Tuesday, May 7, 2013



I unburden my heart and mind to the river and the night.
Stars in the spring run off of the urgent waters
breaking like a rush of passion over the skulls of the rocks
that have felt all this before like a recurring prophecy,
young watersnakes hunting juvenile frogs along the shore,
colonies of unknown waterbugs sprawling across
the thin skinned surface of a black mirror as the water
glints off their backs in the moonlight like tiny jewels
lost without a setting to embed themselves in
except for the occasional corona of light a wave
crowns them in only for a moment in passing their way.

I keep the stars close. Immensity near at hand
like a kind of back up wisdom when mine’s too narrowed
by some local concern and I forget how oceanic
awareness is once it’s disentangled from the nets
and the starmaps, the flypaper and the spider webs,
the separatist ego drapes it in like the bling of a pimp.

Sometimes I walk the rounds of the whole zodiac
like a nightwatchman holding his hokey lantern up
like a heart to look into their eyes through a dark window
into my own soul and see as deeply as I can
whether their bemused regality is sitting on
the lower terraces of this Colosseum I often feel
closing in around me like a slow garotte,
witness to this blood sport of human being
against human being, the savagery of our elaborate sentience.

And I can feel the febrile contagion of my own vehemence
arising within me like a volcanic vent
at the bottom of the lunar sea of my subconscious
trying to thrive in the depths of myself like a species
that’s never been touched by the light
and I need the vastness, I need the herbs
of the silence and awe of the illimitable vastness
to cool the ferocity of the nuclear wounds
that burn like white phosphorus marrowed
in the pipe bombs of my bones. I look beyond the stars
into the huge impersonality of an eyeless abyss
and its indifference is morphine and heavy water
to the meltdown in my heart that’s boiling me alive
in my mother’s milk like the kids by Capella in Auriga
or another blackhole in the Via Galactica.

I stop hemorrhaging like a lifeboat in a bad dream.
I fill in the black hole in my heart like an avalanche
on the spade of a gravedigger patting down the earth
with the ironwork of a few words to help
the medicinal enormity of the mountainous void
I’m buried in settle into the grave of its own dark valley

like these hills into the long barrows and bone-boxes
of the broken birch groves toppled like the masts
of a ghost fleet caught sleeping in Cadiz while still in port
like a ruinous victory snatched from the defeat
of everything it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever believe in again,
though, of course, I’ll endorse the probable concourse
of good second guesses it’s necessary to live your way through
into a solitude you have no doubt has abandoned you
to your own inner resources as my mother would say.

I looked for beauty in suffering and I’ve seen it
clear enough through my tears and the tears of others
like fireflies breaking through the night fog
after the storm has passed, haphazard miracles of light
no one could have anticipated on the darkest night
of their soul spitting lightning on the ground
like the downed power-line of a severed spinal cord
writhing like a wounded snake unravelling itself
like a Celtic knot in agony not knowing what to strike at.

I’ve seen the hand of a dying man reach up
and rest an open palm against the shoulder of a friend
leaning over him, desperately trying to staunch
the stars and the roses and their emergency ladder of thorns
from bleeding out of him like music from a funeral bell
as if this last human gesture of farewell said it all
more eloquently than the ageless silence that followed
his hand sliding down the slope of his friend’s arm
like the last caress of the companionable dead
toward the unassuageable dread of the living
gaping well beyond sorrow into an emptiness
that’s never been disturbed by a whisper of eternity or time.

It means what it means. It is what it is. Fair enough,
as far as it goes, but when does suffering become a blessing,
how is life exonerated from the pain it inflicts
upon itself in the name of keeping the show on the road,
eating its young and old, its best and worst in the same breath,
death, death, death, death, death, the erosive pain
of everyday’s little bit less, little bit less, until we’re
so used to the pervasiveness of what’s lacking
it seldom occurs to us we’re even hurt, or anything
is missing though we mourn the more obvious atrocities
it’s living with a sorrow so unfathomable, the lachrymae rerum
the tears deep down things like housewells
of the wounded watersheds where our spirits
are blunted like swords we lay down like light
upon our own mindstreams in tribute and surrender
to why it has to be this way at all, we can’t explain,

and why, if I can imagine a world without pain,
awareness without an error of perception, without damage,
where we progress from bliss to bliss without
the intervening abyss that shadows us like sorrow,
where hunger and eating don’t exist because
they’re neither self-sustainable nor functional,
because there’s nothing malicious about chaos,
could not life have evolved so there was no alternative,
no indispensable right and wrong path to the proliferant joy
that revels like a starling in the fountains and the willows
of just being alive with no notion of mortality
but the ongoing mystery that perennially
roots and blooms in us like an unknown wildflower
we keep coming up with names for according
to the way it changes, interdependently emanating

out of the same awareness by which we see it
like that star through the burgundy branches of the willows
so much closer to me than my eyes are,
it’s rising like a firefly on a wind like seeing,
like being, that has no within or without, no gap
between the wonder of its creation and mine,
as we arc into existence simultaneously
in the context of this prophetic medium of mind
that remembers yesterday like a future it never leaves behind.


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