Friday, August 30, 2013



I’ve gone on threshing wheatfields on the moon
with the last crescent of the smile you left me,
closing the gate behind you as if you never wanted
me to get out of the high starfields where you put me out
to stud and pasture like the Great Square of Pegasus.
And for awhile, after you, it’s true, it wasn’t important
if I knew the name of any woman I made love to.
But slowly, my emptiness adapted to your absence,
and who knows, if it had been written for us to know,
two nothings might have made something of themselves.

Shadowyears with intermittent crossroads of light
Sufi dancing with the starmud dust devils
like the three of swords with its wands and cups
full of feeling as you were at the approaching darkness
as if you couldn’t take anything seriously that wasn’t occult.
You were the raven witch, the herbal beast mistress,
the mysterious singularity at the bottom of the housewells
after the light bulbs had gone out and an ice age
had striated your eyes like big, black, plastic
long playing records, as if you were a widowed queen
sleepwalking through a famished eclipse on the mean side
of what must have been a beautiful dream once,
one lonely nightbird of that sad, sad song in your voice
that always seemed to be calling out to the dead
on some ancient night in a timeless abyss
when you were happier than you’ve ever been since.

Once, like a French executioner with the moon
for an axe, precise, neat, surgical, absolute
when you go under the knives of the clock
for a hydra-headed brain transplant, scalpels
in the oarlocks of the lifeboat you’re adrift in
like the remnants of a supernova shapeshifting through space,
once, for everything, the continuum of an overachieving event
that doesn’t know when to call it quits.

Ignorance tries to understand what wisdom ignores,
and why not play the fool against the sage
like a long shot you have to be crazy to take,
impugn your mirroring awareness for making a mistake
when your eyes turn around and you begin to realize
things caught in the doe-glare of your highbeams
frozen in time, indelible as a razor-blade in a loveletter.

Samsara is nirvana. Cosmology a psychic reading of the stars.
Noumena, phenomena. As with love, so
with the shadows of dreams past we cast
on the wildflowers we’ve forgotten how
to walk naked through without shame
as the willows turn away from our libidinous sorrows
and the shedding leaves, be they poems or the moonset
of your eyelids, begin to compile the laborious history,
the magnum opus, of the posthumous victories
of all those insurgent tomorrows we put to the sword,
once, like a bloodoath we took to heal
the broken vows scarred on our hearts,
the magic runes on the stones and ostrakons
of glacial ice sheets retreating north like the curtains
rising on the last act, the white noise of a record
that’s been repeating itself all night like the cosmic hiss
of the afterbirth of the Big Bang that began all this.

Late in the light eras of my mind when it’s as big as the white ox
of the full moon left to graze among the stars
as it will, on its own, I’ve regressively come to understand
love is looping like everything else through space
like a red tailed hawk carrying a candle
up the stairwell of a thermal of eternal recurrence
where it disappears helically into the third eye of the setting sun
and once is the burning stargate of an afterlife
born of your creative immolation on a pyre
of lightning and fireflies, insights and compassionate lies,
creation myths, legends of your shining
etched like Braille starmaps in the Burgess Shale
as fault by fault, we groped our way up the mountainside
like kings and queens of the hills we were buried in,
looking to get back to our graves like ghosts before dawn
so we could rise like the moon from the corals
on the bottom of our lunar seabeds again.

May the smoke of a sacred cedar fire smudge
the savage silence of the pain that makes oblations
to the night at a seance of constellations love can still read
like a hunter-gatherer, the signage of extinct zodiacs,
as if life were always a valley ahead of death,
like the light of a star, forever a journey behind
where you are when the darkness of love
brings you to enlightenment like a firefly
to the face of a sleeping child that’s just jumped out
of the dream of her favourite hiding place
as if there were still something in the eyes of love
that urgently wanted to be found like a surprise
no one’s ever had any notion of before or after
they stopped looking like a lamplighter in the woods at night
for the muse of the wild white-tailed doe, with her big, sad eyes,
warily breaking cover in the full glare of the moonlight
as if she were taking her lachrymose deathmask off
to drink from her own reflection like the Queen of Cups
from the river of life that pours out of her where
time meets the timeless like a root fire flowering
like a bouquet of blue roses gathered from the Pleiades
floating like a flood myth on the mindstream
coursing into a lunar sea of oceanic consciousness
as the shipwrecks disembark like sailors absent without leave
and the stowaways are lowering lifeboats to answer
the death laments in the s.o.s. of the mermaids on the rocks,
beguiled like seafaring dragons with the subliminal lyrics
of the unbroken circles and recurring bracelets of the rain.
Wounded by love in the depths of a fathomless nightsea,
everything after that’s a matchbook scratching for light
like a galactic starfish trying to make something beautiful
like a chandelier out of an ice storm or a waterproof starmap
out of the pain that opens like an umbrella at a wake
or love on the nightwatch of a flower at daybreak.


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