LADY MENAGERIE’S HEART TINKLES LIKE GLASSWARE
Lady Menagerie’s heart tinkles like glassware.
I think of the rain as a musical prodigy
but Lady Menagerie listens and hears
little chips out of her tears. We walk
through a squall of spider webs suspended
like veils and bridges over the chasms of Capilano,
and she’s lost in a fog of cotton candy
and I’m trying to get them out of my hair
like evil stars, black dwarfs in the deathtraps
of their slipshod constellations turned like dreamcatchers
to the dark side. Lady Menagerie is precociously precious.
She’s a thermometer of sensitivity. She sees
the dew in the morning and breaks into a sweat
because she thinks the grass has got a fever
she doesn’t want to catch. The world for Lady Menagerie
is never a crying three year old wandering alone naked
through the gauntlet of road kill some computer in Colorado
has made of her family, or, nearer to home, the neighbour’s god.
There are no blackflies in Lady Menagerie’s honey.
She’s a cult of fanatical translucency and if
it doesn’t smell like sandalwood incense and Patchouli
it’s not the fragrance of a real flower.
Lady Menagerie is a starmap of chandeliers.
A one-eyed aesthete. If you tell her that the moon’s
cratered like the pit of a peach, that every falling star
isn’t a sign to wish upon with the benign intentions
of a celestial midwife, that sometimes, predictably,
they’re astronomical catastrophes bent on her extinction,
she’ll call out the thought police of the Vatican
and accuse you of molesting her pristine psyche
by painting pictures on the lens of her mind,
So you only point your telescope, hooded like a falcon,
at the robin’s egg blue of the chicory growing by the side of the road.
You don’t mention the turkey vultures in pathology
operating like undertakers doing an autopsy
in a seventeenth century Dutch operating theater
huddled around the cadaver of a dismembered squirrel.
Lady Menagerie says she resisted being mistreated
as a girl, and now the rest of us have to make up for it
because she’s a wound in arrears to her psychiatrist
and if she’s ever going to heal, it’s important
to be hurt sincerely. Lapwing or judas-goat,
Real suffering is too messy an ore for her
to get her rainbows dirty, so she cherry picks the jewels
out of the eyes of her experience to go
with the flower arrangement she’s made of her still life.
She draws a drape of tasteful discretion over the albino fog
of her auroral see through curtains smudging the gauze of sunlight
into a cataract over her world view, closing her eyelids
like an observatory on the black holes and dwarfs
that maculate her radiance within like sunspots
that no one could possibly mistake for a beauty mark.
Lady Menagerie is all for peace if peace is pretty,
but she’s an aggressive sin of omission against the humanity
of the starmud that has sunk too deeply into the earthbound
to shine. Her compassion is shallow. Her insights
ricochet off the fortified mirrors of the blind
as she milks the cattle of the sun like solar flares
grazing on the upper ionosphere of the tear-shaped earth.
Beauty is a Japanese screening myth for the lies
she tells about ugliness, Tokugawa spring in Hiroshima.
A tea ceremony where the cracks in cups are patched with gold
in the middle of a cannibalistic religious ritual where you
pass your skull around like a half moon
every blood drunk lunatic can drink from
while the plum blossoms fall all around them.
Lady Menagerie is a private elevator with celestial aspirations.
There’s no thirteenth floor in her high rise
and her door has never opened on to a slum
it couldn’t transcend at the push of a button
until she got off on the view from her zodiacal penthouse.
But this rose is a unicorn with a poison thorn
she’ll dip like bella donna in your wishing well
to turn it toxic if the hummingbirds aren’t sipping nectar
from her happy bell, the bluebirds aren’t housed by the hunters.
Dark physical energies, only dark to the mind,
are the muses the body sings for with unfabricated bliss.
Lady Menagerie is gushing like a galactic sprinkler
with lyrics she’s writing for the cosmic hiss.
She was hurt at one time. The abyss made an impact.
And ever since she’s bathed in a crater of nanodiamonds
to renew the virginity of the light that’s been soiled by shadows.
Rage is a pariah. Grief’s a pariah. Intensity, danger, risk.
Chaos, conviction, despair, doubt, honest unknowing,
The dark’s a pariah. The firefly in the dragon mask.
Aging, changing, solitude, the black mirrors
of enlightened heretics she can’t see herself in
she has so scrubbed, and expunged, bleached and effaced
the dark side of the moon she’s erased herself
like a spray bomb with a concrete message
under a busy overpass of traffic and trash.
I wish Lady Menagerie translucent blue birds
that look as if the glass were crying, iridescent
supersensitive soap bubbles filling hyper space
like a nacreous multiverse smearing the oilslick
of everyone’s third eye in eclipse with west coast rainbows
that still haven’t earned their stripes of black and white even yet.
When Lady Menagerie dreams everything is indefinite.
Even her most hellish nightmares taste of burnt sugar.
She would rather smudge the world with sage and sweetgrass
than admit there are demons in the world
who are not estranged by the rarity of their enlightenment.
The cold goes through your bones. And then the fire.
And then the stars put on the lifemasks of the flowers
so they can see through their eyes how deeply rooted
their radiance is like brittle waterlilies shattering in the dark.
I wish Lady Menagerie the dark beginning of a new moon.
Black Isis. No more veils and widow’s weeds. Just a night sky
where the dragons are flying with the swans and the eagles
and the Great Square of Pegasus, and they’re all burning,
they’re all shining down upon the messy starmud of earth
giving up their light like a ghost with a lantern
come looking for us in the cold furnace of human desires,
created and cremated in the cradles of our own funeral pyres.