Wednesday, July 31, 2013



Venus in the west, always a good sign.
And the night temperate. The balm of the air,
herbal, cool bracken in the shadows,
the flowers stepping back out of the light
as they pack up their circus tents
like clowns and dancers after the show
and move on to who knows what underworld
of root fires in the eyes of the Lord of Jewels?

Why is it the wind always seems crueler
to the pines? Lachrymal glands of dolorous amber.
Hard honey. Broken horns. Is it because
they endure their own ennobling by standing
up to things like the skeletal remains of evergreens?

Venus and Leo blossom on a dead branch.
Influenced by birth under Virgo putting a good face
on a harem of moon goddesses, I’ve never
been able to tell when I look at Spica, that
stalk of wheat burning in her hand, whether
I was raised in a temple or the back of a sacred brothel.
An obstreperous boy among so many women.

You can tell by the way I revere the willows
down by the Tay they’ve had a lasting effect upon me
though remembering yesterday as though
tomorrow hadn’t happened yet, how seldom it seemed
I could ever get them to stop crying as if
love always had a hole in it somewhere
they were leaking out of like escapee waterclocks
squeezed like glaciers out of the rocks,
antediluvian diamonds in tears, and me
just beginning to fire up the Hadean darkness
with stars of my own. There was always
the silent taboo of a secret I wasn’t privy to,
a mystery to life too big to fit like the sea in my ear
as I walked away back to room, thinking
I’ll never be holy enough to overcome death,
but who knows how much of what’s
demonically estranged about me might be esteemed
if I could deepen the shadows to enhance their lights
and alleviate even a single chandelier of sorrow
the way I used to delight in discovering
new, unpicked blackberry patches that were ripe
and bleeding from the eyes like the visionary stigmata
of an infernally compassionate wine you drank from a skull.




Even with ants crawling down it
like lava and nuggets of black ash, an ant heap
is not a volcano that threatens Atlantis
with a caldera like the gem of a third eye
that just fell out of orbit like a halo and lies
embedded on the bottom close to a fumarole
mythically inflating cucumber worms.

My subconscious is trying to associate
with me again. There’s a crack
in my oracular tortoise shell it’s trying
to squeeze through by slipping
the continental plates of my prophetic skull
like the San Andreas fault, chief
among the lifelines on the palm of my hand.

Not Kufu’s Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau.
Sand at the bottom of an hourglass,
Sumeru, the world mountain, not a ziggurat
or an Aztec temple, the barrow tomb of a Celtic king.
Do ants have architects like Imhotep?
Do they think they’re going to be born again
among the stars, women to Isis in Sirius,
men to Osiris in Orion, the Duat.
Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. Maybe
they were undertakers in another life,
urns and canopic jars, given the way
they keep retrieving body parts from No Man’s Land.
Butterfly wings and bees curled like commas
in death, as if death were just a pause,
and the sickly sweet smell of embalming fluid
though it’s only formic acid. Same thing
in stinging nettles. Is an antheap a surgical theatre?

I’m propped up by an elbow on a mat of dry grass.
The kind you put between your teeth
as if you had all the time in the world
to see who gets the short straw. The mind
is an artist. Able to paint the worlds. At the moment
my body’s an easel in a waking dreamscape
with emphasis on my evanescence. I’m
as coherently directive as a road of smoke
that really doesn’t care where it’s going.
I’m taking out a second mortgage on my afterlife
just for a little peace now as the lake laps
at the intransigence of the rocks scarred
by glaciers calving water prematurely at the North Pole.

