STARING INTO THE FUTURE
Staring into the future without my hand
on the rudder of the moon. No sail, no wind
but the air in my lungs, no star to set a course by
but the Milky Way in the wake of this
leaking lifeboat I keep bailing like a waterclock
to stay afloat, drifting as if time had lost its way somehow
or Hart Crane had just jumped off the stern of the Orizaba
at high noon, waving good-bye like a conductor
in an adagio of islands in a logical archipelago
of metaphors, or the footprints of Atlantis
on the waters of life before it sank incontinently.
Grey day. Blue funk. My body washed up
like a broken log boom on a pyre of bones
on a beach somebody will set fire to sooner or later
like a drunk undertaker singing folksongs
to commemorate the ashes of cremated guitars,
but my mind’s awake, contemplating the future
like the biggest mistake I could possibly make.
Two choices in the divergent lives of poets.
You either go down with the ship at moonset,
or you jump it like a plague rat in Genoa.
I smash a bottle of Dom Perignon like a French
Benedictine monk over the prow of a shipwreck,
more seaworthy for all the things I didn’t do in life
than those I did. I can swim but I’m better
at sinking like a dolphin in a fishing net. O Carib isle,
where’s the caress of the Gulf Stream in an ice age
when you need it? I don’t have a daddy to throw me
a lifesaver once in awhile when I break through
the iced-over tears of my former translucencies
into the thriving depths of an oceanic shepherd moon
I didn’t evolve from. I will humanize the darkness
and the terror of not being able to relate to anyone
by metaphorizing it with my presence in residence
like dream figures in a total eclipse that doesn’t
make the flowers wince and close up like inverted umbrellas.
I will seed the available dimensions of the future
with the teeth of lions, les dents de leon, a galaxy
of G-7, post midlife, unmarried suns scattered
like the paratroopers of dandelions on the wind
at Market Garden, though I land on rock or good soil.
I’ll write open-eyed starmaps that can see in the dark
what everybody’s been looking at all these years
like chandeliers in the house of life after the last candle
in the lantern I’ve been given to go by has gone out.
Thumbs up, thumbs down, I’ll burn like white phosphorus,
or the torches of the dadaphors at the Roman New Year,
quantumly entangled in the umbilical cords
of my creative annihilations like an albatross in the rigging
of a ghost ship that’s been known to haunt these waters.
I’ll release my blood like the banner of a rose
and wait for the sharks to circle me like sundials
and break my body up like loaves and fishes when they come.
I’ll return my tears like water to the river of sorrows
I took them from like the crown jewels of my heartfelt abdication.
I will not unseat myself from the unforgiving stations of life
I’ve ruled over nothing from. Here in this domain of the future
I’ll endeavour to be as good a pauper-king as I was back in the world.
A prophetic skull that could look into the eyes of the abyss
and prophesy, but seldom interfered with what I saw.
Not a sin of omission, but obedience to an unacknowledged law.
And all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well.
No moon like a goat’s head polluting its own watershed.
I’ll make amends to the dark matter that took me for granted.
I’ll sit meditating in front of this wall of the future
nobody’s written on like a turf war of grafitti call signs
like A Bodhidharma doll. Seven times down. Eight times up.
Such is life. And I’ll introduce my illimitable understanding
of Pacific cowboy, lunatic fringe, seahorse Zen
for those who want to seek wisdom as far as it can be lost in.
I’ll clothe the imageless acts of what’s to come
like a retinal circus of defrocked sacred clowns
that have given up trying to make anybody laugh at themselves
as if they were an in-joke that God just got
like a numbing shock to the ulna nerve of her funny-bone.
I’ll be a trickster, a crow, a fox, a neo-gestural
expressionist gleeman or jester, I’ll be a salmon,
mare, seal or fly that bothers an elderly woman
like Loki, the shapeshifter, saying, bless me sister,
because I’m the annoyance that keeps you from dying
in this oceanic multiverse of bubbles and blisters.
I’ll paint streetsigns named after surrealistic wildflowers
I came across anonymously like a vagrant in the star fields
where every step I take is the threshold of a long, lost road
back to my homelessness that waits for me like the conjunction
of Venus and Jupiter through a western window
as if power and love weren’t the waste of a good heart
dumpster diving for the black pearls of an occluded art
that refused to be blinded by the opalescent blazing
of a false dawn like a silver lining on a locket of slag.
I’ll apprentice myself all over again like a metal worker
in moonlight to the flightfeather of a black swan
in the company of Orphic lyres and the eyes of Arabic eagles
everyone can identify with like the iris of a starmap
shining like a new myth of origins over the tarpaper rooftops
of irremediable slumlords clinging like barnacles
to the skulls of the drowned with eyes that stare
like the lachrymal glands of hourglasses and glaciers
on the move on the moon into a future with the tear ducts
of a snowman inundated on a floodplain of oceanic compassion
for the longing in the hearts of the dolmens of coal
trying to keep warm in the Arctic night like stalwart guides
to the river deltas where this mindstream of flowing diamonds ends
in a penumbral vision of life of an imperfectly flawless life.