ALL THE DUFF AND DETRITUS OF MEANING IN MY HEAD
All the duff and detritus of meaning in my head.
Turmoil of celestial sediments in a tormented creekbed
of starmud. Images and symbols, glimpses and insights,
effluvia of indelible impressions that focus
a whole lifetime into a locket of tears, mingling
in the waters of life like the tributary of a deeper feeling
entering my mindstream like a first violin
in a symphony of picture-music conducted
by the silence of owls with blood on their talons
singing Allah hu, Allah hu, Allah hu under their breath
like a Sufi dancing like the axis of a galactic umbrella
at the crossroads of enlightenment and extinction. I don’t mean
to be thematic about all this. It’s more a synthesis
of happenstantial contradictions and random nuances
in a matrix of suggestive wavelengths having sex
in a lunar snakepit like a triple x porn flick
wasted on a blind prophet who had already seen too much.
The sting of the most beautiful sorrows
ages like wine in the catacombs of your heartwood
if you let it sleep a long time like a passage of poetry
you never understood, but could taste its hidden harmony
as if you were drinking life straight out of your skull.
A rapture in the absence that lingers like a ghost of smoke
on a bridge that burnt a long time ago,
where it hopes to meet you again, though it knows
it can’t, the timing of our departures less crucial
than the content of our arrivals. The stars
pale in the dawn. Venus in Virgo. And the Pleiades.
Funny how we try to hang on to what we’ve already let go of.
So many lovers, friends, intriguing enemies, gone.
Dream figures that didn’t wake up with us
in the same surrealistic play of dark energies we did.
Farewell is always the shadow of a sad hope
standing in the doorway staring out
into the terrible emptiness of threshed fields in autumn,
weeping like a watercolour in the rain
back into the river we drew it from. And the wisdom
that comes like an afterlife, meagre consolation
for the excruciating transformations we endure
to adapt a little happiness to it like an exile on foreign soil.
I spread bread crumbs on the snow for the birds.
I hang meat on the clothesline for the wolves
when winter turns against everything that lives.
I wrap burlap on the roots of the rose the way
I used to bundle the scarf of my daughter
on her way to school when her breath
was a wraith on the air of a dispossessed exorcism
yet to come, and I would be the one she disposed of
as if the parents, not the children, were hostages to fortune.
So be it. Walk on. Bite the bullet. Swallow the loss.
Look at it through the eyes of an experienced star
speculating on what all the light comes to in the end.
What it all amounts to when the shining itself
must bud and bloom and fall. I love like a mammal
but I grieve like a reptile. I don’t show any feeling at all.
My blood returns to absolute zero. Entropy
as a kind of self-defence. I whip the air with my tongue
like lightning for some real or imagined offence.
By day, I scrounge for the sun on the rock of my skull.
By night, I wait for comets and meteors down by the river
like the eclipse of an advent calendar marked for extinction.
I can blaze like a dragon sage. But I live in a coma
like a neuron star upstaged by a comedic deathmask
and my mind is leaking out like anti-freeze through my hair.