Friday, December 28, 2012



The stars keep happening faster than I can remember them.
So is everything else, exponentially. Memory makes me
a continuum I’m always creating and calling myself.
Memory cross-references its matrix like the web of a spider
and soon I mistake the habit of the web for me, continuously.
I’m attached like a badge or a bird to the strings of my own guitar.
The seeing isn’t in my eyes. Neither is the music in the instrument.

I keep giving the stars new names every night
just to keep up with the possibilities of what they’re becoming.
Nor have they ever shone down upon the same man
looking up at them two nights in a row. I rearrange them
into different constellations and give them symbolic meanings
they never knew they had before. I step through the door
and every house in the zodiac changes. The sun
is less lucid at dawn than when it started the nightshift.
There isn’t a point on the ecliptic that isn’t the equinox
of a prayer bead that gets its way by not asking for anything.

Watching the world, I witness my own creation
as it’s happening. The star becomes aware of the eye
that’s observing it and it begins to see things
as if it had its own imagination. We celebrate
each other’s possibilities and awareness is born
of the binary of you and me, so we can dance,
not two, like a happy secret that can’t be known
by anyone else. No one has ever lifted the veils of Isis,
not even unity, which is to say, if you see her face covered
it means you haven’t opened your eyes far enough
to realize the Queen of Heaven is the shining
you’ve been looking for her with. Astronomy for fireflies.

This world is so interdependently originated
I’m the lifework of a star. I’m the masterpiece
of a bacterium. Starmud, I garden among the galaxies
that blow like the dishevelled heads of flowers in the wind.
My work done. I’m the only weed that’s been uprooted.
The pulse of my bloodstream is the waterclock of the stars.
The moon is in the corals having sex. I’m listening
to discrete variations on a theme of discontinuity
my ears are turning into music like the rain on the plectra
of the thorns and the leaves that ping like the G-spots
of the roses in heat that want to go on blooming forever.




Is it such a light trigger between your life and death
all you need do is squeeze the last crescent of the waning moon
with the merest of thoughts for it to go off? Done.
No more complication, at least, that you know of.
Or is this about crushing the rotten strawberry
at the heart of the vile world because
your mystic specifics keep being uprooted
from the ground of being like a unique weed
in a generalized garden where comas are preferred
like cultivated columbine to your kind of wild enlightenment?

I’m not going to talk to you like a piece
of fragile crystal, or a bull having a nervous breakdown
in a china shop, wondering if he should saw his horns off
to keep from doing any further damage to a chipped swan.
You want to let your hair down like the willow
of a chandelier in an ice storm, I don’t intend
to stand under it trying to hold you up like a mobile
of the solar system losing its grip on time and space.
Not because I don’t care. Not because
I’m an elder shaman of the sixties who had
a happier time of it than you. I didn’t,
though I wish you’d been there to have
your most hallucinogenic delusions understand that.

I won’t chrome the bumpers you get hit by in life
or buff the blood off to prove you can make
a meteoric success of yourself if you know
how to spin the first impact it made upon you.
Some things leave you lying in the gutter
like a crumpled doll or the late Triassic.
Life’s a risk. Death’s a risk. Avoiding either
is, too. I take one look at you in your plaid tan
and I see a Pre-Raphaelite beauty with a Sunni body
and a Shia soul trying to indoctrinate a day care center
into infantile acts of precocious terrorism.

You’re that old woman Muhammad who loved
women, perfume and prayer, warned
everybody about looking ahead to these end times,
who took a strong rope, like a spinal cord,
and unwound it into a million weak threads
until she found the silken trophy line of a spider
at its loom, she could hang herself with
like an anchor with no sense of buoyancy
or the plumb bob of a corpse fathoming her own depths.

Who taught you to play so seriously you
closed the theatres and scourged the brothels
with razorwire in a danse macabre of flagellants?
When you turn that deathmask over like the carapace
of the world turtle, whose face is it you’re trying to save
by recasting it as a cement portrait of a mime?
You’d look better painting it in moonlight on water.
The palette of your multi-coloured hair, a lure
on a fishing hook that throws back more
of what it catches than it keeps. Just for the fun of it,
exalting in the power of your magical absurdity
to enhance your charms like the spiritual eclipse
of a moonrise smearing Gothic mascara on your eyelids.

Meaningless, isn’t it? Are you devastated
by the stars’ sense of timing that they go on shining
like idiots with grins on their faces while you’re
burning black holes in your heart with a cigarette heater?
Clarity’s an art, not a failure of imagination.
There isn’t a star in the sky that doesn’t know the dark.

You just haven’t grown the eyes for it yet
or learned to turn the light around fast enough
to catch a glimpse of yourself making a death wish
on a falling star that might shock the disinterested fireflies
into realizing some constellations outside the zodiac
need more than fifteen degrees of separation
to stay on the bright side of things like a Tarot pack
with a positive attitude that lies every chance it gets
about the truth of things as they are at the expense
of living a two-eyed life without a prayer wheel in training
for balance. Poor planet. No moons. No fossils
in that Burgess Shale of asteroids you surround yourself with
ready to throw the first stone at yourself like a face
in the mirror of an orbiting telescope you can’t
clearly identify with unless it’s in transit by contrast.

Living isn’t a consolation for getting along without it.
And death isn’t a door prize a starting pistol
hands out at the gate for being the one millionth horse
to overthrow its rider and get out of the blocks way too late
to bet on finishing anything ahead of the pack.

Snake-eyes, baby, then seven come eleven. Things
happen in tandem like binary stars everytime
you throw the dice even in a random universe
that doesn’t enjoy listening to its own advice
it’s important to remember when you’re sinking like this
into one of those tarpits you bleed like black pearls
on a rosary of miscarriages without a new moonrise
heaven’s got an air force, but not much of a navy.
The abyss is full of elemental hydrogen dirigibles
that put their fires out like submersibles in the waters of life.
One torch up. One torch down. Like the dadaphors
of ancient Rome trying to synchronize the hinges of the New Year
like lapwings to the flight plans of imperial eagles.