Thursday, May 9, 2013



I see the new moon of a black pearl
stuck through your tongue like a sacred syllable
in a cult of one you only whisper on your knees
when you’re giving head to the false idols
of the gods you worship, the jewel in the lotus,
hoping they’ll love you back because you pleased them well.

Your eyelids smeared with bruised mascara
like the petals of a black rose, o my poor flower,
my battered teen-age friend, my heart breaks
to see how you squander your devotion on men
with feet of clay, who envy you that flesh and blood
you give away so readily like a bride of Corinth
or a beatified prostitute outside the gates of the Iseum.

I hear the faint music of the bells of the columbine
growing on a mossy rock like a hair transplant
and I want to hang earrings of rain from your lobes
like a shower of stars that wash you clean of yourself
in the light so you can see how beautiful you are
when you’re not dressed up like deadly nightshade
in fish net stockings to catch the dolphins by their fins.

I could delight in you, not just for your breasts
and your lips, or that desperate disappointment
in your occult eyes as if someone had just cut down
all your sacred groves, amputated the limbs
of your mistletoe and apple bloom with a golden sickle
of the last crescent of the moon in hypocritical reprisal
for making a human sacrifice of yourself to them
outside the Colosseum. My God, what a body rush
of mystic oblivion and carnal ecstasy would sweep
this man’s island galaxy out to sea if I were ever stung
by the toxic elixir of that weeping ruby hanging
from a blade of stargrass like a lantern in the red light district
of Scorpio. When the music’s in the flute of the snake-charmer
who wouldn’t want to be bit by a young cobra in training
that sways like a river reed in the mouth of a sleazy oboe,
or a mindstream smothered all over in the albino kisses
of nocturnal waterlilies opening like poems and loveletters
addressed anonymously to the stars that gape in astonishment
at the power of black magic rooted in the starmud of a swamp
to bring them to enlightenment by blooding their vision
of night and love that shudder through space like the wavelengths
of these human intimacies that feather snakes in the flames
of the fires of life dying on the pyres of their sky burials?

In the name of lust and love, rapture and denial, sorrow
and the panaceas of snake-oil that make liars
of all those tomorrows that disappeared like smoke and mirrors
when a real witch approaches the frauds with a longing
in her heart that subjects her like a black star
to the tinfoil luminaries of all her bad imitators.

You hear me, sweet one, even this many lightyears away,
I’m tempted to double-back on this martial discipline
that restrains my demonic soul and faster than an enzyme
can outpace the speed of thought, go retrograde on myself
to meet you like bad timing in the spring run off
of a waterclock that knows it’s not long before
it freezes up at the end of autumn like the lens
of a telescopic contact on the third eye of this
longer view of life I take like the shadow of a mountain
cast by the earth like the cursive script of a poet
flowing like a garden of underground rivers on the moon.

I’ll be your wise apple with no worm in it,
your big brother, with no emotional espionage
going on behind your back like a street camera,
a grey-haired familiar you can beat like the stump
of the green bough I used to be in orchard time,
to see what pops out of it like a sacred clown
in a jack in the box, a warm mammal or the usual reptile.

I’ll be your substitute anti-father who isn’t trying
to cultivate you like a weed in a soiled flower bed
that doesn’t feel like a grave everytime you get up from it
and try to bloom again, despite the pain, I can feel it,
boiling in you like acid rain thrown in the eyes of the stars
trying to read you like the subplot of an enigma of tears.
Forget your heavy metal father corroded like an alloy
of black mold and bubonic plague who seeded you
with the fleas of a disease he could treat like a slut
he could carry around in the medicine bag of his loins,
hexing the love you still long for like a bad drug
you seek from all these other dealers as if love
were a taboo you had to violate to get fixed up.

Or do you really think you can overcome
this hemorrhagic fever of love like an antidote
you can milk from the fangs of the venomous
unkindness of life that raped you in its underworld
like a paradigm of the power of death to make the spring bleed
like the jewels of wild columbine a grave-robber couldn’t resist?

Anybody ever made love to your mind, or have you
dumbed the gnostic gospel of your intelligence down
to make fires in the morning that smell like the ashes
of old urns for a meathead that wants his cosmic eggs
overturned without breaking the sunny disposition
of the way he flares at you like the ingrown hair
of a black dwarf with no light to shine on anyone
that doesn’t fester like ulcers in the frying pan
you jumped into like the caldera of a dead volcano
at the expense of the fires that once bloomed in you
like passionate sunsets in an archipelago of Polynesian islands?

Prudentia might have been a fit remembrance
for the lack of sex behind the pews of Thomas Aquinas
looking for a flying buttress for the cathedral
of his Summa Theologica, but I’ve got no tomes of wisdom
I can feed you like the staff of life turned like flesh
into books and bread. No carnelian dot of blood
to mark your pineal gland like a poppy catching
your third eye burning among the starwheat like Antares.

Nor can I answer you like the male principle of the world
that abandoned all standards by excising
the mysterious matrix of the female from
the headwaters of its distant source overgrown
with screening myths that give birth through
the skulls and thighs of the mutated alternatives
that amuse themselves like pseudomorphic stem cells
ravaging mortal women like bulls, swans
and showers of gold as if they were fecundating animals.

