Sunday, October 14, 2012



PsychoBabylon wouldn’t trade one real star of his implausibility in
for the smallest flake of that tinfoil spiritual life you’re passing off
as an iron pyrite cure all. PsychoBabylon knows the serenity of the dragons
who’ve learned to make peace with their own fires
even when they’re bringing the rain to temper the swords
they forged in hell to kill people back into life
who’ve stuffed their pillows with too many feathers
and not enough scales to be credible even to the shadows they cast,
not to speak of the torment they put their dreams through
trying to divine and sign them like a message from the dead
for their eyes only. PsychoBabylon suppley practises
a discipline of subtle tenderness and recurrent doubt
in the face of his ambiguous revelations of what it’s all about.

PsychoBabylon might tilt at the hull with the mast of his moonboat
from time to time, thinking he’s whaling with the Kwakiutl,
but he doesn’t turn his lions loose on the blackflies of insinuation
knowing their prowess depends as much upon
the quality of their enemies as it does their friends.
And surely it’s the folly of flowers and stars that have led him
to certain incongruous conclusions about life that constitute
enough of a starmap of independence to go his own way
like a rogue planet sustained by the dark abundance
of his own homelessness as if every orbit he jumped
like the looping threshold of the mystery of life discharged
another photon of light on the black matter of space and time at hand.

PsychoBabylon would rather light candles and fireflies in the abyss
with his incendiary insights than blow them out
with the kiss of a fraudulent angel who traded her harp in
for a fire-extinguisher foaming at the mouth like a rabid cloud
to smother the protected species of hell in the first snowfall
of a nuclear winter. PsychoBabylon doesn’t demonize
the third man on the match for smoking in No Man’s Land
in front of a firing squad looking for scapegoats as a way
out of the irreconcilable dilemmas that keep breaking them
like wishbones and the horns of the lapis lazuli bull harps
strung between the crescents of the moon like spider webs
disguised as dreamcatchers apprenticed to Venus fly traps.

Sick people go to hospital. Bad people go to church.
PsychoBabylon heads out to the woods by himself with a noose
as often as he does a telescope. He risks a wary kindness
toward everything he sees, and even more excruciatingly
he doesn’t replace the thorns of the wild rose bush
with the fangs of the rattlesnake coiled under it
that struck him in his throat in the middle of a song of longing
like a rat snake in the nest of a nightbird whose blood
has just turned to moon rock in a transfusion of toxins
to counteract the mystic elixirs of his enlightened lunacy.

If you can’t hold the prophetic skull of the moon
in your own two hands by now, without fretting it
into foretelling a lie, PsychoBabylon blues his view of you
in the aerial perspective of his compassionate distance
as the victim of your own siege works when you’re the first
to start throwing stones at the windows of your own crystal palace
because where there used to be chandeliers of stars
radiant enough to open up the chakras of the dead
now there’s nothing but a mobile of swords above your head
and all the tongues of serpent fire you split like cedar shakes
to go witching for enlightenment in your celestial watershed
are now swimming on a different wavelength like a holy book
someone read in passing, and like a folder of soggy matches
that smouldered, but never flared, threw into a cosmic ditch
along with the angelic road kill and the rest of the spiritual junkmail.




More past in my brain as I get older than future,
intrusive memories like ghosts come seeking absolution
I still can’t give them sincerely after all these years
of irrelevant tears evaporating through holes in the ozone.
Things I’d wholly forgotten about, returning to this seance
convened by the mother of the muses in her crone phase
like stars and flowers come back to make you smile again
for something as simple as remembering their names
you thought you’d lost in the grass like rings on a key chain.
Painful images I wish I’d never lived to see
but came to understand slept just under the eyelids
of the things most people dream of damaging
by inflicting the worst wounds on their own savage humanity.
Lovers that reoccur in the night air like fireflies
recalling some moment when we touched illicitly
double-crossing all of our mutual taboos to risk
the burning bridge of the dangerous blessing
of the passionate dragon on the far shore of our urgent flesh.
The riverine sediments of the mindstream’s starmud,
an encyclopedic compendium of outcomes and random eventualities.

Any single one of these mystic details is the table of contents
of a whole other life than the one I’ve been living so far,
stars matted in the hair of the leafless willows mad with despair.
Joy, pleasure, tenderness. Sorrow, anger, recrimination.
With the planet tilted a feather’s weight more toward joy
on its axis, or we wouldn’t have anything to cry about
when the season passes. When the wild irises
burn out like pilot lights in the urn of the furnace of the phoenix
losing its will to rise again out of its own ashes.
And through it all, so many afterlives arrested by the mystery
of what we were to each other now that kept
calling us back to each other like wolves in the fog
on opposite hills of the heartscape we couldn’t find a way out of.
There’s still generosity in my fingertips
when I touch the eyelids, the lips, the lunar thorns,
the feldspar pictographs that have been carved into me
like the braille cartouches of the dynastic royal houses and scars of love.

I like to err on the side of a generous spirit as if
there’s always a factor that stands outside the equation
like a fulcrum maintaining a balance that has nothing to do
with equality, but deeply affects the course of a parallel universe.
And I can see through the eyes of the chorus of a hundred voices
chanting like a mantra for me to look at it one
of a thousand other ways to say yes what happened between us
was meant to be, and hear all these fanatical pamphleteers
trying to exonerate the culpability of what we had to do
to survive one another like two separate shoes going their own way.
As sorry as things often turned out, I celebrate the intent
because that part was honest, of who we really wanted to be
to each other, and hoped we were, before the labour
grew too intense, and we took off the pretence of our life masks
and stared into each other’s faces like black mirrors in full eclipse.
And I don’t need a philosophy to back me up on this.
It’s just the way I prefer it. An artistic flourish of the soul, perhaps.
Blue chicory by the side of the road instead of poison ivy.
Strewing more rose petals on the starmap of the path
we walked together for awhile than thorns.
Trying in everything to ennoble the way
I’d like to see myself when I’m on my death bed,
not as some mean-hearted ghoul living under a bridge
but a man who lavished himself like poetry upon life
as if he were sowing stars into the abyss of the wound
love opened up in him like the chasm and chrysalis of a loveletter
always addressed to someone on the other side
of this surrealistically romantic starfish of a universe
where we first met in a ghost dance of enchanted binaries.