THIS GHOST OF A VOICE
This ghost of a voice isn’t doomed
by the silence of your false dawn.
I’ve outlived many more graves
than you have stones to cast at me.
You might fancy yourself a nabob
of taste and sophistication
but you’re afraid to step out of yourself
into this wilderness where everything
is anointed toxically in a crown of fangs.
The jealousy of shepherd moons
grazes a small herd of scapegoats
on the astroturf of greener pastures
than I could ever imagine
the rising tides of these lunar dunes
the wavelengths of the vipers negotiate
through the coral reefs like the shadows
of sun dials in the abysmal valleys
of the quiet mountains, ever transcending
the lowest stations of the superficiality
you aspire to like the polish
on an illustrious edition of emptiness.
I may not have been so enculturated
in this wilderness to the luxuries
of time and space you dawdle away
in your walled garden with prophylactic editors
at the lapis lazuli bull gates of Babylon
you dream of riding in triumph through
like Alexander winning some strategic
literary award, or Nero on a reading tour of Greece,
and it’s less of a plausible improbability
than it is a probable impossibility
I’ll ever become so avuncular in my attitude
some Faberge Easter bunny somewhere
isn’t going to look upon me as dangerous.
That said, which of your neighbours
dumped the carcass of the moon
with that gibbous skull of a goatshead
in the tainted wellsprings of the muses
you drink from like spit out of the mouths
of hydra-headed acephalic friends of the Medusa?
And when it gets right down to ghost writing
the memoirs of famously underestimated
trap door spiders in hard bound books
I’d still rather sting like a rattlesnake
that bite like a swarm of blackflies
singing like a starcluster of black dwarfs
down by the lake in May when the light of the mind
is still too intense to risk the mirrors
you hold up to your narcissistic nature, getting a suntan.
The thirteenth house of the dispossessed
might not have many friends in the zodiac
it can rely on, but then there are more
first magnitude stars burning like heretics at the stake
on the wrong side of the ecliptic
gone slumming in my neck of the woods
than there is phosphorus in the entirety
of your collected matchbooks in a library
of sodden fireworks that fizzled out
before they were lit like a sad substitute
for the Leonids at the peak of their radiant downfalls.
Baa, baa, black sheep. If you’ve lived
long enough in darkness as I have
it’s easy to tell a real eclipse from a lullaby
trying to pull the wool over our eyes
to mystify the starmaps with blizzards of tinfoil
attempting to evade the draconian radar
of anti ballistic missile systems like a low flying kite.
Or a snow globe of the moon with no ice caps.
The truly inspired live in a world
where they never take cigarette butts for granted.
Under the gravestones of the lowliest of the low
you can sometimes find dark jewels
more lustrous than diamonds in the black haloes
of comets skinny dipping in a sun that shines at midnight.
Have you ever had sex with a muse
when she was hungry and they were about
to turn the hydro off like a lightbulb in her housewell
or have you always lain down with a sump-pump
in the basement of your Pierian spring?
Vox populi with just a trace
of an aristocratic accent you picked up at prep school.
Preparation for what? Does it matter
or would it really be too, too, uncool to care?
Laissez fare. So turn the weathervanes
once they realize they haven’t got the wings
for lift off, they’re never going to get off
the barn roof, cock of the walk or not,
however they strut like astronauts,
the haven’t got the right stuff for ignition.
It’s not the alarm clock that wakes the dawn up.
Or do you still think the fool you send off
to jester school, sooner or later, will return to his own,
a sacred clown? Do you still plead with the muse
like a lost and found for things you never
had to go very far to seek? Speak quickly
before you make mellifluous liars out of the bees
coming and going in and out of the mouth
of that wax deathmask you wear
like a helmet of insincere honey over your head
as if you were a dead ringer for a real scar
Zen jousting in a cold war with your own stinger?