LOOKING AT THE RAIN. ARE YOU LOOKING AT THE RAIN
Looking at the rain. Are you looking at the rain,
alone in an upstairs window of a small town
deserted except for the salt trucks sowing the road,
watching it freeze in the tarpits and stretch marks
of asphalt smeared by storefront colours
that try too hard like circuses and brothels?
And the people dreaming behind the makeshift veils
they can see out of into the dark, but no one ever in,
should the lights be on, and they’re not. Are you
embracing yourself like a stranger in your solitude
by acclamation, no one to challenge who you must be?
And the sky glowing as if there were a fire
in the distance, you cannot see beyond
the looming rooftops, subliminally infernal,
marginally dispersed auras of infra-red
that fell off the flat earth of a pre-mixed palette?
I imagine you keeping your pain to yourself
like the secret name of a god you disclose to no one
for fear of them having power over you.
I imagine you trying to embody the whole mystery
of life within yourself like the improbable avatar
of all that’s invisible within you like a ladder of thresholds
the light has yet to cross. Not a god or goddess
but a mystically specific human being who doubts
the divinity of her own uniqueness. Once for everything
means no two alike, but the air is saturate
with comparative metaphors in the absence of stars.
I imagine you remembering sporadic lovers
you were hurt by, children who abandoned you,
parents who tried but could never really understand.
Doors you slammed in anger as if you were
turning your back on yourself like a red sportscar
that kept breaking down by the side of the road.
And how you decided to go the rest of the way
like an indeterminate leaf on your own mindstream
once you decided you weren’t a map to anywhere
that wasn’t as evanescent as you were at cartography.
Three hours from dawn and you’re still a seance of one.
You summon lonely trains like mourners
hired for a funeral. Who’s dying? Whose
deathmask are you paying homage to
by obeying the protocols of artificial respect?
I can intuit the sundial and the sanctuary
of the walled garden your heart keeps trying
to bloom in like a poppy in winter but you neglect it
like a small fire that’s pleading with you to tend it
instead of letting it bleed out like a hare in the snow.
I want to console you. I want to undo the daisy chain
of razor wire you’ve wrapped yourself up in
like a gift to someone you think deserves it
as a mockery of everything you once cherished
but if I were to slowly emerge out of the void
into the room like an enchanted island you could be
the Circe of, you’d change like a chameleon on the spot.
You wouldn’t be yourself in the confines of your loneliness.
You’d keep chanting the prophylactic mantra
of a Greek chorus in a satyr play as if
you’d just seen a hungry ghost rise up,
a deux ex machina through the creaking floorboards:
I am not. I am not. I am not. When, of course, you are.
So let me ease your fear by appearing
like a star you can’t identify by its shining alone
through a clearing in the clouds at your window.
Let me empower you like a firefly
of the first magnitude, a mandalic insight
that inspires you, because you’re weary and bored
of your colouring books, into making up
an original constellation of your own
that doesn’t show up on anybody else’s starmaps
but vastly improves your disaffection
with the the outlook of the ashes of the zodiac
you keep in the urn of a see-through telescope
like so many burning bridges you’ve crossed
like an albatross with an arrow in its heart
arcing across the sky, martyred by a curse
on the long, cold, barren beach of your windowsill.
Be Circe awhile and throw your pearls like a full moon
before swine that used to be men you couldn’t turn to
for nautical advice when they were shipwrecked
on the same shore you walk in isolation now.
Believe in the power of your own madness
to work wondrous transformations at either end
of your modes of seeing that are the lore
of blind poets, and the legends of your shining
more creatively intriguing than the war stories of Helen.
If all is lost, you don’t need to compete
with winning anymore. Paris throws the apple away
and says to the three goddesses, you choose
among yourselves. This is not a creation myth.