But I’ve swept up more than one new moon
in the arms of the old before as if I were dancing
on my grave with fireflies that lit me up
like the ghost of a constellation glowing in the dark.
I know the mystic terror of falling in love with a woman
like Johnny Appleseed ploughing shepherd moons
like the tree of life in a Medusan snakepit of crazy wisdom
that holds the grail of everything that ails you
up to your mouth like the breast of the dark mother
that suckles the dead like the Milky Way merciful
as an aberrant phase of Kali on a rosary of prophetic skulls.

And it still seems after all these eras of ashes
I’ve scattered like doves and crows from the aviaries
of my voice-box, to scry my own signage to see
if the stars were propitious or not for me
to open my eyelids like dawn again without fear
of being blinded by the blazing of the light
at the end of the tunnel that never fails to amaze me
like the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades glimpsed
through the leafless branches of a winter birch grove
and two illegitimate muses of memory that inspire me
to burn brighter than a lightbulb in a housewell
or a night light in a morgue, like the dark genius
of a root fire not even life with all its tears can put out.

This thief of fire wasn’t born like Prometheus
when Metis cleft Zeus’ skull with the double-headed axe
of the moon for wanting to consume his own progeny
like food in defence of the realm he’d become
accustomed to like a shoe that had wearied of the road
he was on like a cannibal eating everybody out of house and home.
If I hold these myths up to you like a starmap
can you see the dark abundance, the bright vacancy
of the darkly profound and sublimely shallow
this business of love is when it takes you more seriously
than you’ve been in the habit of listening to yourself?

Homeless as a rogue planet making pitstops at the stars
for an occasional taste of honey from the hive,
I’m not on the make as much as I used to be
when I looked for fertile crescents in the deserts
of the opposite sex that kept their oases under wraps
for the good of us all, though we shared mirages for awhile
that are harder to forget than my first sight of Orion.

I know I must sound like I’m talking like a field fire
out of a burning bush with New England asters on my breath
in the valley of Tuwa, that there’s madness
in the medicine of what I say about the short straws
of the bad magicians that have thrown the dead heartwood
of their dozy wands like vipers of bad luck in your way.

And I’m not preaching about anything I wasn’t
the spell bound victim of once myself, as if no sword
I’d ever drawn like a blade of moonlight out of the stone
could ever come between me and the women I’ve loved
more like Merlin Morgan la Fay than King Arthur, Guinevere,
but, goose-bump, I never gave all my magic away
like Prospero at the end of the mystery play
taking a step back into the cowardly world
that isn’t so new or very brave to anyone who’s been
exiled by it for not short changing Ariel at the expense of Caliban.

Life still sits at my table like a lonely autumnal equinox
in this thirteenth house of the zodiac where the angels
come to slum on the wrong side of the tracks
when the midnight sun is at the zenith of a total eclipse
or just relax like a black swan that’s given up
looking for its reflection at night in the negative space
of a white starmap that tarred and feathered it like Braille
or binary snake-eyes on the cube root of a bad throw
of the dice. No false idol of love embodied like a dung heap
covered in snow, until things start to get hot is ever
going to come down off the pedestal you put it on
and raise you up eye to eye out of this lower ditch of hell
you’re digging for yourself like a grave so deep and wide
you’re never going to fill it in with the vacuous absence
of all you abide as if the crumbs of the dreams
that fall from your table were loaves and fishes on a hillside.

Stop masticating your own heart to make it easier to feed
like a dirty pulp novel in the shadow of the Tower of Babel
to all these illiterate thugs you apotheosize in their high chairs,
spoon-feeding love like crack over a candle flame
in the middle of an ice-age shrink wrapping the larger mammals
so they don’t burn in the freezer like the body parts
they keep dismembering from you after bleeding
that hapless heart of yours in the bathtub that won’t ever
wash the stain of your snarling father clear-cutting
the orchard of your sex like Eden with a chain-saw.

Say screw it, lady, and throw gasoline on the snakepit
as you head for the exit before this snuff flick’s over.
Go ask the albino crows, nothing’s indelible not even
these oilslicks that are killing off the marine life
in the gulf of your sex in the fathomless depths
of your sea of awareness so the whole world looks polluted
through the same eye you look upon it with
at the small end of the telescope that’s stuck
its head in the sand like a field easel in a Buddhist hourglass
where the wind paints like the blowback
of the dust storm that’s grinding you down like a lens.

Try something new. Learn to be kind and compassionate
to all those voodoo dolls you keep sticking pins in
like effigies of yourself on a terminal psych ward
off its placebos like meds. And, yes, it’s hard
to respect yourself when you’ve never known how
but even so little as an atom nudged in that direction
can start a chain reaction of photons jumping orbitals
in a nuclear liberation of heat and light in the core of yourself
that changes the elemental nature of how you’re put together
whether you melt down like a candle at a black mass
of your inverted passions in insincere tears
or empower yourself to burn like a star for lightyears.

If you just stop trying to shine down on these eyeless slag heaps
trying to burnish the fool’s gold in their played out souls,
I swear there’s a habitable planet out there somewhere
waiting for your light in a dark cold abyss
with flowers in its eyes, o yes, chicory and cinque-foil,
wild poppies, enamel buttercups, marsh orchids
and white sweet clover in its voice when it rises to greet you
when you enter the room at dawn, and it’s not false,
and all your clothes are on like apple bloom that knows
when to take them off like a nebula on a summer night in the starfields
and shine, sweetheart, shine like fruit on the bough
of the evening star in the gardens of the Hesperides.


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