Here in this leper colony of a birch grove
the beavers are making pioneer forts out of,
as if there were always something you had to be
on guard for, bush wolf, road superintendent
with blasting caps, or fisher, let it come, let it come, let it come
whether life is as effortless as a gift,
or hard labour when birth gets turned around
and bringing things into the world isn’t
as much of a joy as it used to be. If they

had to move Ramses II to a shelter for
homeless mummies in the Valley of the Kings,
I’m not going to spend my life watching a starmap
for dawn to break. This strange sentience
that animates me to free associate
the hardy blue of the chicory with the eyes
of several women I’ve loved, and soon,
the New England asters like mystics in daylight
with starclusters among the lolling goldenrod,
this is about as monumental as it gets. This,

just as it is, red winged blackbirds among
the wild roses, talons and thorns, a solitary bunting
singing to the sky at the top of a bedraggled cedar,
this ant heap I’m keeping my distance from
is the cornerstone of my tribute to the stillness
of the abyss in motion, all I am of any worth to offer.
This rock of starmud from a habitable planet
I hurl overhand into the undulant quiescence
of the waters of life just to hear the frogs plop.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013



Not looking for words to unsay
the sorrows and horrors of life.
The heart’s not always a bell.
Ultimate eloquence to let things
speak for themselves. Every solitude
adds a petal to paradise, a flame to hell.

A seance of willows glowing
like grey-green ghosts in the moonlight
as if they had bedsheets over their heads,
every one, a maid of the mist
behind a hanging garden of waterfalls,
gardenias of late summer stars in their hair.

Friends dead, lovers gone, children
grown and flown like waterbirds,
beauty and bliss, the happier shadows
of despair washing old selves off
in the abyss like the slow tears
of a window in the rain, a Burgess Shale
of encyclopedic pain, rising like Atlantis
from the alpha of the bottom to the omega
of an ark run aground on a mountain top.

Fossilized blood seals of ancient oceans
in the wild roses, the heart stands signatory
to a truce with time. The mind witnesses
its act of perishing like sunset in an apple
about to fall, an astronomical event
of absurd and insignificant proportions.
One bite for Eve. One bite for Snow White
in a coma still waiting for a kiss
to wake her up, and one for Aphrodite,
the toxin and elixir of the soul in a garment
of flesh when it goes slumming in its own starmud.

Whether at dawn or dusk, the patina of time
is never enough to occlude the radiant heart
with the grime of cosmic history allegorized
as human events. As the surface so the depths.
Even if you make a passing appearance
in front of your mirroring awareness,
the river tells me not to worry, the light’s indelible
and raises up a wave like a T-short
to show off the Summer Triangle tattooed
around the navel of the world with a diamond in it.

Might as well be kind about the eschatology
of the end times, given only sacerdotal fools
with limited imaginations know for sure
death, judgement, heaven and hell
can be quantumly disentangled like axons
of white lightning in your left front parietal lobe.
Let the mandrakes shriek if they feel uprooted.
I’ve watched the sabre of the moon slash
through that Gordian knot of hot koans more than once.

My spiritual advice after a lifetime of looking?
Proceeding into the unknown, keep your eyes open.
Who really knows? Que sais je. If it isn’t
a fake reality show of the dead in an unworldly habitat,
it’s a religion that never knew when to say
enough is enough, the cemeteries are full,
and we’ve enslaved the imagination
to the sacred syllables of a few dead metaphors
the first bloom has peeled off of
like paint and nickel plating on a deathmask
disguised like a snake-oil nightmare
in a choir of lullabies that makes the human spirit
cry itself to sleep defamed by infernal rumours of love.

I want to be looking up when I die at the stars
that have kept an eye on me all these lightyears
as if my creative freedom had always been
a starmap of my own making in the open palm
of my own hands grasping for nothing
that didn’t morph into a mirage of water and sand
like an optical illusion in a dichotomous hourglass.
The withered bloodstream of the grape
might long for the purple passages of wine
it once drank out of the skull of the moon
to the dynamic equilibrium between birth and destruction.
But bring it on like a holy war it will be a glory to lose.

