Monday, December 3, 2012



You may. You may not come. Maybe tonight. Or not.
When it’s not cooking cosmic eggs, boiling heretics
in the hot oil of bubbling cauldrons, the hourglass
is sandpainting sidereal mandalas with stars
to empower the wind to blow them away,
bones of grey chalk watergilding my flesh in ash.

What did I say? What did I say that was so unorthodox
all the bells of your body were left speechless
at the sight of so many grails trashed like empties
from a car window like a litter of roadkill
along the side of the highway? Did I transit
the zenith of the burning bridge of your last loveletter,
or should I have jumped, or fell, or cannonballed in
to make a bigger splash in the blood vats of your heart?
Maybe a meteor to render your old lovers extinct?

I watch the cold windows until they begin to percolate
in an unexpected thaw of disciplined sorrows.
It’s getting late. Your absence, a glacial waterclock
followed by a lot of patronymic colons about who
begat what upon whom. I don’t want to meet your father.
I’d kill him on the spot. I don’t want to prove
to your mother I’m going to be good to you
in ways that she was not as she soaks
the blood from the carpet like gouts
of insincere candlewax. The price you pay
for three meals a day and a creative finishing school
where you can afford the kind of problems
the poor don’t make enough to imitate.

They worry about where the next meal
is coming from. You were born knowing
how far out the soup spoon was supposed
to be aligned from the begging bowl
like a shepherd moon in orbit around Neptune.
And me? I eat out of my skull on the run
whenever I’m writing poetry to the moon
in one long howl of anguished wanting.

Were the diamonds too hard? Wasn’t I
bituminous enough when I entered the dark
to show you how I could shine out of
my own inner resources like two hundred million
urns of light gathered from the firepits of the stars
by the crows that keep pecking out my eyes
like jackhammers looking for the motherlode?
And when I watched you slicing the throats
of your long-necked swans like ballet dancers
and black daffodils on an angle to preserve them longer
as cut flowers on the coffee table, didn’t I
make a Zen comment on the way you’d arranged them?

I’ve been scarred by love like a clay tablet in cuneiform
in the library of Ashurbanipal. The crow
has scratched at my flesh to show me where to bury
my dismembered body parts to guarantee
a higher yield over the ensuing light years.
The cat claw of the moon has caught my eye
more than once. Fireflies in a bird net,
I’ve cauterized my optic nerves on the constellations
of my own signage to keep my brain from seeing
what my heart was afraid to reveal to itself.
I was a blind prophet being led away by a child.

I could witness on the dark side of my seeing
the bird eating arachnids with two red stars for eyes
weaving their wavelengths into low frequency webs
like the bass strings of a slack guitar
to catch the fire of the morning dew in a false dawn
like Cherokee water spiders with hairy down
and scarlet stripes casting magical spells
like the geoglyph on the Nazca pampas
with Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka
in the hourglass waist of Orion trying to squeeze
its abdomen into a whalebone corset
before the Arabs changed its sex
into the belt of a less subtle Hunter
with a trophy line of scalps for wampum.

One of them mine. My eyes transfixed
by the paradigm of an eclipse being peeled back
like a black eyelid of time, or raven tresses
from the skull of the moon. I’ve known
the innocence of the crow when its feathers
were albino white before its failure turned sinister
as a starless night. A penury of insight
pearl diving for diamonds in a tarpit of love
that swore the new moon would last forever
like apple bloom and silver on the inside of the ore.

But sometimes the Artesian springs we plant
in the starmud of our hearts come up like black holes
and flowers of oil and what’s left of the shining
is the tinfoil of a trickster shaman substituting
his hunting magic to gratify the eyes of fools
that revel in their amorous delusions and spurn
the astringencies of enlightenment that burn
like circumpolar suns at midnight illuminating
nothing but the skins we shed to let the snake
out the box like Draco, without getting bit
by the picture-music of our own motives
trying to charm the serpent fire with backbone flutes
jamming with the downed powerlines
of our badly tuned spinal cords riffing
with the cosmic spiders writing the lyrics
of our myth of origins like electrical dreamcatchers
with toxic pincers like the tuning forks of splintered stars.




The moon isn’t renewing her virginity
in the snakepits of the hypocrites
faking the wavelengths of their radiance
like the black dwarf of an imploding commune
that flared out like graverobbers in the dark
desecrating a cemetery of rainbows.

I’ve watched the silver shovel of your tongue
go through all phases of the moon, from full
to new, as if you were laying your Tarot cards
out on the table for an autopsy on the Hanged Man.
This one’s suspended by one leg with a real rope
around his neck. You’re decked out in dreamcatchers
and spider silk like the butterfly bling of a pimp.
What are you selling? Peace, love, and happiness
at the expense of all else? You chirp you love everyone
but you’ve never loved people enough to learn
how to hate them honestly. There heretics burn

but you’re attuned to harmony like a snaketongue
of black lightning is to a tuning fork or a lyre
to the laryngeal cords of a cheesecutter.
You’re a wedding cake full of worms. You’re
a wishbone with one hip lower than the other
like the short end of the stick, a black capped chickadee
on the lowest rung of the crutch. You emanate.
You radiate. You resonate. You alert
your sleeping brother like a fire alarm
to the god waking up within him, but you exclude,
you forget, you reject the real shamans
dancing in the shadows of their solitude with a limp.

If you cram any more beauty into your eyes
soon you’ll be able to open a jewellery store.
God knows how you can love the silver
and hate the ore that poured itself out
like wine for you as if it were bleeding to death
like wild grapes going sour in your mouth.
There’s more salvation in drinking
from your own skull, than sipping
like a hummingbird from someone else’s grail.
You’re just baling a moonboat with a black sail
and a bucket the bottom hasn’t fallen out of yet.
Dew blooming on the tips of the tongues
of the stargrass, yes, but you can’t conceive
of the watershed of the abyss it was drawn from.

Your moondogs don’t snarl enough to guard
the farmyard from the predators that surround you.

You’re water gilding Dachau with a silver lining
whenever you look at a black cloud pluming
into the night sky like a fumarole
of mystically unique people going up in smoke
and white wash the dark side of things
desecrating their suffering by remarking
how wonderful it is their ashes kiss your eyelids
like gentle snowflakes of human flesh and bone.
Your third eye’s got a cinder in it like a stake
driven into the iris of a Cyclops. You denigrate
the black ops that rescued the rest of the flock
from the cave, like a shepherd moon
that’s never known an eclipse it didn’t resent.

The blood and dirt under the fingernails of the moon
aren’t the terraced gardens of an Incan ruin.
If you’re looking for a needle in a haystack
of sunbeams make sure you don’t stick it in the eye
of that voodoo doll you carry around with you
like the strawdog of a scarecrow at a harvest ritual
that’s eventually going to go up in heretical flames
like Joan of Arc, the witch, not the saint,
once her white magic grew irrationally ineffectual.

Most people look for the light to see in the dark.
Rinse the night from your mirroring consciousness
and you throw the stars out with the womb water
of Aquarius. In the urn of what’s left, not
the translucency of self-cleaning jewels
as if your eyes were constantly buffing
their own windows with vinegar
and yesterday’s newspaper full of atrocities
that wipe the filth like sunspots off your shining
like a patina of print on the faces of the chimney sweepers
scraping the creosote and shovelling the ashes
of the fireflies out of the furnace. Not enlightenment.
But the putrefied residue in the alembic of a bad alchemist,
trying to mine gold from lead like a thief of honey
from an ant heap of spectacles, and gleaming ingots of teeth.