RESTLESS WITH THE DEAD TONIGHT
Restless with the dead tonight.
Old friends, the gates to abandoned farms,
the roof collapsed and the wind with access
to all their windows, overgrown roads
going nowhere I can walk with them now.
Blue-green the evening sky, still,
without direction, island clouds, but unmoving.
Sparse beginnings, and sorrow in the seed.
Relying on the stars to do for me
what I can’t do for myself. Pull me out
of this black hole I keep slipping in and out of
on the rim of my event horizon, stray photons,
butterflies ducking in and out of the dragon’s mouth,
a halo of X-rays looking brutally right through me.
Down to the musical instruments of my bones.
Flutes and drumsticks. But I’m void-bound,
trying to shed my skin like a chronic illusion,
liberate the chains I can feel but can’t see,
numbed by having to say no
when all I want to do is say yes
over and over again to the picture-music
to the themes, the hints, the clues, the nuances,
the radiance, sorrow and horror of the mystery
wherever it leads, whatever occurs,
be so fully here, I don’t exist, not even
as a witness, and be nothing but the listening.
I suffer crucial impasses of circumstance.
My heart is blocked, the way isn’t clear.
The emptiness is leaner than usual, longer
than a plague of Egypt living up to a penurious dream.
Third eye of the hurricane slowly closing.
My friends at the end of a tunnel of light.
Reptilian as a camera shutter. I howl
for stars and fireflies, the accoutrements of my bliss
and the pleasure I take in the hidden harmonies
of my drifting, my circuitous blossoming.
Someone is using my skull for a door stop.
Too grounded by the shadows of the impending,
Even here by the river, the sound of distant trucks,
the occasional train bemoaning its way through the dark.
Snakes out hunting the frogs, slide and splash
back into the lake at my approach, estranged enemy,
walking in my place, face covered with ashes
of a man-shaped urn that’s avoided me for a while.
The way I like to live. Overlooked by the world.
Unregarded. Obliviously free to disappear
without worrying about what I’m coming back to
or who’ll be waiting for me when I do
to tell me while the idiocy of this languor
has got its hands on my throat, I should learn
to get a grip on myself, eat the pain, swallow the bilge,
live like a bear nibbling on the edges of a garbage dump,
give up this discipline of doing nothing
as if mere being were a form of worship
though to what is anyone’s guess and why
is just the nature of the mind reveling in itself
the way the stars make me guess their names
peering through the crowns of the trees,
dissociated from the features of their mythologem.
Time with their lifemasks off to be uncontained.
To go mad and not be held to account for it
because it doesn’t excite the attention of the crowd
when you’re unattainably available to live
as if your eyes were the way the stars touched you in tears
to see how the light labours for its flowering in you.
Thought-moments and light years bringing news
of friends from the past, bats and owls
flashing through the inadvertent moonlight,
the whole of existence in every locket of my cells,
freedom born, creatively, with a starmap for a genome.