return the moon to the goblet it fell from.

It’s not so much that I doubt you but that
the affirmations that should be anvils under the burning swords
crumble under the hammer-blows of the heart.
There is no fire in the answers; only the hiss
of metal cooling in black water. Now maybe I’m gone forever
and maybe you’re some bridge collapsing under its own weight
and we’re both acting too indignant to be honest,
but I feel a hole in me the size of darkness
and a silence that dreams like God. Are you still there; am I?
Have I woken up without you?

Burn for me, baby; fire all these love-crossed stars up
and let me see you shining and naked on the nightwatch.
I’m tired of issuing all these secret passwords
to an army of spies scrambling clarity in a coding machine.

Perhaps I’m not clear myself or haven’t done or said it right,
or there are lies standing-by like unfueled flights to nowhere,
but I feel like my heart’s been through a paper-shredder
and there are foreign troops entering the office with orders
to exterminate anyone not already in pieces
or out dancing around the fire at a book-burning. I know you’re young;
I know your eyes would have to turn into skies
and your heart, the Hubble telescope,
for you to see me as I am to myself, an infinitely remote galaxy,
the faint smudge of a billion stars and planets
evaporating like breath on a cold windowpane into the void.

A match blown out. Forgive me. I am the light, unmoored, an empty boat
drifting through my own wreckage,
looking for survivors among a feeding frenzy of fins,
all my useless modifiers dangling in shark-infested waters.
I can’t even remember what I died in the name of
if anything at all
or who among all these bodies I’ve hauled into my heart
brought me back to life
if it wasn’t you.
But how ridiculous. Two hours to make love;
five and a half until you call
or don’t call after our exchange with healing or hurt.
Why am I always the one who is waiting?
You always the one who seems to be labouring
under some onerous imposition?

You’re little boxes of wind, back-alley gusts of being,
lifting me up a moment like a leaf
and then off to something else with a gust of indifference.
No sooner do I crawl out from under
these heavy Himalayas of heart-mud
that avalanche down upon me
with every telling remark you don’t make, the opening for tenderness
missed again and again by your smouldering silence
then I find myself washed clean of myself
in one of your dry wells of emotion. Do you truly love me
or have I become some fading mirage in this black Sahara
that bares its teeth like pyramids?

And yes, and yes, and yes; I know I am not perfect. I do not think I’m god
unless you and him and her and the daylilies are too.
And if it’s a revolution, a coup d’etat you seek
in the secret cells of your mind; remember, it’s your own palace
you’re overthrowing, your own window you smash.

There is nothing in me or my life
that is not already yours by an immaculate contract of stars.
I feel like a bottle of aged whiskey must feel
when it’s been drained to the last drop
and the drinker isn’t even tipsy. Have I failed with you
in some essential way that keeps the drunken dancers out of the garden,
the mystic lovers like wildflowers
who have eluded the conforming vases enduring on the mantlepiece?

I love you so much every bit of your seeming unhappiness,
your frustrated, frustrating petulance
is a wound I stitch up with my spinal cord, the ashes of an eye
that falls into the dense atmosphere of my planetary heart like a meteor.
When I’m angry, be certain; it’s only a wave
in a measureless sea of devotion, weather squalling the surface of the mirror,
but in the depths, my love of you is law,
however the wind blows open the pages of the book of the moon,
however my name is erased from the water it’s written on
even by your hand warping my reflection on the midnight lakes
of your tempestuous seeing.

I shape my body for you. I cajole my hair.
I scrape worlds from under my fingernails
and liberate the life that has lain dormant therein for aeons
in your honour, dedicating each first dawn of creation to your smile.
The golden marrow of my genius is worthless to me
except that it nourishes you in a market of one.
And I am happy to be the nothing that is added to you
so that it amplifies you over and over again by ten. Zero
was ever in love with one since before the beginning of time.
As I love you in this endless succession of an unmoving infinitely finite now.

I want to be your white voice, your green heart,
your black blood, the sky that catches you like a bird when you fall.
Do you see me? I’m standing here rooted to the earth
like a tree that’s been gutted by your slow lightning
and yet still puts out leaves like eloquent tongues,
each one whispering you into the song of the other. My heart
is unquenchably yours like a star that turns its light inward
so that it can’t be detected by anyone else.
Maybe we’re doomed by circumstance and disposition, age
and essence, and maybe we’re not, but even in the denying of love
you are the hidden harmony that affirms it.