Saturday, November 3, 2012



The demonically enlightened see further into hell
than the light the angel eyes see by. Who knows
a woman better than when you’ve lost her?
So I know the bliss of heaven as I know
the depth of the regrets of Pandemonium.
Both ends of the telescope. The vapour of the rose
and the smoke of oil fires throwing snakes
and black feathers on the pyres of the wildflowers
that shed their petals like scales. A white star
in the arms of a black hole it’s dancing around binarily.
The via positiva coiled around the via negativa
like the copulative way of day and night,
helical theta waves killing and healing,
changing their spin contemporaneously
in synchronicity with the charged starfields
in every creative moment we live here to shine
a light out of the darkness of awareness
we haven’t seen before. And I say,

prophetically hooded in snake skin,
this interim in the late fall, this fateful pause
in the roseate third eye of a galactic hurricane
bearing down upon us like diamond-edge blades
in a threshing field full of scarecrows
that incorporated the crop into the strawdogs
of their bodies, is the Age of Disappointment,
the bursting of the myriad balloons of the multiverse
blooded like roses hemorrhaging on their own thorns.

We grow older faster than we used to
trying to keep up with the pace of our longevity
fleeing from the light of the way things are,
one jump ahead of our youth, as if the ship
were abandoning the plague rat of time
by scuttling itself on the reefs of a foreign eternity
wearing the deathmask of the moon
that gapes down upon us all in shock
at what we’ve done to ourselves in the green room
like an atlas of shattered mirrors slashing out at us
in a frenzy of reflections that make things clear as blood.

Disappointment is the prelude to desecration.
And though we all hype our optimistic overviews
of the text to come, we haven’t seen anything yet
like the wind that will knock us out of our words
like the empty nests of the birds that had heard enough
to stop singing before us. The terrible stillness
of the first sign of a red alert in heaven
and the great silence that overwhelms
the air raid sirens of hell. And all
the opinionated lighthouses and foghorns
that made a career out of not taking their warnings
seriously enough, snuffed out and blinded
like the mouths and eye-sockets of prophetic skulls
in the decaying orbits of an avalanche of asteroids
taking their lead from the insurgent cells of shepherd moons.
A ravening species of life that eats itself
out of house and home like a cannibalistic planet
that lives off its own, gone antibiotically insane.

But even a total eclipse doesn’t cover the sun wholly
and the corona gleams through the valleys
of the lunar mountains like Bailey’s Beads.
And there’s even a dim halo around the rim of a black hole.
And among the condemned you can sometimes see
a begrudging kind of merit that shines out
of the slag and slurry of the excruciating transformations
of the ore that’s being refined by suffering and experience,
a black jewel that radiates dark energy
even in the false dawn of an unworthy afterlife.

Just below the scar tissue of the earth’s crust,
seven kilometers down in a diamond mine
blind on the coal road to the light,
thermophilic bacteria have regenerated life on the planet
after near annihilation three times.
So if any of us survive ourselves in this empire
of mineralized cells and exotic metals
out of our exuberant neurons what photons
of our bioluminescence might jump orbitals
and spread like foxfire across the scorched earth again,
casting the ashes of stars in the urns of the rose-hips
on the roots trying to cling in the cold
to some notion of spring that keeps their bloodstream
blooming in their underground hearts
like one of the more graceful arts of survival?




When you’ve averaged out your crucials
and you’ve walked in the light and you’ve walked
in the shadows of things your eyes still taste of
though you’ve set a star as the moral compass
of your cloudy destination, and it’s following you
down a long stray thread of a road, the smart money
bets on doing some good in the world
you may not even be aware of, let alone
expect payback for as if you were doing business
not gambling on an intuitionally calculated risk
its probably better to leave a sweeter cachet to the place
for your having been here, chicory by the side of the road,
or wild orchids in the marsh, by the addition
of one flower more than to desecrate your life
with bitterness, resentment, the indifference of ambition
when its heart gargles with an inhumane antiseptic
to keep from being infected by the human in its bloodstream.

