CALM. COOL. THE FAN ON. THE WINDOWS OPEN
Calm. Cool. The fan on. The windows open.
The cat on the windowsill and the last yahoo
yeehawing his way out of town on his bad ass bike
as he opens the throttle to startle the people
sitting in doorways like candles in niches
up and down the street he’s the clown of frowns,
a legend of gossip when there’s nothing else to talk about.
Trying to write my way mutatatively out of the shadow
of a bell of sadness being lowered over my heart
like a Mason jar over a spider or a bee, depending
on how you look at it and which you fear the most.
Life a strange elixir of toxins and honey running
through my veins, it’s funny how even
the sweetest things in life always involve stingers.
Consider the secret destinies going on in upstairs apartments,
illicit lovers, dope deals, crushed hearts and dreams
waiting for someone to come and dig them out of the avalanche,
Severe solitudes letting the stars erode in the dust bowls
that lie silent, unmoving, and old on the moon
because nothing grows there but these intense shadows
I’ve been swimming through like a star caught
like a black dwarf on flypaper in the tar
of black matter in the irisless eye of a black hole
that wasn’t on any starmap but my own a few minutes ago.
Think of how much despair has been overcome
by the false dawn of hope in the windows
of all those rooms indicting the light of their lives
when they realize in each other’s eyes love
is a dream grammar of mirages and shadows
and the heart, for the most part, to judge from my own,
is semi-literate when it comes to reading its own signs.
The crazy sly don’t know where their lies begin and end
and call their falsehoods, axiomatic. The crazy wise
don’t know whether to laugh out loud from the hara
of their cosmic center between their loins and belly-button
like a trickster god that mocks their alibis
with the enlightened compassion of an heretical crow
or cry, cry, cry like an old sixties song that slashes
the heart open like a waterclock that fell upon its own sword
like the hour hand of era indifferent to the dignity of time.
Can you guess how much fear and terror, anxiety, paranoia,
grief, resignation, betrayal, and self-effacement
as if somebody threw acid in the eyes of a mirror
that could read them like a book, have been endured
like the coils of the nightmares that must have swallowed them whole
for there to be so little evidence left of them now,
and the parties and the sex-fests, the cloney, intellectual dens
of the confrontationally obnoxious adolescents
looking at the world through the eclipse in the eyes
of black match heads that burnt out well before they bloomed?
The broken promises of youth. The unpredictable disappointments
of old age made trivial by the absence of family,
and a backyard to grow cucumbers and geraniums in.
If I were a Cyclops and not a poet I would definitely
look at everything from a one-eyed positive point of view,
but as it happens I’ve got two eyes in the dark to see with
and I’m not blinded by my own blazing when it comes
to shining a light on the way things are binarily true
like galactic waltzes and the ghost dances of most stars.
Nor am I in the habit of mistaking a new moon
for a total eclipse, so, yes, I can see happy children
going to bed at night in the finger-painted bedrooms
of these converted office spaces, lightyears from here
looking back at them reflectively like a watershed
of the extraordinary ordinary themes of life that found
a place for themselves in the world like threads of fate
on the woof and weft of the waxing and waning loom of the moon.
For all the locked horns that gore the heart
on arguments that would rather be right than loved,
I can see the new moon in the arms of the old
like lovers on the sly getting away with each other.
I can see how beautiful the lilacs must have been
in the spring of so many years ago by counting
the tree rings under the eyes and in the heartwood
of an old woman who revelled in the rain
when joy was till coyly deciduous and the passage
of time and the tears deep down in things
not so solemn and evergreen at the approach of eternity
in the presence of the lilacs foaming over the fence.