SEEKING THE SHADOWS OF WHAT YOU ARE
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.