Thursday, December 13, 2012



Eleven seas of awareness in every drop.
Eleven doors in a see-through water palace
that doesn’t cast stones at the first glance
at the mirror, but flows around them,
the airfoil of a waterbird, the radiant wake,
the long coma of a prophetic skull
plunging into the sun like the dead
waking up in a parabolic orbit once
every seventy-six years. Eleven dimensions.
Seven of them deaf, dumb, blind and mute.
Vertiginous mind at the crossroads
of interpenetrating worlds that pass
right through each other like galactic ghosts
at the intersection of a seance in all directions of prayer.

Mind watching like a cat on an upstairs windowsill.
Alert as still water. Eye of the needle in my gaze.
Jupiter startling over the garish windows
of the eerie, closed shops in wedding dresses
that try too hard, through no fault of the light,
to wash the greater brilliance out with a paint rag
of suspect colours. Alive. The big contention.
How hard everybody strives to establish that
as the one indisputable fact they’ve accepted
by convention. When you can look upon life and death
in the same breath, as two eyes of the one seeing
your indifference might have finally amounted
to something sacred I’d advise you to immediately transcend.

I’ve looked deeply into sanity long enough
to have gone creatively mad three wolf gates ago.
Freedom and bliss have amalgamated like Egyptian gods
on the pschent of the pharaoh. Upper and Lower
traffic in Nubian gold mines and salmon.
I’m standing in the doorway of the new moon
when she opens her eyes in the dark like an eclipse.
When I’m not encumbered like a hill
Sisyphus keeps rolling his stone over like a tomb,
as if it were up to him the sun came up each day,
I like to let my mind wander like a stray thread
of the Milky Way. I strum on my spine
like a bruised guitar in the corner, trying
to come up with a bridge to the chorus
of a new string theory that might help explain
why I act so much like a cosmic membrane
with a broken ear drum. Creatively playing in agony.

Can you give an existential basis to a delusion
like the foundation stone of the moon
to the reflection of the Black Taj Mahal?
The only precedent I know of for the meaning of life
is to make your own. Paint a masterpiece of fire
with your little spark of life. Let it go off
like the collateral damage of the Big Bang
when two membranes kissed in hyperspace
and no one had any idea of how far the light
of all that dark energy was willing to go
just to shine like stars in the indigo nebula
of the wild irises with cool petals as soft
as the skin of an old woman’s eyelids
being woken up from the dead like a dream
she just can’t get out of her heart for the rest of her life.

It’s the becoming, the unfolding, the transforming,
the changing, the burning of the starmaps
like industrial secrets so you can reach out
for what you see in the dark like unattainable fireflies
and by touching them, burn your fingertips
so you can refer to your scars as proof that they’re real.
Think the vision’s ever complete. You’re as dead
as a fly up against a pane of glass. The cat
will push you around like a comma that couldn’t
find its place in the foodchain of a long, ongoing
periodic sentence as incommensurate as pi
in every ripple of rain that falls like a God particle
on your oceanic grave. See how the moon
when you turn your eyes away shape shifts into
the wavelength of a radiant watersnake on the lake
playing picture music on its scales like a crazy keyboard
trying to keep its eighty-eights straight?
See how lovers assume there are no strangers?




Ninety days old, a triune of months, three
crescent moons of darkness in your eyes like daggers
plunged into the heart of the full
since you first opened them in the wild
and I encountered them on Facebook,
a daughter of Bast, looking for a home,
female, unneutered, seeded with fleas.

Did a fisher get your mother, your siblings?
I took you from the arms of a friend
who passed you on with your furnishings,
a new litter box with a cowling, two buckets
of cat gravel for a bathroom, a granary bag
of kitten food and your former name, Smokey,
because you were grey. A.k.a., Ripple,
after giving Wavelength some thought,
because you’re striped like the frequency of the rain
in a puddle of starmud. Growth rings in the heart
of an ironwood tree. And names have power.
Though I’m tempted now I know you a bit
to call you Bad Ass. But then you were scared,
fragile, trusting as I grasped you like a cloud
and put you on the passenger seat of the car,
all the windows up for fear you’d squeeze out
like a tube of toothpaste if I left them open even a crack.
You sat in the back windshield as I looked at you
in the rear view mirror watching everything pass,
and didn’t claw me to death in a mad panic
to return to everything you’d known. Gracias.

I’d lived with three goldfish and the sprites and goblins
of my imagination at three in the morning
awake in a deserted town for too long looking down
at unpeopled cement. I yearned for an affable familiar
I could touch among so many invisible things
mourning like a lonely train whistling into the distance.
A passing whim of synchronicity and you showed up
out of the wild, out of the ether, a hand warmer
on a cold night that had nothing to do with the weather,
a synteretic spark plug of life, a shepherd moon
in my planetary solitude, a comet of folly
in one long, endless, periodic sentence of life
bent hyperbolically like a hairpin around the sun.

Tinder box and straw. You go off like a firecracker
with whiskers, bounding down the hall
after a paper ball you trap in mid flight
like a fly to the outfield you claw from the air
like the first crescent of the moon in the window
waxing sure of itself. Your nerves are a bird net.
Your instincts haven’t had much of a chance
to serve you yet. You stalk tiny spiders in the bathtub.
You’ve won savage encounters with the toilet paper.
And you’re a torment greater than a spider mite
to the houseplants that don’t like playing
jungle with you as if you were training a bootcamp
to one day face the real thing like a potted plant.