You don’t have to arrange paradigms of shining
into some kind of mandalic starmap unless you want to.
Giving something up isn’t the same as adding yourself to it.
Even if you foreknow you’re doomed to lose, total eclipse,
if you’re a real gambler, you lose with flare, like a solar corona.
You’re intrigued by the unfolding of the road you took,
the river you’re running, the rapids in the mindstream
you’re about to shoot down the middle in an inflatable life raft
in the spring run off of the waterclock of a reverential northern river.
It might be important to seek
the eventual forgiveness of the night
for what we’ve done to it, treating it as a reward
for breathing our way through another day in the light.
But the stars aren’t listening to the alibis
we’re whispering in the dark to our selves.
They labour under the cowbells of their own myths of origin.

But you can always do a little good in the world.
The whole place is wounded. No shortage of opportunity.
You can drive the ambulance back to the hospital.
You can be the atom that decides the outcome
of a cosmic event, so slight are the actions of the random,
chaos in action, it just takes one to light up
infinite time and space moment by moment
and blow it out just as quickly to enhance the night,
the pulsar of a firefly in a lighthouse of dark matter.
You ever wonder how many messiahs
have come and gone from the world
without ever once having heard of themselves?
If you don’t like to drink spit out of the public fountains
of other people’s mouths, though they exhale rainbows in the mist
maybe it’s time to taste your own to see if it’s sweet or not.
When things are real, not solid, nothing’s diminished,
nothing’s enlarged, because size is no longer relevant
in a world of wavelengths that have given up living like particles.
And forms are more provisional than cast in bronze.
Waifs of the air, maple leaves cast on the mindstream
covering their own reflections with the fans and hand mirrors
they carry like accessories to their own deathmasks.

Hard to make a wax mould of a dream, an emotion, or an insight.
The mystery of life isn’t an interpretation
waiting to be deciphered any way you like,
though you’re free to do this with the impunity
of a crossroad puzzle. Its silence is a deeper eloquence
than that, and when it expresses itself it’s as immediate
as starlight on water. Its spontaneity never hesitates
to shock us with the impersonal beauty
of a moonrise over the lake in a lunar flood of wonder.
Or some small act of love that’s denounced by the doer
as a foolish way to live against the odds, as soon as it’s done.

Everybody’s on death row here. No one gets out alive
or unwounded. Sparrows and stars and houseflies
pass freely through the bars, and the wind at night
whistles through them like the vocal cords of a harp.
Would it hurt to pass a cigarette through them
to someone in front of a firing squad of stars
or write a loveletter for someone who can’t read it?




Answering the wolf.
Its agony, my own.
Its long howl of irreproachable pain
enough to silence the mountains
with trepidation before something holy.
Desecration. A photo. Two dozen wolf corpses
pouring over the tail-gate of a pick-up.
The bounty of two happy hunters
kneeling beside their rifles
as if something had been accomplished
it would be worth telling their children about.
Hard truth. Here is a human. My species.
It can do this to anything that lives.
From blue algae to Auschwitz,
Uganda, Syria, Wounded Knee.
Whales, buffalo, Sabra and Shatila, the Amazon,
twenty-five million famished children a year,
an avalanche of wolves at the back of a pick-up.
Beyond wanting to know why
there’s this black spot
in people’s hearts and minds,
where sentience turns rabid,
where intelligence seems
the most inspired enabler of death,
where the wine of empathy turns into an oil slick,
how do you answer the innocence
of the wolf, the child, the old growth forest?
Life gets in the way of our enterprising hatred of it?

You kill a wolf. You kill a whole landscape.
You kill a wolf. And the moon marks you out
with an X on your forehead
for a thousand excruciating transformations.
You kill a wolf. And the rivers
will turn against you and bide their time
until you come down to the water to drink
from your own blood-stained reflection.
The sun will begrudge you a shadow.
The wind feel fouled by your smell
like dead meat in your own house well.
Even the maggots who will come
to your heart one day
like undertakers and garbage-collectors
will look upon it not
as the virtue of a noble enemy
but as an undertaking that’s beneath them.
They will not stoop to clean your body like a wound.

