COLD SUNSHINE IN THE CHILLY ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE DAWN
Cold sunshine in the chilly enlightenment of the dawn.
A paint rag of dreams I’m working on. I study
the grime on the window like the gnostic gospel
of a dead docetist I’m trying to decipher.
I expected to be happier than this when I woke up
but when have I never? As my bones have stiffened
I’ve grown more mentally supple over the years
like a sapling flaring out of a stump, green fire
shooting out of the ashes of the eyes of a dragon
on its pyre like the second innocence
of a surrealistic fairytale after the myth
didn’t keep the crops from failing from lack of rain
and the temples were burned by those who built them.
I’m an oracle in an observatory abandoned on Mars.
Night after night, I make the rounds of an unknown zodiac,
checking the doors in a ghost town like a solitude
people will come back to if you give them
enough time alone with the stars. I love
the creative energy of the morning like a tree
loves its cambium, but there are signs deeper
in the heartwood of the night that speak like the arcana
of an older magic that keep the lights turned down low
like a subliminal house of life with mysterious windows
into a past they’re looking forward to
like a prodigal afterlife they don’t have to break again
like the waters of life to get into because
death doesn’t stand at the gates of renewal
to bar the path of the returning exile and the morning birds
aren’t the urns of last night’s sky burial.
On the easel, red dragon breathing fire over Chernobyl.
On the computer screen, a mosquito having
a mystic revelation that snowblinds it in the light.
Bad omen to start a poem by killing the first
punctuation mark in sight, but Zen or no Zen,
I’ve got a right to sacrifice a bloodbank
like a medium to the message now and again.
Give the horse I bought with his purse
back to the Buddha because I don’t need wings
to fly anymore. And I don’t mind a little grime
on the eyes of my vision of life. It makes
the windows feel more at home, and even the sun
occasionally sullies its own light beams waking up
to scry its own sunspots like a maculate birth
or if Venus caught up to it sometime in the night
like the transit of a waterbird in a wet dream.
If perception is reality then things are the way they seem
for you and you alone, your eyes only, like a big secret
hidden from all the others out in the open
where you’re least likely to look for it in retrospect.
I’m a prophetic skull in orbit around an ancestral planet
of foundational hearthstones where I burnt the starmaps
of a nightsky so many have lost like the use of their mother-tongue
they’ve forgotten the names of the constellations
they were first born under like the archetypes
of an ancient dream grammar with strong aorist verbs
that don’t sweep their tracks after them like stars in a false dawn
that makes things seem more insane in the morning light
than the madness of the clairvoyant measure
your eyes make of the night when Virgo rises to her feet
and knights the black walnut trees with a stalk of wheat.