I’ve always taken an aleatory approach
to the paradigms and pageants of chaos
like the cosmic morphology of a hydra-headed
shapeshifting multiverse expanding hydrocephallically
in all directions at once so we never notice
how much we grow from moment to moment
like an imagination run wild in a moshpit of stem cells
that yesterday waltzed in three four time
under the Fabonacci curve of Hapsburg chandeliers.
I’ve seen sunflowers spiral into galaxies like prayer wheels
and when the mind is an artist able to paint the worlds
I divided my canvases up two to one, right to left
in a ratio of seashells I could hear eternity in
like the surging of a distant sea of awareness.

Imagination isn’t an agent of hope
into espionage, so I’ve never been in the habit,
more of a standing visionary than a kneeling voyeur,
of peeking through the keyhole of an opening door
into what might be going on over
the event horizon of the next black hole
breaking into the false dawn on the brighter
side of things. Like fruit to the apple bloom,
like stars emerging out of the dark, like
the sea to the river that’s been following it
like the stray thread of a lifeline back
to the tapestry it was unravelled from by the moon,
everything will be made clear in its own sweet time.
How much the stars have revealed to the waterlilies
about learning to shine without diminishment
in the mucky skies of an umbilical riverbed
where the bloom’s never off the flowering
of the first magnitude starmud of the dead.




Hitch hiking out to Richardson for discount cigarettes.
A hundred and fifty cars go past, someone counting sheep
in a dream that’s got nothing to do with me.
I may look like a pauper but my vehicular inferiority
is more than compensated for by what I can see
close up and intimately in the grass, and the sun
on the brawn of my arms protruding from a tank top
like the Bronze Age. I’m a Mycenean setting sail
on the surge of the wind in the gladiatorial reeds
of the oceanic cattails at peace with the rage of the world.

The dusty white clay of the road chalks my runners
like blackboards of starmud in the Burgess Shale.
Six miles and I can already feel my femurs
starting to take on the air of fluted pillars
as my muscles stretch around the block
like hemophiliacs at a bloodbank gasping for oxygen.
I stick out my thumb like a spectator in the Colosseum,
neither up nor down, not the first nor the last crescent
of the trigger of the moon, one road in a yellow road
as if I had no opinion on whether the defeated
should live or die and I stare straight into the eyes
of the windshields like the Pythian oracles of Delphi
with no life left in them as they whizz by without breaking stride.
Nice try. Let them live. Empathy for the hell of it.

Swathes of grass the road crews cut. Rags
of chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace have learned to duck.
Mandalic starclusters, doilies of brocade
in an ageing house of life, have you ever noticed
how they fold their spokes up after they’re flowerless
like inverted umbrellas into the most elegant nests
as if they’ve been tooled like Faberge egg cups?

I look across the open fields to the albino scars
of the birch in the border bush rows of a Euclidean theorem
about where to plant the cocker-spanieled ears of corn.
I see neolithic villages in the spikes of the wheat
as I have in the bleached hair of the blondes
I’ve gone out with wondering if it’s the ergot on the stalk
that engenders the little tree of the magic mushroom
that walks you through the stations of the Eleusinian mysteries
so you’re never the same after that, and why
in Islam the staff of life is considered forbidden fruit
if it isn’t at least as hallucinogenic as the gods
growing paranoid about how much we may and may not know.

Candelabra of purple loosestrife, vetch and clover,
and the evening primrose that reminds me
of all those sunsets I spent cooling off in paradise
with a woman more earthbound than Lilith or Eve
who believed in the way I painted the petals
of English ox-eyed daisies the wind had dishevelled
like matchbooks some boy had pryed open
like people and steeples before they were ready to bloom.

Black rimless shades. Do I look like a serial killer?
I feel like a mendicant Zen poet on my way to Eido
in Tokugawa Japan, minus the hossu and the fan.
Life overgrows itself, a niche-dweller, in the culvert,
the fence post, the asteroid belt of gravel I’m walking on,
no occasion for flourishing overlooked, its stillness
in a hurry as I am not, the milkweed nursing
its Monarch butterflies, the pampas grass
preening its plumes like the quills of hieroglyphs,
what a riot of overstatement it takes to makes its point
as if there was a point to it all in the first place.

