ANOTHER LIGHTNING STRIKE DIVERTED FROM THE OAK A MOMENT
Another lightning strike diverted from the oak
a moment so I can uproot my nerves,
steel them to the sensitivities of the light
on a rampage, electrical snakestongues of fire,
welding sparks jumping the gap between
one neuronic synapse stripped of vitamin B
and the next, the entrance and exit of a collapsed bridge.
I want to go out the way I came in, a poet.
All my prophetic skulls laid out like stones in a river,
an inundated cemetery of moons hoping
to catch the next providential tide of spring run-off,
I’m still trying to get to the other side of why
I’m alive, by jumping like the moonrise of a pinball
from one extinction event to another, keeping in mind
the meteor that gave its amino acids
to the elaboration of life on the planet in the first place
will also be the one that takes it eventually.
A blow to the solar plexus of the earth
that knocks the atmosphere out of it.
But my mistletoe isn’t fried quite yet
though I’ve had to pawn my golden sickle
just to survive the deforestation of my sacred places,
I’ve got the eyes of the Gulf of Mexico
though given the oilslicks and astronomical catastrophes
that always come as a suprise, I’m undergoing
a sea change of self somewhere in the Cambrian era.
I’ve integrated a sense of compassion into my cells
like the mitochondria of my mother. I empathise
to the point there’s nothing human under the stars,
from cartels to Cepheid variables that I don’t take personally.
Some people collect souvenir spoons. With me,
it’s scalpels. Especially the ones still buried in my wounds
like crescent moons waxing and waning
like the phases of my eyelids, the bright vacancy
of a full glass of emptiness, the skull cup of the dark abundance
of the ghosts in the shadows that refuse to be conditioned
by the medium of anyone’s seeing but my own
as if they were all familiars of mine from a long time ago
I met at a seance they summoned me to as if
I were the one who had died in this dream of life
and the living and the dead stood eye to eye
like binocular vision in the observatory of the same head.
Water, time, suffering, and the wind blunts the sharp edges
I flintknapped like obsidian from the eclipse of a new moon
that slowly pressed into my flesh like a black rose
in the pages of a book I seldom open anymore
like a bone-box with my fossils in it that an avalanche
on the sea bed wears like tattoos on the inside
to remember me by. There are wines and inks
as indelible and dark as the night, pumping
through the heart forever, long after
the last tear in the rain has flowed away
like a watercolour of a fallen leaf under the bridge
of the mindstream you’re walking on like a great blue heron.
Don’t let the brutal sorrows make you defect
like a plague rat the many joys of the moonboat
that used to unload its cargo of roses in Genoa.
As soon as you fall like a cynic on the bitter thorns of life
it’s oxymoronically inevitable you’re going to become
quantumly entangled with someone who strews
rose petals in your path with such disarming tenderness
you’re seated like a fool on the impoverished throne
of your own defeated predictability. Bad, prophet, bad.
Tomorrow mutates to adapt to the available dimensions
of a future that has no conception of you even
existing yet here in the past where the real business
of living is done and now, though you cut it infinitely fine
like God particles that turn out to be your own mind,
never comes because time is what you are and what
you shall be, embodied in the throb of your own humanity.
Live up to it like the cause and effect of the only
regressive alibi that has stood up for you so long
it’s becoming a paradigm of stars and fireflies,
a new myth of origin among the constellations
that count on your imagination to sustain them.
Fire in the eyes of a snowman. Shine, shine, shine
like diamonds in the coal, wine in the bitter grapevine
that doesn’t know where all this ends like a road
gravelled with the skulls of hospitable planets
across the firmament so some drunk can stumble his way
home alone, all his darkness and light singing
in harmony with the stars and daylilies
of the flames in his heart he’s standing in for
like an unrecalcitrant martyr to the heresy of the art
of staying drunk on the moonlight, the orthodox
who decree they know what’s right burn in effigy
like a scarecrow because there’s no body to dig up
when you drink life down to the lees of the crows
looking for hidden jewels in the ashes at the bottom of the cup
as if the urns of dragons are the seed beds of the stars.