Sunday, November 18, 2012



Once poetry had sewn your mouth shut
with a spinal cord of the silence
I never expected to hear from you again.
My heart used to hemorrhage like a rose
whenever you unquivered one of your nightbirds
like an arrow that sang its way to the mark.
What notes perch on your guitar strings now
like multiple event horizons over the black hole
that used to dilate like the pupil of a stoned guitar
with a night vision of the way you become a star?
Some of us shine. Some of us beam. Some of us twinkle.
When did the dark energy of your mythic inflation
go supernova, or did you just drop
another cosmic egg on the queasy floor
of your stagefright? I remember that night
in the burning doorway when you finally
became cruel enough to ignore with impunity.

No blame. I won’t whip you with the chains
that once held me like vows I meant to keep.
Nightfalls came and passed and the sleeper in me
woke eventually to the Venus fly trap
that flaunted your radiance in a false dawn
like a bad high school play in a small town.
And yet, and yet, I’ve never been so petty
that I regret what I had to leave of myself
like roadkill at the side of the road, and walk on
any way I could after I’d shed you
like the skin of the snake that swallowed the moon
to be reborn on the dark side of a dragon with wings.

And I like the way this fire deep inside of me
sings to me alone at night when I’m down by the river
the willows are trying to carry like the lifeline
of the melody that makes me weep in the wake of its beauty
for how the themes of life weave and unweave us
like wavelengths of the membranes of M-theory
with the wingspan of flying carpets that came to rest
under the gravestones in a local cemetery of windows
that cry themselves to sleep every night
like black voice boxes less honest thieves than we were
broke into looking for the catastrophic gifts
we offered up to death like the eyes
we pryed out of our crystal skulls
as a way of placating what we’ve lived so long
in the name of, we forgot we were only acting.

So I bid you go in peace like the smoke of a firestorm
over the faraway hills of a distant mindscape.
You’re a ghost of the lightning that mesmerized my fireflies
into believing they shone like jewels of insight,
the medium of a porchlight that summoned
the spiders and moths out of the night to join
in the rapture of feasting upon one another like addicts
in a frenzy of celestial hormones in a pandemonium
of panicked dreamcatchers veiling an eyeless sorceress
with an hourglass tattoo of time on her back
embittered by the fact it was running out on you
like the power of a mandala painted in sand
just the same as I did when the wind picked up enough
to blow us both out like the candles of unsuccessful sacrament.




It isn’t as far as you might think
from this spiritual lost and found
coiled like a labyrinth of cul de sacs
or a snake of time spiralling down
the seven degenerative metals of man
through the rib gates in the belly of a dragon
that’s flamed out like a red-tailed hawk riding
the last of its cooling thermals down with the sun,
not as far as you might think, according to the moss
that grows all over your north side
from this circuitous blossoming into knots
in the hardwood of a rootless tree
to the threshold of where your heart belongs.

Dig yourself out of that old National Geographic
like an explorer that never got to go
and unfold that free starmap someone included
like a flag of protocol awarded a dead celestial sailor
and start connecting the dots like ports of call
in the eyes on the dice of a long shot against the odds
that nobody believed could be made until you took it.
Where was it ever suggested that the return journey
would be any less dangerous than the first time
you left yourself like a stranger in the doorway
of this house of life, waving farewell in the rain
as you carefully put the chain back on the gate behind you?

The object of the grailquest isn’t so much
a matter of finding it as it is learning how
to lose yourself wisely in the search. You can
orient your mindscape to the direction of your shining
like a circumpolar constellation, but to sip
from the Little Dipper isn’t going to green
that dead branch of a divining rod in your hand.
The journey isn’t lost upon you because
you’re out there on the road alone
with nothing but departures behind you
and the only arrival on your horizon
more of the unknown without a return address.

What if the stars you take your bearings from
set out to find the source of their shining
and turned their light back on themselves
like solar flares to see where they were going? Do you think
you could see them from here on this hillside,
to assign them names and myths of origin
they whisper to your eyes at night like fairytales
and lullabies to help you get to sleep
when you lay your head down like moonset
on the cold stone of the world by the roadside?

The moment you go looking for yourself
do you leave the part that’s beating the bushes for you at home?
Have you ever checked out who’s in the search party?
Go ask the diamond sages. They aren’t the masters
of an enlightenment no one can attain. They sit
like stars in the throne rooms of dark matter,
lords of the darkness, confusion and chaos
that have mastered them spontaneously like ore
to the indirections of an undisciplined way of shining
so the dark mirror you wander in looking
for a lifemask you can recognize as a face of your own,
is brighter than the white one of insight
you’ve had so much trouble adjusting your eyes to
like a telescope to the weather of a habitable planet.

No ray of the light you’re looking for
ever started out with a sense of direction.
No star, no beacon, no lantern, no insight,
no firefly, lightning bolt or lighthouse
ever plotted a straight path through the abyss
that wasn’t omnidirectionally bent
by the gravitational eyes of space it passed
on its journey to nowhere in particular
though it bumped into a few planets and wildflowers
along the way it was exactly meaningless to take.

No one’s ever really lost. They’re just
not very adept at reading their own starmaps.
They look for what shines though the eyes of a crow
remembering how white its feathers were
before it found the continent it was sent out
before the dove to look for. And Noah cursed it black
for not coming back. Lost innocence longing for light.
Long wavelengths on the night sea of awareness
looking for land like particles and cornerstones
they can found their spiritual temples upon
like aviaries for the wrens and sparrows
buffeted back by the winds they’re flying against
like the ashes of disinterred aspirations in their own face.

Lost in the woods, everyone looks at the constellations
like light in the windows of a distant farmhouse.
But no one ever consults all the darkness beyond
the blazing midways of the zodiac like deer paths
off the ecliptic or wolf packs above the timberlines
of their celestial equators. Aldebaran
is sixty-five lightyears from here as we’re
eight light-minutes from the nearest sun.
But how far does a human who is the measure of all things,
have to go before he or she realizes the darkness
was always the truest sense of direction for anyone
trying to shine a light on where the light has gone
without them, so they can see in the dark
how their eyes emerge out of the search for themselves
and the night whispers like a homecoming embrace
in the ear of the prodigal do you finally recognize
who I am? Even when you most deeply eclipsed
the shining of the black mirror of awareness,
blinded by the candle of your own lantern
there’s never been a son or daughter of a star
that was ever lost in me since the light began.