A yellow Mustang muscles its middle-aged paint job by
polished like an enamel buttercup, but it’s not
going to stop as it sucks the dragonflies up like krill
through its grill, cruising for sulphur butterflies
that gives it that jaundiced colour as if Van Gogh
had been eating his chrome yellow again. Avaunt ye,
knave, I’m the errant dragon knight that isn’t
going to save you from the damsel as she says
soft shoulders go slow before she drives you off the road.
Part of looping like an eternal recurrence
through time I guess. But, yellow, man, yellow.
That’s a bad guess. Don’t you remember what
Henry Ford said. I don’t care what colour you paint them
as long as they’re black? How wide does
that racing stripe of yellow down your back
need to be before you realize you look like the lines
of a passing lane? Not cruel, brother, just got to
vent a little at your sin of omission. Where do you
park your horse, cowboy, at the drugstore?
You ride on like the Lone Ranger. Tonto’d rather walk.

A raccoon’s severed paw at my feet, the catatonic full moon
of an empty Tim Horton’s cup trying to civilize
pagan Germania in the Teutoburg Forest, brown paper bag
from the liquor-store, I’m in the middle of a modern midden
that runs like a country highway through a landfill.
Who needs the NSA when you can take on the identity
of what you throw away? Don’t underestimate
the power of the earth to remember and redress.
Wherever you keep your garbage. That’s where your home is.

Two miles more and my lungs are alien atmospheres
trying to cling to a habitable planet like an aura of air
laced with diesel fuel, hot asphalt, carbon monoxide.
The Taliban of the wild parsnip throws acid in my face.
A thousand yards of silence punctuated by birdsong
flooding the woods after the roar of the long thought trains
passing bumper to bumper like Bactrian camels
on the Silk Road behind a driver asserting his will
by mean-heartedly doing the speed limit to live forever
like an accident waiting to happen to a self-righteous caterpillar.

The road grows long. I’m doing my time standing up
like a red blood cell on a pilgrimage to the shrine
of the goddess of nicotine at the eastern doors
of the burial hut of Smokin’ Eagles, until my bones are dust,
and my spirit’s gone south with the Canada geese.
Whenever I make a truce with the world
I stuff my peace pipe with tobacco and pass it around.
In another life I think I might have been a hookah.
I’d rather be killed by the thing I love than something
I didn’t have any feelings for. You can live
three lifetimes more a moment when you’re happier
than you can when you’re doing it by a book
you didn’t write. Still think its dangerously debilitating
to be too wholesome like the smell of bread in a denatured bakery
that reeks of frustrated capitalism. The angels
only know one side of things. They’re cyclopic.
The demons have two eyes like we do. They’re stereoscopic.
Who knows? Maybe I’m dropping ashes on the Buddha?

As an SUV pulls over to the side of the road behind me
with the smile of a friendly New Brunswicker
who’s been living in Innisville for the last thirty years
and he immediately puts me at my ease because
I can tell he’s the real thing, a decent human being,
and I start talking cheerful normalese to prove
I’m definitely not a serial killer. Peace, brother,
beauty, love, the sixties fifty years later just got
into your car and to judge by that light show in your eyes
you were there, as an unspoken vision of life
binds us to this road we’ll travel down awhile together
like two passing strangers as the night approaches
the simple kindness and sincere gratitude of the encounter.
All part of the spiritual evolution of two retrograde revolutionaries
looping back on themselves like the second innocence
of the return journey, better than the first,
like green wine from wild grapes that’s had a chance
to age the dream awhile like coopers in our heartwood.

