Thursday, November 29, 2012



Haunted by long sorrows like a ghost
in a lighthouse on the moon with no one to warn
stay away, stay away from me,
I’m a radioactive dump site, the slag of stars.
A snakepit of downed powerlines
dancing without a snake charmer
to the backbeat of dark energies
that sweat me like a dragon in heat.
The moon is the urn of the ashes
of a nuclear reactor. My sister muse,
and, little sun, that shines at midnight,
look kindly upon my total eclipse.

I am not your deathmask, but I burn,
I burn like white phosphorus in the starcluster
of the Pleiades. Infernal incense
screening the smell of a scorched heart
that’s always in camouflage when it prays
in the shrine of a furnace to a fire-god
to put out the flames, put out the flames,
the drapes of the poppies are burning
like Molotov cocktails. Am I still as safe
as I was thirty years ago in a house
that’s burned to the ground? Or is this
another terrorist attack on my embassy?

The eyes in my crystal skull that change
dimensions like the lenses in a telescope,
are thawing like glaciers of the last ice-age
and the windows are crying earth-shaped
pears of glass in a flashflood of global warming.

Someone lend me a fire axe and I’ll chop
the head of the moon off like a hole in the floor
we can all fall through like followers of Lucifer.
Venus takes a swan dive in the morning
on the day of enlightenment. Sometimes
taking a fall for the sake of the other guy
is the only way you have of standing your ground.

Drive me out into the wilderness to cleanse your sins.
Pelt me with doomsday asteroids. Ever wonder
what the scapegoats are preaching in the desert
to the vipers and the scorpions that glisten
like the bling of hot jewellery lost in the hot sands
of the sun? Tar me in asphalt and feather me
like a pillowcase that has nightmares about flying.
And I’ll return with the pearl of a black dwarf
between my teeth like an implosion of light
deepened into a dark master of esoteric gravity.
And I’ll pull you down like a moonbeam by the ankle
into the dark mirror of the lake like a snapping turtle
anchors a swan in the starmud on the bottom.

I’ll show you the life that thrives out of reach
of the light. We’ll make a pilgrimage of the smoking fumaroles
of your subconscious, and I’ll show you
the whole zoo of surrealistically sentient life forms
mythically inflated like the giant squids and krakens,
sea cucumbers ten times their surface size
living on the hydrogen sulphide of your magmatic desires
like the R-complex of rotten cosmic eggs
that leave an evil aftertaste in the mouths
of the snakes, dragons, and crocodiles
that spit out their yolks like gamma ray bursts
of bad sunshine sublimating the dry ice of your eyes
into the tears of a ghost at its own exorcism.

Like a massive planet in an outer orbit
on the horns of a dilemma, I’ll purge
the black halo of comets you wear like a corona
in an eclipse, and clear your solar system
of that laurel of thorns wrapped around your head
like a galactic turban of razor wire
uncoiling like the spiralled wavelength
of the God particle of a snake in the mystic fire
of another martyred heresy that set you free
at the stand up pulpit and pyre of my own auto de fe
to aspire abysmally higher than the death of desire.




Three flames, my goldfish dancing like stars
in a telescopic lens with a narrow field of view.
Eerie slate blue in the blank windows
across the street, as if they once had eyes.
Blind prophets in the dawn. What do they see?
One poet on nightwatch sitting in an apartment
by himself with the lights out, listening
to what the silence has to say about everything,
nothing, the way the sky is beginning
to keep its stars to itself as if
the great liberties of shining
they took with the night are practising
the greater discretion of candle wicks
that someone lights up and someone blows out
and they end up bending back on themselves
like solar flares, or ingrown hairs,
or tiny black monks concealed under the cowls
of this holy hour like shadows of noon in the sun.

All the deep, soul-searching questions
make peace with all the elusive answers
they’ve been searching for like a battered bird
the eye of a storm. And the lies of life prove
vastly less intriguing than its truths.
Every firefly of insight, a dragon breathing
in the distance, exhaling chimney sparks
like a furnace in a dream talking in its sleep.
Plumes of smoke dissipating in the air
from the fumaroles of gentle exorcisms,
ghosts trying to get back to their graves
before the day starts to take itself too seriously.

The numinous aftertaste of all the afterlives
I wanted to live in my mouth, one’s as good
as another, and I’m beginning to exalt
a little in living this one as a creative endeavour
that’s been trying to achieve me all along,
not the other way around. At least
it amuses me to think so though I’m not expecting
a masterpiece. The same eye by which
I see the star is the eye by which the star sees me.
Interdependent origination. Cosmic intimacy.
All these broken mirrors that have given birth to my face.
All these Cepheid variables drumming on the hide
they tanned from my heart like the pulse
of an enraptured ghost dance around a blazing fire.
Listen to one solitary night bird and you can hear
the whole choir singing backup to the human condition.

Compassion is the sweetest sadness when the stars
bend down to kiss the burn like a sunspot
soothing its feet in the lunar shadows of the mindstream
on a long firewalk across the cool sands of a new moonrise
over the Sea of Tranquillity. Why walk
when you can row your way across or fly
like a waterbird through the skies of a million eyes at once?
Mark one jewel and they’re all marked for life.
Whisper to the willows in starlight
and you can hear the booming of the abysmal echo
on the far side of the universe like life in a small town.

When life isn’t copulating in the brothels
of a false dawn, it’s the prelude of a longing
to impart your heart to someone like a secret
you couldn’t reveal to anyone else like a humming bird
that’s caught the ear of the holly hocks.
You enter the dream without knowing
what you’re going to wake up to.
The empty silo keeps the hunger alive.
It’s the full harvest that blows the candle out
beside your death bed. Fulfilments of failure.

No one’s a sailor until they’ve drowned
running aground on the lunar reefs
of an enchanted island you washed up on
like a lost cause doomed to be found in the morning
like the guiding light of a dead starfish
still shining out of habit in a dawn that pales
by comparison when a sorceress sets her easel
up on the beach and begins to sketch
a starmap of you that’s an exact likeness
of the vision you had of her just before you died.

There’s always another side to a black hole.
Turn the emptiness of the hourglass over
like a drink you’ve finished crossing the bar
and it’s a different world with different stars.