LIVING ON A PLANET THAT KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN IT HEALS
Living on a planet that kills more people than it heals.
And the most dangerous of predators, our own ideals
turning on us like ingrown hairs, solar flares the wind
blew in our faces without any of the veils or auroral graces
that used to adorn our amazement at what our eyes
in creative collaboration with victimized ions, could do
with the last breath of an expiring sun god to make it
mystically beautiful and awe-inspiring. Just
to be a witness to it was enough to keep your mouth
shut for the next ten thousand years, the silence
before the sublimity of being in the presence
as convincing to the farmer as it was to the astronomer.
As civilization progresses into an improved savagery
and people grow more bovine in their living rooms
as the one-eyed liar at the nadir of the third eye
entrances them into believing they’re still
grazing in the starfields of genetically modified astroturf
they were raised on, slowly, from a moon cow’s point of view
it’s beginning to dawn on people that civilization
is nothing but the history of war since Sargon of Agade
first turned the plunder of cattle and women
into the military imperialism of the few against the many
by staying like a parasitic cosmic egg laid
on the pineal gland of a host caterpillar so civilization,
mimetic word, a cattle prod, an axe, and an abattoir,
is coming to be seen for the death trap that it is.
Muddy Waters, there’s anotha mule kickin in yo stall.
I grew up in an impoverished neighbourhood
where the garbage cans were full of people
but I swear, and I’ve seen a lot I wish I hadn’t,
I’ve never seen so much rot, corruption, and ignorance,
lacking even elementary street smarts, as I do
in the portly politicians and their fanatically overkempt hags
that make you feel so sorry for their hairdressers,
and the tailors that have to fit them like a hidden agenda
of hate and greed, oozing through the seams
of their shapeshifting, deformed-fitting suits.
Makes you want to stick the old peace sign of the sixties
down your throat and throw up. Or pack up
a small tent, like a refugee or an emigrant
and get in line with the rest of the waterlilies
who’ve finally given up on trying to turn
the festering swamp into something redeemably beautiful
and would rather be homelessly lost among the stars,
floating down the Milky Way with wild black swans,
than sit like the eggcup of a crown on the skull
of a false prophecy missing more than one link in its evolution.
And if you think not to be appalled by the stink of the world
is a kind of experienced wisdom, a seasoned outlook,
then I might suggest that you’ve aged like offal
complicit in the contagion of worms in the grass
where the children play on the swings. And your last best hope
is that your eyes have retained some of the original innocence
of the fool that you used to be,
before the Medusa turned them to stone
and the colour flaked off like the irises of violated covenants.
Radical in the sixties, I was into self-creative destruction,
tallowing sand candles out of napalm and beeswax
that went off like fifty calibre lipstick shells in your face.
I occupied. I dropped out. I blew my own mind
more than once just to make sure the bridge was burning
by the time I got to the other side of my own mindstream
and no one was following me like another blistering ideal
that got thrown like acid in the maculate face of the full moon.
It was easier to believe in everything back then
than to make peace with myself even now,
though I know it’s just one illusion dead set against another
and I’m sitting naked in the Himalayas alone at night
trying to hatch a new cosmic egg for myself
or at least a new cosmology for this glass third eye
I’ve ground like a lens or the mirror of a reflecting telescope
with gritty carborundum down to within an angstrom of perfection
just to be on the same wavelength as quicksilver and diamonds
when it comes to seeing things that don’t easily disappear.
Now I can see the stars dancing clearly from the inside out.
I’m looking for an abandoned observatory on the top
of the world mountain standing on the shaky cornerstone
of a snapping turtle, and I’m not being driven out this time,
exiled among exiles, like some scapegoat beaten
like an objective correlative for what is most ugly in humans
that don’t sacrifice themselves for their own sins.
I’ve been leaving of my own accord for the last thirty light years
of this wilderness experience for the wind knows where.
And I still care. And I still help the waywards of life
that blow across my path like losing lottery tickets
and one winged butterflies trying to fly
like the unbound page of a book with half a wingspan.
I still fight with words and actions that have been blooded
like Damascene swords in the sacred forges of my infernality.
I’ve gone on exploring the elusive dark energy
of my expansiveness long after the universe went out
and sight stopped being a kind of love as lucid
as the imagination on a good seeing night for the sky bound.
But as my compassion has grown deeper, more holistic
and mystically specific simultaneously so has the sadness
of feeling so many suffer the indistinguishable pain
of simply being alive to endure the agony
of cauterizing their cosmic wounds with the very stars
they wished upon a heartbreak ago when the waterclock
broke like an ice-age dam and the baby mammoth
was washed away like starmud in a glacial flood
of Pleistocene tears. And life seems so randomly perilous
in the way it maims and kills the body and the mind,
it seems even the wise and the sublime die as surrealistically
as the sarcastic mentors of trash and trivia
trying to distract our attention away from our dilemma
with cheap thrills and punchlines about the meaning of nothing
so we can’t feel the house burning down around us
until we’re reminiscing in our urns,
as if we were still haunted by eyes in the dark
like some lingering significance to our demise.
Lachrymae rerum. Sometimes I think the mute rocks
don’t just speak, they weep like stars
for the things they’ve seen like the headstones
of prophetic skulls in a cemetery of ancestral asteroids.
An abandoned observatory, yes, the jewel in the lotus,
and a large garden where I can grow my own constellations
like esoteric zodiacs of asters and sunflowers
and a lover I can bed down with like an equinox
when our celestial equators intersect our ecliptics
at the equinoctial colures of our cosmic G-spots
and we can implode like supernovas in each other’s presence
just for the pure joy of immolating ourselves in bliss
to renew the tenderness of the fireflies who know
there are no limits to how far we can take this.