I’VE BEEN A STRONG ROPE AND I’VE BEEN A MILLION WEAK THREADS
I’ve been a strong rope and I’ve been
a million weak threads. I’m waiting
for something green and vital to take root
in my starmud, but I’m oozing eclipses
like the La Brea Tarpit and there’s
the white swan of the moon in the window
across the street swimming through asphalt
and liquid bitumen like a chimney sweep.
Underpainting in. I’m labouring. It will
do for the night. No point trying to put
horseshoes on the muse when she’s digging
her spurs into your side as if you were her ride
for the night. Let’s go anywhere. I want
to step out of the light for awhile and forget
that I exist to witness myself struggling to live,
always wrestling with the next angel in the way,
looking for something illuminating in every defeat
just so I don’t waste that much pain on nothing
like a sugar maple being garotted by its own tree rings.
The silence of the town is peopled by ghosts
that feel like dead air when they gust against your skin
to let you know they’re still there as they’ve always been.
Clear night, but the darkness hums to its own madness
like a hermit thrush, and love numbs the heart
to protect it from worst to come. I was struck
in the throat looking for an antidote to myself.
Even when they’re defining things words are
perpetually expressive of the writing between the lines
of a vicarious human nature that doesn’t know how
to stand up to itself without hurting its own feelings.
Every step I take I’m bridging an abyss like a waterclock.
I pour the waters of life back and toward me
into the emptiness as a sign of uncontaminated respect
for the mindstream I drank them from. I’ve long
been a mirage of starmaps trying to fix by parallax
where the radiant of the light, in terms of tracing back
all these meteors and fireflies of insight to the source
they originate from is, if it isn’t non-existence itself.
The traffic lights must feel as useful as I do this time of night.
Red, yellow, green, they should try mixing
their palette up a bit and start adding a few more
complementary greys to the nature of their outlook
upon life. Hard to distance yourself aerially with the blues
when you’re always in the foreground of your own face
up close and intimate as primary colours
in their second innocence. Green, yellow, red,
like an apple ripening thousands of nights and days
without ever falling from the bough. No windfalls
of low hanging fruit there. The sun ignores the dusk
that has come upon it as if the sky were full of crows
pecking at the eyes of a fox on the run until it’s dead.
Night and blood. Blind before the rose. Is it
prophetic? A big life in a little death or the other
way around? Am I drinking from my skull, down
to the embryonic lees of a stillborn afterlife among
the enlightened who sometimes water the wine down
with vinegar just to rinse the taste of a miscarriage
out of their hearts, or do these mirages of black matter
sing and dance in their own desert starfields
as if there were a watershed the moon could drown in
like a nightsea of awareness in the heart
of a drunk poet reflecting on the hard beauty
of a forsaken life devoted to the unattainable truth
of knowing whether it was worth it or not, somewhere nearby.