Monday, May 13, 2013



Some few of the women I’ve lost
and it was like giving birth to the moon
so much was ripped out of my heart
I had not known I had so much to lose.

Still shudder like space with certain wavelengths
of a gamma ray burst that burns like a memory
of an abyss all my rivers flowed into
like my mindstream plunging off a precipice
into the haze of the maid of the mist
down below the falls, a ghost of ice,

my blood unravelled from my heart,
tears flowing from my eyes like hot glass
on a good day when I could melt time
with the absolute intensity of the way
I stared at things like a mad child
transfixed as a lens on the tragic onceness
of change that threshes the antennae
of the swallowtail butterflies that used to
touch the world so lightly in love, eyelids
and fingertips, with the last crescent
of the full moon at harvest time, reaping
the burnt loaves of what love sows
like starwheat at the vernal equinox,
spring as much a gate of departure as fall.

Love is stranger than plutonium
and only the greatest of mystic heretics
can stand in its fires and not be utterly consumed.

O how enviously young I must have been
to believe that nonsense. Each, after
their own nature hangs on the same hook
prophesying in voices that are devastated
by what they communicate. Too late. Too late.
Absolute pain splits everybody’s tongue
with a razor blade like a cedar shake
witching for water in a private hell
so impersonal it’s not even interested
in punishing you for mistakes you may
or may not have made. No point in trying
to improve the mirages of polluted water
by taking a bath in your grave everyday,
but you do just the same to approach
your absurdity proactively to distract yourself
from a black hole enticing you to let go and jump in.

Even if it’s radioactively surrealistic
eat the pain as you lie down in your bower
of stinging nettles trying to cauterize your heart,
no secret love potion, no sword of moonlight
between you and your beloved now foresworn
not to violate the taboos of the mythic diminishments
that have come between you incontrovertibly as you realize
how many eras of darkness it takes for the light
to cast a single shadow in the shape of someone
you loved as indelibly as the night loves its stars.

Mundanity becomes a feature of mercy,
an anodyne of pettiness, a placebo that helps
you brush your teeth in front of the mirror,
wash your face and comb your hair as if
you were performing some kind of religious ritual
by scrubbing the blood off the altar that tore
your heart out, a hefty directory from a telephone booth
you consult like an oracle in a Pythian snakepit
and then hang up for fear of disturbing the bones
of the dead you buried in the deserts of the moon
swearing you’d never dig them up again like a dog,
though there you are, caught red-handed, lapping
the marrow out of the receiver in your hand.

We all get dropped off eventually on some
lonely dirt road in the abandoned countryside
with half a chance of surviving the excruciation
like a declawed pet no one wants anymore
without knowing what our offence was or
how to fend like a beginning without end
against the odds of having been disarmed by love
like a sword thrown from a bridge in tribute
to the elixirs of the water sylphs we surrendered to.

But let me tell you this from the heartwood
of a tree that’s been made sacred by lightning
and rootfires more than once, love, like poetry,
isn’t for petty people, daunted as they should be,
by living through their own incommunicable death
like the unwanted poster child of their estranged absence
longing for someone to call them back
out of the vastness like a seance that could
channel the ashes of the cremations that fill
the urns of their heart like the last trace of smoke
from the firepit of a dragon weeping in the rain
for what befalls whenever you swallow the moon
like a cosmic egg from the love nest of a widowed crow.

Like the other wing of the fly that falls in the milk
of human kindness like a meteorite in Antarctica
you’ll eventually find the cure in the heart of the disease
by dipping the other wing like an antidote into it,
or going down on the Medusa without turning into stone,
hoping it doesn’t wear off before the sands
of the albino tattoo of an hourglass on her back runs out
and the world is overturned again like the shocks
and changes Shakespeare says keep us sane,
though love’s an occasion to doubt that at the extremities
of an oceanic devotion dismembered like a sea star by pain.
Or Orpheus rent asunder, gone insane on his own music.

As anyone who’s ever mainlined the stars
of the Via Galactic knows, love is more
of a dangerous gateway drug than lust is.
If the surfeit of joy in the mystery of the spell it casts
doesn’t kill you bobbing out of your depths
like a prophetic skull in the deep end of reality,
then the withdrawal of all your life masks
from the artificial paradise of fool’s gold
and tinfoil badges of star-crossed milk caps will
as you shoot up the sheriff and die like a wounded deputy.

But if the curse isn’t lived immensely you give birth
to a feeble star, a penumbral blessing, disappointed
as a shepherd moon you’re not shining down
on a habitable planet of your own where love thrives
like an afterlife in the open star fields of a great wind
that once passed through your life like a wildfire
that consumed everything in its path like a comet
dislodged like a jewel from the black halo around the sun,
o the bright vacancy of the radiant coronas,
o the dark abundance of the total eclipses,
impacting the earth in the Gulf of Yucatan.


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