MY WORDS TASTE OF THE FLAVOURS OF THE LIVES I’VE LIVED
My words taste of the flavours of the lives I’ve lived.
I cauterize my wounds on the stars. Runes, cuneiform,
scars, I’ve even found a way to use spiderwebs
like the fridge magnets of an exoteric alphabet.
Everything’s written in sand, in water, on the wind.
In the cursive script of the Kufic treeline. So many leaves.
So many mother tongues. Ciphers of the nightcreek
whispering to itself sleepwalking through the woods.
I may hold flowers now, and the fragrances of petunias
and coleus waft down the street, polluting the carbon monoxide,
but my heartwood, though scorched, is still steeped
in the firewater of a whiskey barrel I was once
keel-hauled over like the hull of the moon for being
a drunken sailor absent without leave. I indulged
my madness in the spirit of a dragon that couldn’t
hold anything back. I didn’t smoulder like a man
who expected to be the victim of an adage, I burned.
In the perfection combustion of my inspiration
I left no soot on the wings of the discoloured butterflies.
Sincerity was wild and angry, sacrificially cruel,
the sacred thorn that rent the third eye of the rose.
If you weren’t living and dying as ferociously as you could,
you were a fool. An inquisitor with a dunce cap
in the corner, or a balancing act with a fear of heights
with your head in a noose and your feet firmly planted
on a two-legged footstool. Sorry for the roar
of overconfidence, of course, I am, most of it was bluff,
but it seemed like a necessity at the time
and a lunatic’s got to do what lunacy does
to renew its blood oath to the moon on the edge
of a sword it pulled out of the stone of its own heart.
It wasn’t about eviscerating the living on the altars of art.
It was a severe initiation into my own estrangement
into the occult mysterion of poetry that makes you feel
more unworthy the deeper it enters your bloodstream
like a dream of darkness and stars, as you bond
like a blowtorch or a comet welding your eyes
to the darkness and the stars as a rift in your skull
opens like an observatory on a lonely mountain
to the immense intensity and solitude of it all
and your mouth is pryed apart by the voice
of a wound as old as inchoate creation itself.
I look into the abyss, watershed, void, dark abundance,
bright vacancy of the emptiness ahead of me
as space accelerates locally into a starless night
and I haven’t blinked yet at the darkness growing inside
like a new moon burying the bones of its dragons
at a sky burial under the gravestone of a constellation
shining like the ashes of a firepit you won’t find
with the aid of a starmap, and I wouldn’t call it
a change of attitude, or the recantation of a false confession
I never made to ease the torment of my mean-eyed inquisitors,
(they never had a clue about what to ask me anyway)
but I approach the genius of my left-handed solitude
with more gratitude than I once did, and my sense of wonder,
though it never put on airs, gapes in humility
at the gravegoods that grace the wake of this horrific beatitude.