And too close to death to lie, still wonder what
it was all about. Did it do any good? Have we lived it well
over all these intervening light years we’ve been
holding it together like god particles without sacrificing
the creative freedom that comes with being vast
and spaced out. Did the effortless meaninglessness
of our evanescence ever make a difference to anything?
A chaos of fireflies or a cosmic array of stars in the sky,
one thing for sure, we’ll be long gone by the time
the light gets to where it’s going so the circle,
even squared with the way things seem, remains unbroken.


Monday, July 29, 2013



It took me light years to trust my voice
to say things my thoughts had to catch up to
like the unrehearsed understudies of hidden harmonies
making their presence manifest in the way
their dark matter bent space and made the words move
into place like water finding its own equilibrium.
The discipline, then, was not to interfere,
but listen when the wind turns the Byzantine green
of the Russian olives silver in the turmoil of its passage.
To pour yourself out of the mirror like the tear
of a weeping telescope when the Milky Way
gets in your eyes like the smoke of a hundred billion stars.
Or the ghost of a summer radiance
summoned to a seance of mediumistic fireflies
trying to fill in the gaps on their spiritual starmaps.

Last night’s full moon has sliced off
part of its waning earlobe shrinking
as it ascends from cantaloupe orange
to a pitted plum of cadmium yellow value eight.
I’m standing in a gravel driveway outside a storage shed
in the industrial part of town, my back turned
to a floodlight in a riot of insights that act like
frenzied insects, and I’m looking for stars
through the feathered ribs and scales of clouds,
toned by a copper moon rise in a cool acetylene sky.

The moon is rising over the roofs of a parking lot
full of transport trucks, and the contrast
makes the view even more surrealistically poignant.
Intensely so when I spot Arcturus burning
solely on its own in an immensity of peacock blue sky
turning Prussian blue and indigo
over a garishly lit garage that specializes in transmissions
and smells like an abattoir of oily orchids
sacrificed like sacred bulls in garlands
on the altar of a pneumatic car lift
where eternity intersects time as history.

Twenty feet from the driveway
to the perfectly latticed wire fence
sequestered on a reservation of useless land,
a pharmacopeia of every weed that grows wild
in southern Ontario, huddled on the crest
of a bull-dozed hill fort in self-defence.
And in one quick swathe of the bush-hog,
stunted runt versions of the same plants
blooming like symbols of underground resistance,
common mullein, tansy, Queen Ann’s Lace, vetch,
viper’s bugloss gone out like pilot lights on a gas stove,
and the sabre cuts and slashes of the tall grasses
waving green banners from their slender masts
and unbroken aerials as fragile as a heron’s legs.

Beauty and utility in a coincidence of contradictories
where abstractions haven’t been multiplied
beyond necessity. The earth turns as it always has
and the moon and Arcturus move accordingly
as the Summer Triangle emerges from the cloud-cover
like the brain child of a birdwatcher
with a taste for myth and mathematics.

Perennializing events in a trivial frame of reference.
And just as the bugs have their communal rapture
in the light, I stand here alone gazing at the stars
trying to see my way into other worlds
by closing the distance with the intensity
of my overwhelming wonder and longing to know
if there might be some poet out there tonight like me
watching the moon rise over bucolic machines
and the space needed to sustain them
at the expense of the trees and weeds and wildflowers
as he’s mystically weirded out by the relative parity
of disparate elements in an impersonally unified field.

And he like me, Arcturus, the trucks, the weeds
and the moon among them, living the ambivalent beauty
of an eternity that breaks its truce with time
once and awhile, to adorn what’s been defiled,
and let unity come forth by itself to forsake the difference
in a voice of its own the storage units trust
like the sacred syllable of a lock on mundane things
alloyed like haloes and horseshoes of stardust and rust.




