Monday, October 8, 2012



In you I come to the end of roads,
and an alphabet of burning wings
falls from an indigo sky
like meteors trying to write
the unsayable in a slash of light,
in a language of luminous scars
the night beatifies with mystic knowledge
that wants to name you
so deeply in thresholds and stars
the charged silence
is giving birth to an indelible mouth,
a doorway of blood,
an ancient grammar of fire
the wind puts on like a robe
to scry the darkness for a voice
that could fill the goblets
of the moon’s dead seas
with the wine of a radiant wound,
so much within me
already the tongue of a bell
that can taste you like blackberries.

The whole of you
in every single drop of your eyes,
you are the black swan
of the eclipse that rares its reflection in water,
the dark orchid in the shadow of the dragon
that sways like a bell in the night,
even your absence a shape of cherishing,
a harvest of shadows beyond the light
of the lamp that burns for you.

Within the deepest abyss of myself
where the heart stands alone
like a single black pillar
in the twilight wasteland of the world,
a mysterious temple to the ultimacy
of having been here once
to suffer the passage of form and time,
everything a gesture of space
that thaws back into itself,
I have written your name
in the hourglass of my blood
like a whisper of secret ink
that once voiced the light to be
and shook the stars like wheat
out of its blind abundance
and will be remembered forever
as the first intimacy of the sea,
and there is the rumour
of a dream in the air,
the fragrance of an approach,
that out of an ocean of light
the tide will embody a woman
like the shore of an island
littered with fingertips and kisses
enmeshed like galaxies and starfish
in the exhalation of her veils
and our lips will meet like archers,
and our bodies will sing like arrows
sunk like orchards through the heart
and long after the last flame of life is shed,
the night will silence the birds
in the groves where we bled like poppies
to open the gates of the mystery
like keys and rain, or the rosary of black pearls
that chants its prayers to the night
like the slow alarm of autumn geese
in the eyes of a human face.

I try to say what can’t be said,
pouring my spirit
into the wineskin of every word,
but my heart is a larger apple
than the bough of my voice can bear,
and the silence
that would erect temples everywhere like flowers
spun from the auroral silks of my soul
and perfume the air with the pollen of sacred fireflies,
every emotion a priest with a shaven head
to honour the moon
climbing the stairwell within me
of a million horizons at once
in every breathless step,
falls away behind me like the wake of a sinking ship
that lowers me into my coffin like a lifeboat
or a message in a bottle
that pleads like wine with the emptiness
for an alphabet that isn’t in arrears to time
to say you to the night
in a lightning breath of life beyond
these elemental likenesses I carve
from a quarry of stars.

And I know I ask for immortal children
from a human womb,
and wide as my powers are
to exceed the sky with homing birds,
to adorn the dead branch with windows
that dazzle the roots of dawn,
I am the ashes of a black star in daylight,
a stone man with a chain for a tongue
when I try to swim like Atlantis
through the depths of your shining within
and the last word, the last life
to flash across my mind as I drown
again and again like a pulse
in the embrace of your beauty
is always the world as it is
before anything was said.




Under the bridge
with the rest of the homeless
there is a large, rusty oildrum
that a raging orchid of fire blooms in:
my heart.

Anywhere is now my only address
and everywhere the world crosses my threshold.

I know my own spirit
as the eye of the water
knows the moon’s reflection;
a mystic firewalk of luminous petals,
a shattered urn, the shards
of an ancient mirror
that’s never featured anyone,
sharp enough to cut space.

Under the bridge
where the lost keychains
gather to enlighten the night
with stories of the things they could not open,
my spirit is a hot, black rose
on a witching wand
with the crescents of the moon for thorns.

And I have never understood the loss
the heavy bell of my pulse calls me to
like a sorrow that hauls me around tidally
in a dans macabre
or lily-laden funeral procession
to mourn the lethal beauty
of our passage and separation,
the extirpation of the mystery.

Under the bridge
my spirit is free
and no one can evict the wind,
and though the lies and the truths
eventually mingle in a confluence of waters,
and the dead are
as often the shadowmasters of the living,
as the living are lighthouses to them,
I am still robed like a trembling king
in the oilslicks of my delusions
when the guest of my awareness
mistakes the host for a servant,
and the shining seems blighted with sunspots
that struggle pointlessly like flies
on the helical gusts
of my flypaper mind
and the windowsills are thick with the dust
of unattainable aspirations.

So much of what I was taught was wrong.

Under the bridge
the dead gather like leaves at the gate
for hand-outs from the living
who have even less than they do
and the lovers don’t dare remember
what it was like not to crave and despise each other
like the next fix.

