I CAN FEEL THE RAGE INSIDE, A GAMMA RAY STAR
I can feel the rage inside, a gamma ray star,
burning through me like a cigarette heater
through the upholstery of an over-used couch
with enough chump change in its pockets
to set up shop as a parking meter. No fire in your voice,
your song isn’t flammable, you didn’t get
the inside out, your leaflet of a poem doesn’t turn red
in the fall. There’s nothing seasonal about the dead.
But run for office, you might get elected
for all the cheesecake issues and anthems
you stand up for like a reflexive erection
that’s never died, in the Elizabethan sense of the word,
for anything you could bring to consummation.
You should be racked by inspiration just once but well
for treason against the muse. You should have the screws
put to you to get you to open your mouth
and let something out like a scream so high-pitched
it’s beyond earshot, though the voice is undeniably yours.
I see a lot of tattoos that are very fashionably done,
but where are the scars, where are the wounds,
where is the full face of the harvest moon
pitted and cratered by the creative impact
of a meteoric life with its radiant in the Pleiades?
Did you paint that persona of a deathmask
in your own blood, or did it just come that way?
Did you carve it out of the heartwood of a bleeding cedar
on the sacrificial altar of an Aztec table saw,
or is it some kind of medicinal bark
you brought back to remind you of your travels?
And I could go on. But it’s a waste of time.
And you’d go away, please, thinking the dragon’s unkind,
when all it’s trying to do is throw the moon
through your window, vandalize you with a little Zen,
fire up your maple trees as if they were burning heretics.
Get you to trust your own instincts, instead of
relying on books about the way things should look
for advice. You ever sword dance barefoot with razorblades?
Anyone ever ripped your heart out and ate it,
saying grace as a compliment to your nobility
as they chewed on it like gum till it lost its flavour?
There’s always an absence in the truth of what we’re living
as if we were missing something crucial. Beauty
is more deeply revealed by a compassionate action
than a contemplative world in a walled garden
where vagrant states of being fountain and flower
in the third eye of the firestorm sweeping over you
like autumn burning its memoirs. Do you know
how much light you can generate like Venus in the Pleiades
just before dawn, by deepening your shadows
to enhance its luminosity? Enraptured by the darkness
within you like the infernal perfume of a flower
that blooms in fire, you’ve got to break more
than a few taboos like chains on a gate
guarded by angels with flaming swords
if you want to get back to the garden
you and the snake were exiled from
for taking Adam along for the ride of his life.
What kind of a temptation could it have been
if it didn’t bring sin into the world like a deciduous tree
among the evergreens? Be honest with your evil
and you’ll never be called upon to lie to the truth.