Tuesday, September 4, 2012



Seeking the shadows of what you are
you miss who’s standing in the light.
Eternity with its tail in its mouth
can’t taste much else in life but itself.
Where did these words come from
just a moment ago out of nowhere,
and if it were to rain, would that be
shallow or deep? And maybe a labyrinth
is just a snake that’s swallowed its own head
and is wandering aimlessly in despair
through its own digestive track
like a salmon leaping upstream
through a waterclock with self-similarity
on its mind, oviparous replication,
the material immortality of genetic time.

Nothing’s irrelevant or inelegant
if there’s nothing to choose from
so everything shines in every mystic detail
as if it had never come unglued in its solitude
and bifurcated its unity into the subject
and the object of its awareness just to have
someone to talk to, an intimate familiar
it could rave at or serenade in a manic love affair
it was having with its own creation
like an artist talking to his masterpiece
with the caress of every sable-haired brush stroke.

Insignificant for the long haul, or famous
for fifteen minutes, either way,
you wouldn’t know it by looking
at the fossils we didn’t bring back from the moon
or sifting the grain from the chaff
from the ashes of the wheat
the wind scorched like a dragon
on its way to bring rain. Why
drive a nail through your third eye
and delude yourself into believing
you’ve been crucified, the king
of the waxing year sacrificing
your body parts to ensure a good harvest?

You want the virtues of your noble enemy?
Slay yourself and eat your own heart.
This is your nagual, your tulpa, your mirage,
your nightmare, your doppelganger,
your reflective familiar, your shadow
holographically projected in 3D by the pineal gland
of your third eye tattooed on the skin of a black hole
that is neither an ignominious exit through the grave
or the celebrated entrance into a secret garden,
and it can’t be any more empowered than you are,
and there are no walls to walk through
if it wasn’t you that built them to keep the poor
from vaulting them to steal your apricots
like the hungry ghosts that haunt
the orchards of your abandoned thoughts.
Savage homeopathy, perhaps, a holy war
of starmaps torn out like pages of sacred text
against the leaves who think they’re responsible
for keeping the whole tree they both spring from intact.
The autumn burns like an heretical apostate
that’s fallen away like faith in itself.
What nonsense, when they’ll both end up
doing a ghost dance on each other’s graves
where neither the dead nor the living
can be reunited in peace at the same seance
because the flame of life is duelling with its own candle
like the branch of a spear with the flint-knapped blossom
of the point it’s trying to drive home through its own heart.

A lethal waste of energies for echoes
to seek the destruction of their original voice.
When the waves of the light, the sea, the mind
bare their necks and swan
for the double-bladed axe of the moon
that separates things like conceptual consciousness
as if it were cleaving water, and heads come off
like the leading rose-buds of multi-cephalic hydras
that bloom the more they’re pruned like zinnias,
even death considers the slaughter an abuse of time.

If you want to live in the house of life as a martyr,
a bodhisattva, a spiritual mujahedin who
blows himself up in the temple of the money-lenders
and discount dove merchants, or even a poet
who enlisted in the ghettos of the Chilean art brigades
like Victor Jara, or Archibald Lampman’s
warrior minstrel of the forlorn hope
dying of a heart attack in Ottawa at thirty-six,
or Emily Dickinson listening to a fly buzz when she expired,
the only blood on the blade you fall upon
you should ever taste is your own if you
want to speak to a big-hearted bell of enlightenment
without the forked tongue of a perjured witching wand
or the self-defeating absurdity
of seeking clean water with dirty hands
or trying to reach out to touch the stars
when they’re pouring through your fingers
like the sands of an hourglass remembering
all its past lives gathered around the village wells
like telescopes looking through the wrong end of themselves.




Even when I’m down, you’re a first magnitude eclipse.
No one I had rather stand in the shadow of than you.
Even at high noon, when I’m ingathered like black wheat
into the siloes of my dark abundance, and the sundials
can’t tell what time it is, you’re the midnight in my house well
that makes the stars more beautiful for having disappeared
from the bright vacancy of the day into this deeper darkness
where the blood rushes to my eyes to stand at the window
beside my heart, and be amazed by your moonrise
I couldn’t have anticipated were I a Mayan astronomer in orbit.
Or the third eye of the Hubble sifting through the rubble
of the old temples to the gods we abandoned
and left to the snakes and the swallows to make of what they will,
as if we could take any of these prophecies that have come true, back.

I’m turning you like a black diamond in the light,
and I’m listening to your dark harmonies like wavelengths
that have traversed great abysses like the gypsy photons
of a gamma ray burst with the power of ten billion suns
going off all at once in a rapture of radiance
as lethal as enlightenment. You bring out
the snake-charmer in me and I want to sing to you
as if all these crows had burning guitars for voices
and the choirs of the dumbstruck doves
were switching from acoustic to electric
when they see how you sway
like the matrix of space and time to the music,
the flying carpet of a dangerous grace,
the membrane of a new world about to explode into hyperspace.

And, yes, my ego is afraid of the agonies of clarity
it might have to endure like the excruciating transformations
of a mirage among constellations, a firefly that expires
like the wick of a candle in a squall of stars
that knows the timing is just as crucial
as the content of the light when it’s too early
for the bud of the black rose to bloom yet,
and if you want to see deeper into the dark
you can’t pry the petals of a matchbook open
before it’s their moment to shine. But black lantern
I may be, blind, empty, looking for my mind with my mind
and losing it in the glare of its own light,
and though I’ve gouged my eyes out to find it,
yet when I think of you, you fill my eyeless homelessness
with billions of unnamed stars with habitable planets
and shepherd moons keeping the secrets of life to themselves
like black pearls in the lockets of oyster shells
opening their mouths like old calendars of stone
to sing the praises of the new moon on this event horizon.

I may be the holographic projection of a fridge magnet
stuck on the two dimensional skin of a black hole
in the great watershed of the Conservation of Data Principle,
but when I’m flatlining like that, mirage, or no,
you’re the third dimension I keep manifesting in.
You’re the occult jewel that has fallen
from my black halo of comets into the sun
that shines at midnight. You’re Immersion.
Ingathering. Illumination. Dispersal. You put flesh
like loaves and fishes on the skeletons of the dragon’s teeth you sow
and every abyss that ever echoed the silence of the nightbirds
that had given up their longing like a begging bowl
is brimming over the rim of my skull cup like a full silo.
All my mirages are drowning in their own reflections
like fountain mouths of real water on the moon,
trying to wash all these deathmasks off
like so many visions of the world that stuck
like the dust of the road clinging to my eyes
like gusts of stars that make me want to weep
to polish the shining in the dark mirror
that’s looking at you like the occult light
at the end of the tunnel of my reflecting telescope
so that even when I’m down, I’m a miner with hope
buried deep underground in this chamber of mystic diamonds,
where I’m painting picture-music in the carbon
of my own charred bones, the kissing stones
of my prophetic skulls wiping lipstick off the petals
of a black rose, face paint off the eyes of all my sacred clowns,
to celebrate the dawn of the new moon pearling under my eyelids.