TOO INTENSE, TOO DEPRESSING, MY THIRD EYE
Too intense, too depressing, my third eye
the monocle of a Cyclops, a three hundred year old
methane hurricane rose exfoliating on Jupiter,
a gravitationally warped contact lens
that fits like a jellyfish on the mirrors
of the Hubble Telescope in a decaying orbit.
I’m willing to put up with a few thorns
to kiss a rose wearing black lipstick to mass
or sit under a blooming locust tree in the morning
that’s got bigger stingers than the bees that swarm it
ever thought possible, and from a crucifix
so forbidding, watch the honey humming sweeter
than the mellifluous light of a thousand sunsets
that alloyed themselves to copper back in the Bronze Age.
The moon can be the blossom of an apricot.
The moon can be a switchblade. Nobody
likes a real dragon for the same reasons
the tribes were afraid of their shamans.
There’s nothing altruistic about their wisdom.
The apple tree doesn’t look upon its windfall
in late September as a hamper on someone’s doorstep.
Some days I’m as sensitive as a sledge hammer
on the horns of a garden snail. Others
I could fine tune a spider web to the stars
or charm my way out of a snakepit
with the metronomic swaying of the suspension bridge
running up my spine between mutually supportive extremes.
As above so below. Sometimes I fall
from such erotic heights it makes even
the trembling lip of a precipice feel nervous
as I plunge by like a comet with its feet
on the handlebars of a Harley on fire
trying to blow the flames out by opening it up
on the highway like the mobile pyre of a sky burial.
I see blood on the snow and a savaged pheasant.
I don’t see a scarlet ribbon falling from your hair
as if the wind were unwrapping a present.
There’s starmud clotted on the inside
of my prophetic skull but that doesn’t tempt me
to turn it into a flowerpot on a birdcage of a balcony
overlooking the hanging gardens of Babylon
and I’ve never enjoyed popping anyone’s
supersensible iridescent multiversal soap bubble
buoyantly traversing the muck of the swamp
like the spiritual afterlife of a waterlily
that’s cut all ties to what the living are rooted in.
You can stuff your pillowcase with leaking hand grenades
as far as I care if it helps you get a good night’s sleep
and keeps you intrigued with the quality of your dreams.
A hard stone under your head at the side of the road
is often softer than a wet pillow that’s been crying all night.
Too intense, you bray? You sure as hell aren’t.
Took me twenty years to learn to say that with conviction.
I know pyramids with a greater sense of urgency than you have.
Befriend your own death. You’ll wax intense.
You’ll ghost dance with lunatics under the full moon
rising like a white buffalo mother over the seance of your fires.
You can afford to lavish an emergency or two
on the onceness of your life without putting snow chains
on the ambulance in a firestorm of ice-age fireflies.
As for depressing? So’s half of every wavelength.
The valley’s as deep as the mountain is high.
The way things usually go if you don’t see me
with a nose bleed, I’ve probably got the bends
and there are little bubbles of euphoric nitrogen
breaking in my blood stream like my narcotic relations
with laughing gas that would remind me of you in a way
if it weren’t for that long wake of broken mirrors
trailing away behind you like Halley’s comet
when it fizzled in 1986, or Isadora Duncan’s scarf
caught up in the wheel of birth and death
like a loose thread of fate or a snake unspooled
from the axis mundi of a voodoo doll in the arms
of an unlucky world turning over a new card.
Depressing? I’d rather be a sincere disease
than one of the spin doctors of a breezy happiness.
The dragons are unbearable enough
but the fireflies can be just as terrifying
if they don’t understand the nature of their own enlightenment.
My eyes aren’t deranged by the things they see,
though my heart might scream and my dreams
might be painted on the inside of my skull
in carbon, blood and red ochre, my hunting magic
tucked away at the back of a cave where I bury my dead
under the hearthstones, their bones,
symbolic kindling for a fire that never goes out,
and the shadows of all this might have
a thicker skin that you do, but long ago
I discovered the best place to hide was out in the open
and the longest guarantee of making sure
no one knows what you’re up to, is stand before them naked.
They see what they see as far as they’ve
been given a light to go by. Some have optic nerves
wired to their hearts, and they celebrate
the gentle fireworks of life like fireflies.
And some have the eyes of dragons
soldered to the motherboards of their brains
and they’ve been looking at things for such a long time
from a sidereal point of view, they’ve turned
into constellations, cold, beautiful, old, and vast.