TEARS SPIN OFF YOUR MIDNIGHT OILSLICKS
Tears spin off your midnight oilslicks
like sad, romantic novels with sexually suggestive faucets
you can turn on and off, and that’s okay
if you’re out watering your lawn in a drought,
bring the sprinklers out, but you’ve got to live it
and live through it to know it, your eyes
opening in your blood like island galaxies
of insight, like Queen Ann’s Lace thriving
in the ditch at the side of whatever road you’re on.
Old hat to add to your wisdom polyp by polyp,
I come in the back door of this burning house of life
by deepening my ignorance into a black hole
with a singularity in it like the prize in Cracker Jack box
of caramel coated popcorn, with the key
to everything I’ve ever been locked out of in life
at the navel of a new constellation
laying its birthmark on my flesh so I can be
readily identified as the shape shifting changeling I am.
My mind is a medium like space that everywhere
concedes its time and place to the wayfaring light
passing through it like a stranger accorded
warm-hearted hospitality, that immediately
implores the potential of any shudder of a suggestion
to step out of the shadows and come forth
into the light where the darkness is realized
and I can catch it on the fly like a bird in moonlight
that disappears into the perennial vastness of the night,
merely a fragrance of a vision of life in mourning
as if there were nothing else in her nature but to grieve
like the tone of a bell that once believed in something else.
Every breath, a wind on the waters of life, the mind
skinless and without form, responds as if
a million wavelengths of eyelids were rippling out
across the quiescent nightseas of awareness
like something serpentine and impersonally sacred
in and of itself, embodied like a journey it was
taking through itself, devoted to the pilgrimage
and not the shrine of anywhere all the time it was headed to.
Cosmic membranes, flying carpets and snakes with wings.
I can hear the water slapping the effrontery of the rocks
to be fixed things, less real than solid, black ice
on a road sublimating like a ghost of smoke
without fire, with all the time in the world,
to pass the peace pipe around with three flightfeathers
it took from its own osprey war bonnet as if to say
I was a man in an abyss dreaming the totems
that would possess me for the rest of my life.
I was a hunter who honoured the prey I lived by
as a gift and not something I took by right
and shared it as the largesse of the void I was grateful for.
I was a warrior with the flightpath of a broken arrow
who never celebrated a victory without feeling
I was standing at my own graveside listening
to the lies of drugstore heroes mismanage the truth.
If there’s not enough silence in your heart
you’ll suffer the blood guilt of a brute
trying to punish the world for things it did to itself.
You’ll leech the colours out of your eye if you don’t realize
the real mastery of the art of life is in how well
you underpaint the void before you jump
to adding the highlights and hotspots of
the chameleonic pigments of the mystic specifics
of your oceanic, emotional life drowning
continentally like granite in the South Atlantic
or a captain who went down with the ship
at his post in the wheelhouse of the moon.
Inundated. Saturated. You have to live it, and
through it, to know the depths you’ve sunk into
are way over your head, like the waters of a womb
that’s always giving birth to you, the dark mother
of all you are and do, moment by moment,
the whole flashing out of the void that lavishes
its emptiness like sparrows and wrens in the fountains
of collaborative creation like a starmap plotting
the magnitude and colour of the iris in the eyes
of new myths of origin no one’s dreamed of yet
and one sip from the prophetic skulls of the muses
will never let you forget, the winged arrow
sings best like Sagitta beside Aquila in the dark,
a nightbird with no particular target in mind
but the liberation of the longing that enslaves its heart
like wild horses yoked to the hearses of a dying art.
In Pegasus, southwest of August, deep sky burials
winnowed like feathers, ashes, chaff
by the wind whistling in the empty urns
of the starmud chimney pots.
Fledgling harvests sparked like pilot lights
in the eyeless darkness of unminded starcharts.