BEAUTY IN THE ALOOFNESS OF MY USUAL SORROWS
Beauty in the aloofness of my usual sorrows.
A respite in time and care. A hole in space
I can escape through without setting off any alarms.
And I don’t care what this poem is going to be about
I can write it with no preconceived deceptions,
no utilitarian intent, no split lip ego-defects.
For a moment, the ice age is thawing
and the blue chicory and English ox-eyed daisies
like the taste of the air, and the drainage-ditches
are a riot of Queen Ann’s Lace and Viper’s Bugloss.
Temperate consolations modify my mood
into a truce with the bleaker conditions of life.
I’m gulled by the sunshine. I’m a schill of the mindstream.
The killer bees are away from their hives.
Amber tears of Baltic honey flow in my veins
without attracting flies. Life is unconscionably reasonable
in the efflorescence of its mystically specific details.
Even my dragon skull basks in the beatific wavelengths
of a better attitude toward its own martyrdom
in the greener fires of earth like salt in a flame.
And later tonight, if I’m still so entranced,
I’ll make my way down to the Tay River
to see if the fireflies are out dancing pianissimo
with the abandoned lighthouses of the stiff-necked cattails.
I’ll sit on a rock that doesn’t aspire to lord it over
anyone’s kingdom, and I’ll stare at the stars
until they’re tattooed like an indelible starmap
on the back of my eyelids, to keep my tears
from diluting them like smeared watercolours
or my more igneous aspects, from shattering them
like the menagerie of a zoo with glass bars.
And o, basking in the freedom of my own madness,
hilarious as peace, the infinite homelessness
of knowing I come from everywhere all at once,
and there’s nowhere I’ve walked alone in my life
down any road beset with assassins, or feathered
like strippers in boas of white sweet clover,
I haven’t been stepping across the threshold
of another wilderness always as vast
and cautiously intriguing as I am mysteriously lost
when the human intimacy of a longing heart
encounters the sentient impersonality
of an infinite mind that isn’t aware of anything
the heart doesn’t bring before it like a child’s drawing.
And there are themes you can follow
like bush wolves through the back woods
trampled down by the padding of their circuitous descents
into the dangerous pantries of the farms
pseudomorphically nestled between the hills.
It’s an itinerary that’s serviced the pack for years
with a sufficiency that’s got them this far against the odds.
And each to their own way, go with the gods
and I’ll rejoice in hearing you howl among the trees
to the chagrin of your detractors listening
with a begrudging admiration a civilization away
from what’s been bred out of them like freedom
under a full moon in heat. As for me
and my homeless approach to the ghost towns
of future zodiacs, I never want to know where I’m going
until I get there inconceivably as the only path
I could have taken in the first place,
because that’s always the way it is
even when you delight in the wiles of going astray.
Signs of your emptiness in the midst of the great unknowing.
Time and space mindscaping the exploration
you keep thrusting into the dark like the light and the lamp
of an estranged nightwatchman, hoping
you haven’t been here before, and anything
worth keeping an eye on has already been given away for free.