I can box better than you, but in the first rounds
you got in some nasty cheap shots that drew blood
but now we’ve moved on to switchblades
and fangs like the syringes of a snake
that bite deep into the drumsticks of my thumbs,
you’re a ninja or a hashashin apprenticed
to the Old Man of the Mountain walking
like a voodoo doll down a path of needles and thorns.
You’re a cougar, a tiger, a lioness. Frenzied energy
a celebration of life to you, a fevered dance,
and there’s a big wilderness in such a tiny heart
you’re the lonely hunter and I’m always
this sickly wildebeest of a poet playing
the part of the prey come down to the watering hole
of the toilet in the heat of the day
like a missing link in the foodchain. If we
ever get out of here and move back to the farm
I’ll let you have one litter of cubs on the bedspread
just to say you did. I’ll let the root fires
burn in you awhile so your hormones
can blister in the mystery of birth without
the eternal sky shepherding the flight of the full moon.

You’re a fishing lure. Your cuteness hides the hook.
You focus like the Zen mistress of a spring-loaded,
four on the floor, rubber burning, stick shift about to explode,
only your tail, only that little nervous twitch in your tail,
a dead give away some fly at the windowpane
is about to get his like a terrorist from the karmic drone
of a cosmic cat goddess about to come down on it
like the Leonids wreaking havoc with the sabre and scythe
of the question mark that characterizes the radiant
in the the pyx and precincts of your sphinxy constellation.

Feline familiar, purr box, fur ball, burdock, velcro, spur,
Freddie Kruger with your switchblade fingers
doing needlepoint with porcupine quills,
you nuzzle up to me like a cloud around a mountain
and as often as you climb up, I bend down
to put my hand like a candelabra into a tree shredder.
If Kafka’s right, we all lie in the lap of a vast intelligence
but it doesn’t pet me the way I stroke you
as if I were first violin in a string band on a streetcorner
playing music on your melodic fur. And there were birds
with the fingers of surgeons perched on the staves
of your whiskers like semiquavers tickling the ivories
of your vertebrae like the keyboard of your spine.

You see the possibilities of hunting and fun in everything.
You’re not much of a knitter, and if you were a loom
I’d think you were a spider on acid, given what
I’ve seen you do with a ball of twine. But was there
ever a weaver who tied themselves up into so many knots
she needed an air traffic controller and a flight path
to land a flying carpet in the hall? Or grounded herself
like a bucket by a well entangled in morning glory vines?

You turn over on your belly, stretched out like toffee
and you’re white as a snowdrift someone
threw a scuttle of ashes on. Brave little creature
I love the way you take everything for granted
you depend upon when you’re not in the mood
to pander away your solitude for a medley
of chewy seafood treats. Wish I had
the same kind of hunting magic you do
or were half as charismatic as your iconoclastic voodoo.

You listen to a train in heat howling
like an alley-cat in the rain far across town
as your ears flare like distant echoes
of the Sydney Opera House with tufts of fur,
and then you look at me to see if there’s anything
to be afraid of, and I say, maybe later
but not right now. Better off scaring the fish
for awhile. Soon you’ll learn to burn and sting
and sing for yourself. Purring’s lyrical enough
for the moment. That hypnogogic mantra
you keep chanting to yourself like low thunder
on the event horizon of your strategic windowsill
your eyes half closed in Zen meditation
wholly at peace with all your afterlives,
enthroned in this, your latest incarnation.

Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra, daughter of Isis,
snake-killer, stone of alabaster, sister of the falcon,
spirit of the moon, protector of the sun.
Have you ever heard the purring of a human before?
I roll this poem into ball, throw it down the hall,
watch you leap for it, hang in the air a moment,
legs fully extended, a constellation, Orion, I think
just as it’s setting in the west twisting like a gymnast
to land on all fours like a gyroscope with coil springs.
I lay an osprey feather on your stairs. A medicine bag
stuffed like a scarecrow with catnip. My devotion.
My black leather office chair scourged
like a martyred flagellant by a cat o’ nine tails.
This red starmap of puncture wounds on my hands.
I name the third new moon of your lifemask, Ripple,
and by the fierce divinity of the first clean slash of light
that opens your eyes like sacred syllables
of yellow topaz in the night, no doubt, no doubt at all
in this man’s pantheon, whatever name I address you by
you’re the beautifully counter-intuitive cat goddess Bast.

Touchable amulet of the intangible mystery,
I stroke your skull like the belly of the Buddha
for joy in our prosperity, fire and ashes,
victory and defeat alike, the scythe and the wheat.
My hand glides like a lifeboat down the length of your spine
on an incoming tide. Your eyes close
like waning crescents of the moon as a seal of assent.
And for the moment I am wholly included
within their cosmic parentheses withdrawing
their lunar claws, gentling their staples
like the casual intrusion of feline sphinx music
into the tumultuous repertoire of my silence
listening in solitude to the evanescent stillness of the ages.