THE AIR IS GLUE
The air is glue. I throw the cloak of the last thunderstorm
off my shoulders. The trees drip like musical instruments.
On every street, honour guards of people waiting for a parade,
sitting in doorways like niches of old fashioned saints
trying to beat the heat of a thousand votive candles
burning like daylilies in unexpected shrines
to the rootfires of unknown gods with alcoholic names.
Sacred flames drunk as pie-bald clowns on their own libations.
Bass-mouthed yahoos shouting rebel yells
at fingerling girls giggling down the street
more about meat than love for the moment
and the secret lives of pills and mirrors
in the medicine bags of their purses they consult
like high priestesses of volcanically high oracles
under the aural afterthoughts of the asphodel lamp posts.
No one looks the same in a bank window
as they do in the windowpane of a drugstore.
But, hey, everyone’s trying to approximate
some dream or other that doesn’t give the play away
by waking the audience up to the magic coma
of the spell that’s been cast upon them. Absitomen.
May no evil come of their words or mine.
Peace comes to those for whom all things are meaningless.
No reason to take offence. You go for the music.
You go for the grave or the girl like an accompaniment
of events for five or six hours or so that fantasize
you’re not an eagle on a leash being led around
by a jackass that thinks you’re the control freak
because you want to spread your wings a lot and fly.
In a small town the red-tailed hawks soon turn into poultry,
not the other way around, modelling like weathervanes
in a pose they strike like fashionistas in an approaching storm.
The street I live on is a catwalk of cover stories
that go from wrong to wrong like the changing styles
of the way they see the world as if they were
trying to beguile it like a morphology of cosmetic mirrors
that look deeply into their eyes past the chandeliers
of frozen tears that hang like eyelashes and icicles
outside the lair of their ice-age desires and disappointments
and see the holy wars of their mirages predicated
on the heat waves of a waterless future that doesn’t
leave a dry eye in the house of life they bring down on themselves
in gales of black laughter to the insincere applause
of fairies, trolls and elves in a farce of ghoulish enchantments.
Abstracted from complicity for awhile, I welt
like the moon in the secret windows of the Masonic Lodge
(Or is it, Oddfellows?) across the street at eye-level
with my occult apartment looking down
on the burning waters of life rising into the air
like the vapour of a dream at a seance of sleeping ghosts
enamoured of each other’s apparitions as one by one
the lights of the firefly heaters of their cigarettes go out
like the half-finished s.o.s. of the shipwrecked lifeboats
in the lees of their beer bottles beached on the front steps.