Wolf-spirit, wolf-heart, wolf-mind, wolf-mother,
even the white-tailed buck laments
this atrocity of psychotic caprice
that slaughters simply because it can.
I see the moon bare its fangs in proxy for these
and the stars dip their spears in poison.
And I will dance around the fire with you
mad with grief at this wounded eye of life
and smear my face with the ashes of a deathmask
to regret everything about me that is
pathogenetically deranged and inhuman.
To rid myself of the reek of those who could do this.

Do this to our own. Do this to natives.
Do this to wolves. Do this to the air and the water
they breathe and drink from. Do this ultimately
to themselves when there’s no one left to care or notice.
These kill to eat.
These eat to kill. You and all like you
who did and condone this, I ask you,
what will you do with the bodies of these wolves?
You never ravened for the meat;
was it their death that glutted your heart?
Were you compensating for some hidden impotence
giddy with the knowledge you could
extinguish life anywhere on the planet on a whim at will?
Were you urinating on your own wombs,
the graves of your ancestors because
you’re the illegitimate runt of your own myth of origins?
Are you angry at life because you were born?
Do you despise the rose and admire the thorn?
I see the narrowing in the eyes of the ancient taboos
you’ve violated like thresholds with your boots on,
bruising sacred ground without knowing
where it is you walk or the risk you take,
the danger you will encounter,
because you have been made deaf, dumb, and blind
robbed of your eyes, ears, tongue, heart, mind
insensate to what now lifts its nose to the wind
to find you when you least expect it
from the least expected quarter.

These you killed. You killed in the concrete,
and exonerate the act in the abstract.
These were blood, flesh, fur, bone, each
with a mystic specificity of its own,
wild, free, whole, intelligent, and communal
each the work of some unknown muse of life,
the spontaneity of some lavish genius,
the inspiration of the same dark mother
that never creates the same masterpiece twice.
These had seeing, mind, emotion.
These had been touched by the mystery of life
and in the shrines of the trees and the mountains
offered their delirium up to the moon
like drunks beneath a vacant window
singing to their own reflections. These
accepted their homelessness in this strange place
without doing it any harm as if
there were no other place they could belong to.
These were at peace with themselves and the earth
in a way you weren’t born with the courage to imagine.

These were alert and alive and quick with curiosity.
These were noble without lording it over anyone.
Were they executed for their innocence?
Was there not enough room in your cage
for their kind of freedom? Did you envy
an understanding they had among each other
you haven’t enjoyed once in the last twenty years
you stayed drunk as a gun lobby in a lazy-boy
staring back at the glass eyes of the animals
looking down upon you like a decapitated zoo
with the pity of the unaccusing
that anything that’s ever lived
could be so full of self-hatred,
so full of disgust at the inadequacy of themselves
in the midst of so much spontaneous sufficiency,
from blue algae on over to blue whales,
could be so estranged from their inalienable nature,
could be so vindictively blind
they’d rather shoot the eyes out of the stars
and finger the braille of the bullet holes
they’ve put in the side of their coffins
like a mailbox with a return address on it
than open their own and read the writing on the wall.
Does Cain still blame God
that his sacrifice was unacceptable?
The farmer! The farmer! Not the hunter?
The meat of the hunter not sweet to Her nostrils?

So you murder your brother
and then you murder the animals
as if they somehow let you down.
And in the death shroud of the dark mother
she sends a crow not a dove,
not the wolf, nor the eagles of Rome
to teach you how to bury the dead,
to teach you how to sow the earth you’ve salted
with meat and bullets and how they only bloom
and come to fruition in you
like self-inflicted wounds square
in the third eye of your own infertility.
There used to be hunters wise enough to know
the animals they stalked were meant as a gift of a gift
not something they ripped off like a petty thief.
Now when they catch a whiff of you coming
it isn’t a hunter they run from but
that sickly-sweet freakish smell of death
that clings to the skin of an undertaker
who moonlights as a serial killer
in the deathmask of a terminal disease.