LOOKING FOR SILENCE LIKE THE OTHER WING
Looking for silence like the other wing
of what I’ve got to say, landscaping with meteors,
or the planet having a face lift, some of the words
have echoes and some of them proper names,
and a few still homesick for their prison cells,
I keep painting on the white noise of the world.
I keep writing like a wolf in the fleece
of a shepherd moon with a secret life of water.
Scofflaw, a poet, driven into the wilderness
to listen to the voices of disembodied messiahs,
kings of the waxing year, flesh stripped from their bones
like desert shipwrecks waiting for
the providential tide of their tears to return.
God particles that got in their eyes like sand.
I hear them gnawing on their bones like calendars at night.
And I’ve said it in a flash of demonic indifference
trying to pretend they were listening immaculately
and I was compassionate, as soon as you give
your fulsome assent to a few simple things
you turn into a test of what you refuse to let go of,
as if you were always faith-wrestling with rattlesnakes
you establish a church of denial that will stone you to death.
You save your soul but you render your flesh expendable.
This for That. Betelgeuse for Aldebaran.
How to read a starmap like the Wall Street Journal.
The optical illusion of a bifurcated consciousness,
loss and gain, but the viper can swim across quicksand
as if it were all one wavelength, the Egyptian glyph
for intelligence that hasn’t been wounded by the heart
and spiritually materialized into a path to follow.
Do as the wind does with your mind and eyes. Let go.
Blow the stars off your windowsills, treat all holy books
as if they were trees and let go of their leaves in the fall.
There’s always a few jewels of insight in a gossip column
but most of it’s rut, rant, and judgement, dream gossip
and slaughter, history with an expiry date.
There’s always going to be some demi-god somewhere
asking you for your fingerprints like a paranoid magician.
Kick the skulls off your stairs like last Halloween’s pumpkins
and start acting like you’re in the world and of it.
Break the neck of the hourglass of heaven and hell
and let time pour out of your cells like exorcised mirages.
Illusions are like rats and seagulls and insects. They thrive.
No more than the night, is life a reward. Water
doesn’t live its whole life fearing the indelible
like a wavelength of its own immutable mindstream.
There’s no big sky blueprint behind why you’re alive.
No circus tent covers your foolishness.
And you’re not here to answer for everything else.