I’M HAVING AN UNREQUITED LOVE AFFAIR WITH MYSELF
I’m having an unrequited love affair with myself.
It’s surrealistically ironic and spiritually annihilating
at the same time, and I can say from personal experience
black holes have a profound sense of humour.
The waterlilies look up at the stars and wonder
if they could shine like that if they ever dried out.
Fire and water. The serpent fire of my electrical potential
jumps the gap like a spinal cord, a bridge is made.
Spiders weave enlightened filaments in a light bulb
like webs of neuronic wiring into dream catchers
and empowering mandalas. I have ignition.
Billions of eyes light up in the dark like fireflies.
I always thought if I really wanted to do the world some good,
I’d lead it away from myself. My alter-ego
shines like a demon in a dark light whose intelligence
is intent on ruining my life compassionately
out of a begrudging respect for sacred rodeo clowns
with red geraniums sticking out of their straw sun hats
like pathetic solar flares of blood trying to wave a red flag
to draw the bullshit off a Pacific mystic Zen cowboy
about to be gored by a horn of the moon in her crone phase.
All the women I’ve ever loved, lived, left and will live with
on these thresholds of the sublime and the ridiculous
like a seance that can see a future in calling things back from time,
have come to me in an aura of dark energy
like a poem in a dream expanding into space.
Or you could see Ophelia under her deathmask
drowning in wounded flowers. Two witches,
an apostate madonna, one ferocious priestess
from the dark side of the moon, one incubus,
one lamia, a Medusa, a delusional gold-digger
who kept working me like a motherlode
although I told her from the first all you’re going to find here
is the slag of meteoric ore that’s been mined out.
The last thing I heard her say when I left her
singing like a canary in the belly of an anaconda,
as I climbed out of the grave she was digging for both of us,
was, I thought you were rich. No, I replied,
a little taken aback at my innocence at this late date,
I just gave you everything I had
because I thought it would make you happy
if I gave you what you asked. Who else
should I have given it too if not you? Good-bye,
with blessings on your house and head,
that erotically upgraded body of yours
and all your excellent possessions.
I’m going to sleep with a bridge tonight
that knows there’s two sides to every river
holding hands secretly under the mindstream
and the bird can’t fly when it’s a lapwing
trying to lure danger away from its cosmic eggs
and all the other wing’s doing is flapping its lips.
And one Female Principle of the World
that needed me to help her incarnate in bed.
Muses all. Eclipses and full moons alike.
Eras of my life. Legends of my genome.
Each a different planet with a physics of her own.
And me the mere scaffolding of bones,
the passionate snakes and ladders
they climbed up on to paint their picture-music
on the ceiling of esoteric pantheons
where the goddess is always the pearl, black or white,
and when I know what’s best for me,
I’m the big-mouthed lunar oyster shell
gaping at the moonrise in desire and wonder
dying to say what leaves me more speechless than silence.
Never knew a woman who wasn’t a sky higher
than my wingspan, a sea deeper than my wisdom
despite the oceanic commotion on the surface.
I was always a continental ledge shy of their depths,
and even though I knew how to swim my way
through the darkest diamonds as easily as I did the night,
I’ve always considered it spiritual bad manners
and an abuse of grace, if I’ve paused to listen
to a mermaid singing to me, and I haven’t drowned
in applause for her as soon as the song is over.
If you’re not willing to die for the picture-music
you’re just another flatlining event horizon
looking for a lifeboat like a whole note with a tin ear
that can’t hear you singing like the fog horn
of a dinosaur mired in a tarpit like a keyboard of bones.
You don’t ask a goddess to be a sacrifice.
Your heart gouged out like an organ donor to the moon
you lay it while it’s still beating like a bleeding ruby
on her temple stairs and by that she’ll know
you were a real king of the waxing year
and eat it like the forbidden fruit of enlightenment
when the jewel is in the lotus like a dragonfly
in a waterlily, and she smears your blood like lipstick
on the petals of a rose that worked witchcraft
with the flavours of life and love she left in my mouth.
Most of the time there’s no interrogative scorpion
of bitterness up my sleeve of stinging nettles,
nor in her shoe when I put her crystal slipper back on,
having just removed a splinter of glass from the paw of a lion
I hope will remember my kindness if we’re ever
in the Colosseum together as audience to the act
instead of predator and prey of the fact
that the asters at the end of summer that we cherish most
are adorned by time in a romantic rite of passage
and then apotheosized as constellations of the autumn
approaching our lingering ghosts like a seance
of the fruits of the earth that all fell in their own good time
singularly, or a windfall in the night, sweetened by our ordeals
as if our hearts had always been bears in a beehive
of rapture and loss and paper wasps
getting mystically hammered on our tears
like the lightyears of life that have aged like stars in our eyes.
I can still taste the mystery of the dark mirrors
we held up to each other like synchronous swimmers,
that deepened so many insights into the strangeness of human nature,
even long after we entered the abyss of the future
like empty urns, I swear, there’s still a dragon in my ashes
that rises up like a pillar of fire or a solar flare,
an eternal flame, a sudden efflorescence of stars,
and makes a deep, sweeping bow to the women I have loved
who left me these gloves of moonlight
glowing on my windowsill when I’m alone in the dark.
And I can hear the Canada geese heading south,
and I remember how vast and eyeless the sky is
when exhausted lovers part like frayed mindstreams
trying to flow past the sacred junction where two rivers meet
without realizing the mingling of their waters is indelible
and it’s hard to find reverse in a universe
that just keeps on going the same way
in this time and place, this now and here
the same path of thorns and rose petals
that everyone walks like the wind in love,
leads everywhere like fireflies trying to read a starmap
from the past, that’s left its future far behind
trying to catch up to what it just let go of
like an almagest of prophetic zodiacs to come
longing for the Beast Mistress of the animal kingdom
to make them jump through their burning hoops again
like moondogs or the black haloes of comets
that keeping falling through the coronas of the sun,
or a dragon dancing in the ripples of the rain
after it’s just swallowed the moon like the cosmic glain.