My third eye opening oceanically of its own accord.
The wingspans of the flowers bloom omnidirectionally.
The blue sky lays a balmy smile upon my flightfeathers.
Blood hums to the blissful resonance of being alive.
Even the glowing concrete seems benign. The gates
with their rusting guns triggered like locks, the fences
holding the occupying gardens with their placard poppies
back like riot cops. Time without haste. Consumed
by a moment as perennial as summer on earth.
Nothing urgent in the fulfilment of small destinies
in the grass, no antecedents necessary to know
how to live this, no event trivial or especially significant,
I’m as open-minded as the wind on a shoreless afternoon
that tastes of the stars gusting in the dust at my feet.

Wild parsnip, Queen Ann’s Lace, mullein, goldenrod,
purple loosetrife and cattails in the ditches along the roads,
Lichens of the moon on the staves of the cedar rails
where the red-winged blackbirds sit
to paint their picture-music on the unprimed air
like the musical notes of a cadmium red and yellow song
with overriding tones of nocturnes to come.

Sweetness of life when it takes its mind off of everything
and requires nothing of the living but attendance.
Just to be here like a vagrant wavelength of awareness
among things as they are without trying
to gouge your eyes out like bluejays at the sunflowers
to get at the roots of the flowering mind deep in the heart
of the hidden harmonies basking on the surface
they’re joy riding like the elegant riffs
of the dolphins and flying fish that leap out of the shadows
into the enraptured atmosphere of their own auras
like blue damselflies and green tree frogs and old guitars
working their necks like weavers, or fleet-footed spiders
walking on water like heavy metal on a Ouija board,
like thorns in the eye of a bubble, hoping it doesn’t
wash them out like tears in the eyes of a voodoo doll
looking through the keyhole of a needle it couldn’t find
like paradise on the other side of its blind blessing.

Not for long or far, I’m still walking a habitable planet
full of wonders. Though the road keeps getting shorter
like a fuse behind me the further I travel down it,
and the asteroids keep making newsbreaking fly-bys,
and there are rosaries of bubbling methane rising
from under the shrinking skull caps of the poles,
and people are still trying to keep each other’s attention
by stabbing one another in the eye, but for a moment
that isn’t concerned about whether anything lasts or not,
there are no omens stuck in the throats of the rocks,
or blood of children splashed on the hollyhocks. A re-run
of provisional innocence in a few hundred acres of woodland
swept under the rugs of abandoned farms as not worth the trouble.
Lapwing gates hanging by a hinge to distract
the wild grapevines away from her empty nest
as if it still cherished its emptiness out of a force of habit.

I look upon the Tay River at sunset, the reflection
of the darkening hill quivering in the cooling breeze
like the more mercurial downside of itself,
and the sky opening the blue-green eyes of the peacocks
like stars with too much make-up on, and a handful
of charred crows flying through the roots of the trees,
trying to make sense of themselves like a burnt manuscript.
And what can you say to the stars that are beginning
to look for themselves in the approaching night
except this too is the world where even the lost,
in attempting to return to themselves through
the unattainability of the past, shed light all along the way?

Nightfall and the silence intensifies the conversation
with bioluminous insights of the radiance
blazing out of the darkness of a white coma
as if it depended upon the contrast oxymoronically
just to be noticed like waterlilies in the shallows
of the conscious mind anchored by a spinal cord
to the reptilian epodes of its own illustrious starmud
as every thought moment is, like kelp and kites
and river reeds swaying like synchronized swimmers
to the currents and wavelengths, the turns
and counterturns of thematic waters with a musical motif
that plays to its own depths from the bridge
of a burning violin dancing like fire on the water
with no fear of ever being drowned out by the moon.


Sunday, July 28, 2013



Four a.m, a fraudulent silence falls over the town
like the night ward of a hospital, things going on
after the felonious ecstasy of people getting away
with Friday night, underground, healing the damage
by appealing to a new affliction more threatening
than the last just to keep some danger in their lives,
some occasion for the irrational, some implausible rapture
of sex or violence to break the spell of the credibly predictable.

