Saturday, August 17, 2013



Just go. Just go. I don’t want to do an autopsy
on your voodoo doll. Leave me to the asters and stars
on my long walks into the fields and woods around here.
It was your fault, your fault, as you keep pleading.
I’m glad you see me now the way you couldn’t before
but the roses keep bleeding and candidly, lady, I’m bored
with the abysmal misery of trying to understand
why you look like the Taj Mahal but act
like a hamburger stand where they pat the meat down
with dirty hands. You did what you did,
now be done for good and bad with it. Let’s not
look upon it as a mistake you made, but
as a creative opportunity for us to separate
the salt from the fresh waters of life in our tears.

I don’t think I was cut out to be an organ donor for love.
Full measure and a bit beside. Enough, or too much,
as the poet once said. I gave you all I had to give
with a full heart and an open hand. You were great
in bed, a demonic mystic with a hunger for sex,
but the blood-caked altars remind me of guillotines these days,
blocks to swan on at Tyburn and Smithfield,
and if I thought putting mine on the black market
might bring about a change of heart in you,
the river might flood, the wheat grow taller,
the scapegoats stop boiling their kids in mother’s milk,
I might be more inclined to take a message to the gods,
stimulate my stem cells into reconstituting my body parts
like a Promethean liver eaten like roadkill on the rocks
by turkey vultures circling like undertakers on the fly.

I suppose you expect me to cry or something
and I will, after my own fashion, when this glacier
retreats like an ice-age my species has been adapted to
for way too long. I’ve been flint knapping new moons
like shards of obsidian into spearheads with a razor-edge,
and I may have mastered the art of hunting bigger prey
than I am, but the dreams of the Neanderthal
that has been living on inside of me against the odds
has left me a little flakier than a shaman in a cave bear’s hide
and I’m weary of singing in the false dawns
of the genetically engineered beginnings you keep
offering me as an alternative to my imminent extinction.

The death songs don’t sound the same
when they’re accompanied by a backup band
and a drum machine that never misses a beat
to be real enough to roll with the pulse of the moment
when the heart begins to jam with the rhythm of life
too close to last call to take another request. So please
just go, just go. Shut the lid on the coffin
of my guitar case and save your change for someone else.

I’ve stretched the membrane of my heart out
far enough for you to jump on like an animal skin
that thought of itself as more of a drum at a ghost dance
than a trampoline on the rebound when you
finally came back down to earth like a shooting star
I’d wish on like a lucky scar that might not disappoint me
like the last time you shattered my glass house like a Perseid
throwing the first stone at what you were capable of,
the dregs of a comet that didn’t burn hot enough
to burnish your golden chariot in the emotional crematorium
where the slag of a slum’s been mined out like love.
I buried the yellow canary that used to warn me
you were coming like the Wailing Wall
beside the Dome of the Rock in a bed of Jerusalem artichokes.

Take your body with you when you go. Take
your lips and your hair, your hips and your breasts
and the mammal magnetism of those dresses you wear
as if they were being modelled on a catwalk by the floor
beside someone else’s bed, and I’ll walk skinless
through the world awhile and feel everything again
like a wild aster in the acid rain of a significant climate change
it’s a lot easier to adjust to without you, than it is
to explain to my solitude looking for signs among the stars,
fireflies burning in all these ice-age Mason jars
I’m releasing like the Pleiades from the urns of my eyes,
chimney sparks in a gust of wind, lights out over
the sea at night, and when you’re gone, lightyears up the road,
these first magnitude starmaps I’ll use to start a fire
I’ll sit around, and listen to the wind rustling
through old creation myths like leaves well into autumn,
and try to identify the sound of a tree falling
in an old growth forest when there’s no one there to hear it
and the Canada geese are heading south like hearses of the spirit,
hello and farewell, included in the same calling out
to the silence and the distance between one absence and the next.


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