I’M NOT THINKING WHEN I’M TRYING TO
I’m not thinking when I’m trying to.
I’m just drawing up blueprints for a river.
If thinking isn’t as self-evident as your own awareness
whose dream are you practising like an ant in a prophetic skull?
If you labour at an easel in the woods
breaking through the crowns of the trees all day
like maculate shadows and light, the animals slowly
come out of hiding to watch what you’re doing,
so dynamically absorbed in the mysticism of action,
they’re not troubled by the presence of someone who isn’t there.
What comes to you as effortlessly as that,
a tuft of cornflowers at the edge of the unthreshed starfield
like the Pleiades emerging from the darkness into the light,
is as inseparably yours as the sky indelibly reflected
on the mindstream you’re standing over your head in
second-guessing who you are, because you’re a hydra, always
sprouting new heads like the toppled towers of the hollyhocks
swanning on the block like a Puritan in the stocks
below the unhoned crescent moon of an indecisive guillotine
where the road divided like a witching wand
or the root fire of a snake’s tongue tasting lightning in the air.
And that’s ok, that’s ok, that’s ok, too. That’s
what’s actively copulative about who you are. Who else?
It’s all you, arrayed as you are like a sacred clown
who knows how to walk through walls but prefers
to bump into things like the world to amuse the children
lining the curbs of a shoddy parade promoting the return
of a small town carnival by tweaking their noses
like a heritage horn on a unicycle you ride like an egg-beater.
Unique. Irrevocable. Talking in your sleep
like the Tower of Babel drooling alphabet soup,
in a dream where you’re writing an interminable loveletter
like a blood on the mirror for your eyes only
with a message for your heart as long as a waterclock
circled by the shark fins of perfectly evolved sundials.
Everybody’s shining like a first magnitude firefly
in a lost and found of shadows with the lights out at night,
rummaging through unhinged doors they’re the keys for.
That’s as superfluous as climbing up the scaffolding
of your bones to paint your own eyes among the stars
when they’re already shining back at you
in the same chameleonic mood you are
living under the overpass of a shapeshifting zodiac
reading its own signs like a Tarot pack with intelligent design
based on counter-intuitive paradigms in the logic of metaphor,
drinking mirages with the Queen of Cups out of your own skull
like a dragon drinking its own sea of awareness
down to the lees of the moon, hoping to bottom up
like the mystic reversal of the watershed inundating
your darkness subconsciously like night in an hourglass
or a star inside the genie of the lamp it’s wishing on.
It’s ok to master all the distinctions you want
and set the salt of the earth on the table so
everybody knows their place beside the empty throne,
but however hierarchical you get about your pageants
and ritualistic passion plays, remember the jester
and don’t grow selective about miracles that occur
like wild irises startling the river out of the blue,
and for God’s sake, if you can’t see through the eyes
of your own lifemask that everything that happens
is as demonstrably unreal and true as the life
of your own heart, mind, and body, ghost-dancing
for a better outcome among the tribes off the reservation,
as if you were trying to conjure the other half of the moon
that’s missing from your oxymoron, don’t insist
there’s something irreparably wrong about you
because ankh shaped cul-de-sacs do as much to advance
your waxing sentience as open gates with welcome mats
and homecoming smiles. Take the high, hard path
like a shepherd moon who met itself, a stranger
coming the other way like an avalanche in the asteroid belt
on the same road he carried on his back yesterday
like a wounded mountain he shouldered all the way to the top.
You can tell by what you’ve suffered along the way
whether you were born petty or not. A singer
in your own right or a high-pitched voice coach for wolves
listening inquisitively on the far slope to the echo of a human
who hasn’t learned yet how to bare his tuning forks like fangs.
You’ve got this one chance to be absent-mindedly brave
in the face of the danger you pose to yourself
so the quality of your defeat is a peer of the victory it took
to transcend your belittlement and walk away from both
not exalted by your thoughts, not diminished by the lack of them.
When the errant knight rides the dragon without spurs
and the princess isn’t in need of any rescue she can’t effect for herself.
Set up the double easels of lambda in a dilemma
and paint the picture-music you’re singing to yourself
like a battered pine on a precipice out in the open
no less whole for being broken by what it stands up to,
knowing this multiverse of forces and forms is merely
the thinnest of excuses for the light in the shadows to show off
the painter it’s been working on like a mindscape long into the night.