Here is where
the sages of the street,
lost and found in the tao of concrete,
linger like ants in empty brandy bottles
whose labels have slipped from them like skin,
slurring their prophecies
in a demotic of scars.

Should you come here,
bring your own totem pole of eras and masks,
the stele of your subjective imaginings
you erected in the circus of your heart
like the axis of an amputated clock
to witness the running of your passions
yoked to golden chariots,
the single pillar of the temple
that houses your most cherished afflictions.
This is where the curses come to die
a natural death
and the blessings
are the enhanced shadows of whatever’s left.

Here even the barnacles
that make toy villages
and give the tiny molars of their dead volcanoes root canals,
have tasted the dark ecstasy
of a moment that spewed them out of their fezs
like the lonely feather of an astounded bird escaping.

Under the bridge
no one knows what the skeletons are pointing at.
I want a compass with a clean needle.
Under the bridge
the ashes and shadows
of hearts that were once certain
argue over what they are the lees of,
what lights and fires
have cast them into perdition
as they swallow their liquor like hourglasses.

Under the bridge I am spared all these meanings
looking for life.
Here meaning itself is meaningless
and I want a life so immediate
I don’t need to grind a mortar out of the stars
to assign myself a place
in what cannot be located.

I don’t want to know who I am all the time
and if there’s any need of a temple,
sanctuary in the quicksand,
let it be the wind.
Love is a coil of flypaper
hung out in the hope
of catching a star;
better to be the wind
and learn to let things go
like seeds and birds and the leaves
of a tree that burnt its own holy book,
tired of flames and feathers.

Under the bridge
where everyone is the missing link
in a chain of tears,
I don’t need to master everything I see
or tighten my spinal cord like a guitar key
to jam with the blind music of the spheres.
I attune myself to space
and sing back-up in the darkness.

Under the bridge
all human knowledge, all art
is graffiti expressed in passing
to make the emptiness homey.

I’ve been weaving my blood like fire
on a loom of bone
into flying carpets and curtains;
I’ve been painting dreamscapes
on the lunar sails in a bottle of wine
and sending them off
on every wave of a delivered heart
with a warning to leave me alone.
I cry along with the rain
to adorn a palace of water
and follow every river
back to the fountain-mouth of a woman.
I plough the nightsilts in the mysterious deltas
of forbidden civilizations,
knowing the pyramids are dust
and that everyone’s afterlife is now.

Under the bridge
the lonely and luckless thresh the oracles
of the candles guttering out in their skulls,
believing love can win a war with a blade of grass
against the serpent-fire of black lightning
that doesn’t need the witness of a nightwatchman
or the fury of a junkyard dog
to keep an eye on things.

One flash of its lucid eclipse
and the work is done.
Under the bridge
you wake up like a rootless tree
that’s free to come and go
like any other illusion
mesmerized by its own inconceivability,
or you’re the moon
eating your own afterbirth in a sea of shadows.

Under the bridge
enlightenment walks the way of the lie
like a forged passport to liberation
to show the refugees of truth
a little known escape-route
out of the war they declared against themselves.

Under the bridge
I am aging.
I am sad.
I am alone;
and there’s a spiritual oilslick
trying to convince me it’s a nightrose
and the golden chariot my heart once was,
stinking of triumph,
is now a garbage truck
reeking of angels
and the accoutrements of an outmoded purity,
the chipped relics of a secret sanctity
that bled to death through its eyes
when the solid turned real
and the fools gathered in amazement
like footnotes
to scoff at the text of themselves.

Now I saturate my silence with compassion
and leave the weeping
to make their own creekbeds
through the precarious terrain
of their infantile schemes
to dazzle the sun
with the candle of their insignificance.
Most still stick out their thumbs
for a free ride to a wild hope and a hunch,
but under the bridge
all the true pilgrims are roadkill;
and anyone who still believes in anything
is merely donating themselves precariously
to a foodbank for cannibals.

Under the bridge
the last resort
is always the burning gate of something better
and the most ardent optimists
are those without a chance:
seven come eleven,
but their only constellation,

Every morning I lift the mirror to my lips
and drink my own reflection
like blood from my skull
to forget what I am becoming
as I age like an echo among the mountains
even as a greater translucency
slowly enraptures me
in the competence of an unexpected freedom.

One day
you say good-bye to your voice like a bird
that adorned the tree
throughout the summer of its bearing,
the last flame leaps from the fire
into the darkness like a dancer
that stole everything from you
without offense,
and from that denuding on
everything you’ve got to say
is the wind in leafless branches
trying to sweep the stars from the sky
that might have shown you a way back.