PAINT ALL OVER ME, FLAKEY NIGHT SKIES
Paint all over me, flakey night skies
and the histrionic hemorrhage of red roses,
blue bruises, violet orchids under my eyes,
Hooker’s green brooding in the foliage
of a rootless man who greys the spring
with the cadmium orange of burning maples
subjectively correlating my autumnal moods.
Motley to the crowd in the deconstructed rainbow
of my Joseph’s coat, the cobalt blue on my jeans,
conveniently sincere, I may look like a palette,
but I’m an oneirologist at the bottom of the well,
who can interpret dreams in jail.
Plagues of famine, plagues of the fat kind,
locusts and snakes and olegarchic corporations,
blights of the heart, when has it ever been else?
Don’t like your nightmares? Change pillows.
I put my ear down on the rock of the world at night,
disgusted more by what I see in the light
than I paint in the dark. Maybe Rothko was right.
A black hole is the only way out of here.
It’s funny how the liars are always the ones
trying to make things clear. I keep
the savage indignation of my pit bull on a leash
though I want to rip and tear like the French revolution.
Beauty is truth. Truth is beauty. That is all ye know
on earth, all ye need to know. I love Keats
but that’s pure bullshit. An allergic reaction.
I know a woman, twenty-six, skeletal with cancer,
with two kids she’s been raising on her tips as a waitress
since her husband committed suicide at Christmas.
She knows more about the debts and depths of life
than most poets bleeding to death like paper cuts,
diluting the wine of poetry with the bottled water
of unvivid prose and opinion, clothes pegs on their nose
to avoid the smell of life, no lightning singeing
the positive ions of their happy, happy atmospheres
the poxy moon would rather do without, than breathe.
Sometimes it’s the skull of the earth, not a pea
under the bed of the princess who frets over
her hyperbolic sensitivities at tea under the willows
just like Rimbaud or Van Gogh. How do you scoff
in terza rima without coming off as a cur
chained at the gates of hell because you know
you have to wake up lost in a dark wood
before you can ape and gape your way into paradise
and the rungs of the burning ladders up to
the seventh realm of light aren’t trellises of scarlet runners?
Spare me the narcissistic visions of your tiny crucifixions
flying into the third eye of your Cyclopean anti-depressants
looking for a gold rush in a dust bowl on the verge of extinction.
There are thieves at your side, dadaphors,
a binocular way of looking at things, one torch up,
one torch down, where parallel lies do meet
in a single focus lightyears out of your field of view
that work like hinges on a door, wings on a bird,
two feet going in opposite directions, one mile east,
one mile west, exit and entrance, to the end of the journey.
All true mystics are misfits in an uneasy truce
with what’s popular. The frauds are huckstering
scented snakeoil on a midway of miracles
where the penny of the full moon gets you in
for a peek at the freaks you astigmatize
by closing your eyes to what’s ugly about you, not them.