Wednesday, September 5, 2012



Holding it in, the pain, the doubt, the solitude.
Caging my wild heart out in the open where the stars live,
and the bars are all on the inside like toppled pillars
still holding up the friezes of a few high ideals as much
out of habit, as to show a lot of class
in the way you fall to your knees like a bull
in a tauromachia of the zodiac with seven sunbeams
like acupuncture needles or porcupine quills in your back,
as your ear is cut off like Van Gogh’s and thrown
like a rose of blood to a lady in the crowd.

Living in the lunar half light of all my uncertainties.
Trying to see things I’ve been dying for most of my life
not as expiring consolations on a terminal night ward,
night lights in the morgue, flowers beside the bed,
soft, white shoes whispering down the polished halls of the dead
so they could get a good night’s sleep, knowing
there were more nightmares in their lives
than the hard pillows of the world
they lay their heads down on as if
they were getting used to their gravestones.
Stripped of meaning like the frayed ends
of my thinning neuronic synapses pared to the bone
without any insulation to bear up to the next lightning strike,
that would make even the weathervanes shriek like rust
with the pain, the pain I’m holding in, on trust
it’s going to transmogrify itself into something
death-defyingly creative, the art of a noble calling,
like a snakepit of gamma ray bursts as if space and time
were hemorrhaging like a miscarriage of the heart.

Biting the bullet, eating the pain like an organic vegetable
that’s good for you, hoping the character it builds
isn’t Frankenstein, or the missing link in the madness
of some other species of suffering keeping its distance
because it can’t believe it’s descended from you.
My heart numbed by laughing gas, an ice age of novocaine,
I’m still trying to pull the thorns out with my teeth
like a physician who knows how to heal himself
but if the truth be told, feels more like a toxin
than an antidote milked from the fang of the moon,
a junkie slumped in an abandoned back alley easy chair
like a lotus-eater among the feral cats inclusively alone
to nurse his despair into dreaming of no better life than this one.
I’m still trying to pull the sword out of the stone,
a syringe out of the arm of a lion, the last hinge of the door
that’s hanging like a lapwing without a wingspan anymore.
Down on myself like a meteor shower trying to exchange
one hundred and thirty-five million years of dinosaurs
for just one warm-blooded moment with a mammal.
As new a day to me as it is to a baby, and I’m doing my best
to live wholly and now in the moment,
without losing my appetite for time
or letting the starfields be overgrown by underbrush,
but when there are more scars and skeletons on your dance card
than there are wounded new moons making a recovery
on the rebound, you can feel like the abandoned ark of a barn
scuttled on Mt. Ararat like a love cruise that wants its money back.
And time is just a snake-oil salesman that heals nothing.

Space turning to glass. Time in convulsions
having tasted a little of its own medicine
and the light that broke this morning like a halo of hope
around the rim of the black hole that had swallowed me live
I was being so cooly detached about, though my heart,
voodoo doll it may have been in the past, beat as fast
as the rain stitching up the seams of the mirrors on the street
as if they were on the same wavelength as a surgical sewing machine,
until it realized this false dawn was as dark as the last
and all it was doing was patching up the ghosts of the past
with clouds of unknowing that had no secrets to reveal
and pathetic fallacy aside, knew nothing about the way I feel.

Trying to be a human who healed more than he wounded.
Trying to be a man that his jeans aren’t ashamed to wear.
Trying to be a Zen hard rock strong enough to climb the mountain
than come down on everyone like an avalanche of cornerstones
giving up like Sisyphus on pushing another moonrise up the hill
even when I’m swimming through quicksand
or paving a way that others might follow as lost as I’ve been
on this long, dark, strange, radiant road
that isn’t just another starmap with pit stops,
that isn’t the asphalt of spiritual La Brea Tarpits,
or a labyrinth that ends in a cul de sac of glass ceilings
like the crumbs of the dreams of a habitable planet
I saved like a rosary of near-earth asteroids
just a few fly-bys outside the Van Allen Radiation Belts
I wore like a bodhisattvic warrior without any scalps
to bring things back together that have been too long apart.




If you don’t take the risk, jump the abyss like a firefly
between two polarities, how are you ever going
to release your potential as the stem cell of a bridge of light
from one hemisphere of your brain of starmud
to the other side of your shining? Whenever
there are two eyes it’s crucial that you make a third.
And if you haven’t got the courage to jump from your artificial paradise
without knowing whether you’ve got a parachute on or not,
go ask the dandelions gone to seed how to take a fall
like the free radical of a kiss on the breeze, touch life
lightly as if you were feeling the weave of the silk mist
rising like someone’s last breath off the morning lake
or ask the seasoned helicopter pilots of the dragonflies
and maple keys about doing double wheelies like dna helices
when you’ve driven way past the end of the road like Thelma and Louise
and your animation’s been suspended trying to cling
to the wind like a rafter of air you can hang from
like the larva of a caterpillar repelling down a Dutch elm
on a thread of fate you’ve got to pull like a rip cord
if you want to be a skydiver instead of a half-baked butterfly
always on the run from base-jumping spiders
on a strafing run of balsa wood gliders that never got off the ground.

If you don’t jump into this life like Basho’s frog
into the pond of the world. Splash. At the end of time
when your life flashes before your eyes like an implosion
going supernova, just before you drown in your own tears,
you’re going to realize that all along you were
an estranged embryo that committed suicide in the womb
by making a noose of your mother’s umbilical cord.
How wide does the sky have to be before you’ll fly?
Or the sea, to swim? You want to know the flightplan
and the wingspan of the wind before you decide
if you’re going to ride it or not, dig your spurs into the storm
like white lightning into the heart of a brahma bull
or run before it like a rodeo clown who wanted to be a matador.

All my life I’ve run into cosmic matchbooks
with a solar flare for bucolating back on themselves
like ingrown hairs festering they’re not the galaxies
they once aspired to with the candlepower
of a single illuminated insight without mirrors
that was enough of a wavelength to surf for light years
and would have carried them all the way there
like Hero to Leander across the Hellespont,
if they’d only been creatively self-destructive
or counter-intuitively absurd enough
to trust the road born with their own feet to walk it
so all your crutches don’t have to do it for you.
How could any of your planets be habitable
if they’re still hanging like a mobile of green apples
on a skeletal bough in autumn long after the leaves have flown?
Cowardice always did have the worst sense of timing
and an alibi like a sin of omission it didn’t commit
against itself like a moralistic etch-a-sketch or the tabla rasa
of a travel journal that never got any further than the page
it wasn’t written on like a tidal pool cluttered with relics
of how dangerous it can be to set sail
on the great night sea of awareness without
even so much as a petal of the moon for a lifeboat.

Falling isn’t for petty people. Go ask the waterbirds
descending into their reflections ascending from the deep,
or light being twisted like a lock of hair
around the finger of any black hole
with the gravitational eyes to point you out
like Icarus re-entering the atmosphere,
a white feather of fear going up in flames,
a meteor with a biological impact on change.