BEEN LIED TO SO LONG THE TRUTH STICKS OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB
Been lied to so long the truth sticks out like a sore thumb
at three in the morning on a deserted highway. I know
some of you think you’re on top of this, but look again,
for all the applause that follows you around like an encore
of professional mourners, you’re not the lightning bolt. You’re
the weathervane, you’re the desk clerk, the hat check girl
that lives like a hot tip of insider trading for pittance
as everyone stops to ask in passing, did time leave any messages?
Nothing for you, I’m sorry, as you pick your spirit up off the floor
in both hands, on either side, like the luggage of death
and make for the door hoping you don’t get caught
as if you’d just stolen the moon like a half-used bar of soap.
Stray images from estranged mindscapes, heralds of smoke
gathering like ghosts at a seance ahead of the field fire
coming this way like a scorched earth policy of scarecrows
seeking lebensraum like real estate agents in the Ukraine.
I’ll take shelter among the stars. Even in the slums of grace
the houses of the zodiac are fireproof. I’ll tune my voice
like a flame to the tongue of serpent fire that’s always
taking the bloom off the candles with their noses pressed
against the window waiting for someone they know well enough
will never come, but have grown accustomed to the absence,
and I’ll sing my heart out like the deathsong of a circumpolar dragon
on the ledge of a high precipice only the truest of lovers
have ever jumped from, scattering the ashes of their shining
on the wind to sow the emptiness with the stars and fireflies
of transmorphic constellations with more than one myth of origin.
I’m sure I’m living someone else’s solitude. What
a palatial abyss! What a hovel this is! Is there
a return address above the door? Does anyone live here
anymore? Am I the only one home? Am I
lingering in the doorway of a pathetic exit
or a grand entrance? Either way I’m lost. I end
where I began, midnight sun, new moon, Venutian Lucifer
under the eyelid of false dawn that turns me on and off
like the lightswitch of a wildflower looking for enlightenment
in the dark heart of a total eclipse that blows the candles out
so it can get a quick glimpse of what it’s waiting for.
Celestial tears of mystic chandeliers aren’t going to water
my roots deeply embedded in star mud or put out
this underground fire that seethes with life
independently of the light like a volcano in the caldera
of an oracular seabed where the dead remind the living
life’s always been more a matter of going to extremes, like breathing,
than hugging shore like a broken mirror clinging to what it reflects,
the white feather of the moon and the nightsea’s tidal regrets.
The truth isn’t sculpted out of Carrara marble like Judaic David
in a body cast with a broken arm Brunelleschi will later sew back on
once Florence isn’t Republican anymore. It’s a cave
that’s always been sand-blasted by upper class hourglasses
of gentrifying lies trying to scrub the meat-eating smell
of the Neanderthals off the walls of their hunting magic
expressed in carbon and red ochre like the secret syllables
for blood and night, to make the place more habitable
for vacationing gazelles with more time on their hands than predators.
The lesser of two lies is still pinging the short straw
on the tine of a tuning fork that bites like a snake
in the middle of a dancefloor where the roses waltz with thorns
to keep their finger on the pulse of a dead cultural life
that makes perfect sense to the unimaginative.
All the white knights have floated away like ice floes and snowmen
that couldn’t take the heat when ice came to fire
as an alternative way of destroying the dragons of the earth
and wept away what little time they had left.
I’ve never been betrayed by anyone or anything
I didn’t believe in first. I’ve cherished the worst with sly ideals.
I once thought I heard the mermaids singing to me
but it was just a pod of killerwhales disciplined by trained seals
to hit the high notes like flying fish out of their depths.
When the glass grows too dark like soot
on the third eye of an imperfectly burning lamp to see
the fireflies and stars deep within, lay the full moon
like a penny on the eyelid of your telescope,
kiss it on the forehead and wish it better dreams next time
than the nightmares it focused on in this life.
Go out to the woods late at night under the early spring stars
and from the bottom of your solitude, without
seeking an answer, speak to the ferocious clarity
of their indifference like a madman drowning in his own eyes.