Pure intensity. The point of a star. Blue acetylene
to burn out the slag of the soul and burnish the gold
that pours from the ore like the full moon out of the new
without any fear of ever growing old.
Give up it all up like nothing less
than everything all the time
until there’s nothing left for death
to get its hands on. Nothing to curse. Nothing to bless.
But you can’t always tell which is which
as the witchdoctor minimalist
at the back of the wax museum
steps out of the shadows of his spider-web
and says less is more and more is less, more or less
as the crow flys. But there’s deceit in his eyes
and you haven’t got time to consider all that
when your hair is on fire like a tie-dyed comet
and everyone’s mistaking you as a sign
of their second coming, when all you want to do
is plunge your coma in the sun that shines at midnight
in every third eye of dew on the enlightened stargrass.
Everything passes, it’s true. But if you pass
fast enough, time stops, and that grave in the closet
you’ve been hauling around with you for light years
becomes as huge as a sky burial
at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, or the pyre
of your own skeleton stoking the fire
that’s boiling the marrow out your bones.
Stay inflammable like orchids and carnations,
waterlilies imported from your
igneous passion for the moon.
Don’t ever let the gods chain you to a rock
in the Caucasus for a theft of fire
they didn’t even bother to prove
before they put your liver on the daily menu
and sent vultures to peck your eyes out
like hors d’oeuvres. It’s ok to be a wildflower
and bloom in fire once every seven thousand years
like the return of a Buddha in an urn of ashes.
But never lend your third eye out to an arsonist
who says he’s having trouble focusing
and uses it as a lens to burn a black hole
in the middle of a poem that’s been taken
out of context like a table of contents.
We’ve got the stars for that, and who needs
another epilogue to keep the fire going
long enough to be the third man on the match
for a bullet you didn’t see coming like a space craft
because you were blinded by your own blazing?
Climbing the stairs to Joan of Arc’s place,
she was conditioning her hair with a fire extinguisher
and getting ready to pull up stakes
and move back to the country where you can see
six thousand stars with the naked eye
or you can jump through the fire
like a witch without being burned
by the Burgundians for reigniting France
without a permit in a month of unbearable heat.
Even though hagiographers prefer
the fragrance of their saints in urns.