Look at that. Eight lines of abstractions
and not one of my sacred syllables bleeding
like a rose in an abattoir, a thorn in my third eye.
I suspect myself of subterfuge behind this death mask
of ash and shadow. I’ve given my heart up so many times
I’ve lost track of the gods I’ve been sacrificed to.
Did it ever matter we’re estranged by everything we love
in time? The question summons old ghosts
and the moon smears a snailtrack of light
down upon the waters of life I’m not willing
to follow anymore like a star stuck to flypaper.

Let the ghosts fall like chalkdust from the blackboard.
Blood and bonemeal from the zoo of the past.
Those rootfires blazed awhile and went out
like a burnt oak writhing on the crest of a hill
like Pompey caught in the act at the moment of death
a long time ago when Pliny still taught the orators
the memory of deranged pictures is stronger
than the aniconic memory of words. Since then
all my myths of origin are apprenticed to a dream grammar
that has vowed like a copulative verb that means
what it says never to orphan me in a house of mirages
ever again. Never to root the cracks in the mirrors
of the insane in my starmud silvered by flakes of pain
peeling off the windowsills of the moon like petals of paint.

The sinner might care less, but when grief
starts to insist it’s in danger of becoming a saint
that’s far worse than the sybaritic beatitudes of Friday night,
drinking the gods under the table until all you can see
when you look straight in their eyes for the rest of the week
are the stupefied revelations in the lees of the light.




It isn’t the illusion that binds you to yourself like skin.
It isn’t not finding the missing link in the fossils
of the chains you used to wear like dna. You’re still
in a dichotomous world if you’re giving your illusions
bad spin, enslaved by enlightenment. Is the play improved
by shaving the heads of the lightbulbs in the billboard?
Are you living alone in an isolation cell of bedrock?
Are you proofreading mirages in a desert of stars
that took things too far to remember where you
started from? Hydrogen and helium. Are you still nebular? Do
you really believe it’s the gathering clouds that get in the way
of your shining? Still trying to liberate the abyss
from its own emptiness, the mystery of life from the lips
of a one-finger vow of silence when it’s your mouth
that’s keeping it a secret? Let the dreamers sleep awhile
like flowers in bud, let the thorns of the locust trees
add to the poignancy of its blossoms. Admit it

all the fixed addresses you’ve handed out
to your peers like identity thefts still leave you
wondering who you are long after you’ve been accepted,
crossed the border, the bar, the threshold
as if there were always another country beyond
the one you just broke into that doesn’t recognize you either.
A garden of light, yes, but why uproot the shadows
that work behind the scenes without applause?
So many things in the world going wrong all at once,
flawed, defective, deranged, all your old starmaps
going up in flames in a state of flux like a phoenix
as if you were the Library of Alexandria and you’re
the arsonist in the crowd watching your pyre burn out.

By the discolouration of your feet, I see you’ve
walked through a lot of educated ashes
like a signpost looking for a road of smoke
in the vatic urns of your heart trying to press
the issue into a grey wine that isn’t perishable enough
to avoid publishing. When you die, do you want
your starmud interred in the sky, or would you prefer
the poppies and butterflies of chthonic goddesses
in a dream time that works the roots of the flowers
like puppet masters and umbrellas at a funeral?

Would you throw that inkpot at the wall
if Lucifer rose up before you like the morning star
or would the earth shake with a new Buddha
who’d lost his identity in the pre-dawn light
where the fresh water meets the salt when you see
the fools you’ve made of your own eyes
by trying to clarify them like stained-glass windows
blooding your eyelids when you look at the sun
so you can see right through them like a nasty spell
of aniconic Protestantism. What next? Rainbows,
moondogs, the chromatic aberration on the prisms
of oilslicks and houseflies? You are the picture-music
listening to itself when you’re lost like a voice in the woods.
Who else is whispering the stars into your ear
as if you were the key to the language they’ve
been speaking to you in for billions of light years?