Saturday, August 10, 2013



You would have been proud of the way
I honoured your ghost as the focus
of my loneliness after you left. I refused
to malign your solitude or mine
by attempting to come back to life.
Discretely mad as it must have seemed
at the time to anyone outside the allegory,
still, I mimed the protocols of the dead
as if I were mouthing the words I had
once said to you one night in the afterglow
of wreaking fervent love upon one another
released from my vows by your absence
as the shadows of sacred syllables disappeared
into the silence like a coven of crows
cacophonously breaking the spell of a cold sunset,
helter-skelter, with the asymmetry
of standing there alone without you.

The stars I taught you have returned and gone
many times since then. The maple groves
have shed their foliage like pole dancers
their circumpolar clothes of serpent fire
coiled seven times like the ages of man
around the earth’s axis, a dragon slayer
and healer in one oracular insight
into the hopeless hunger for someone, anyone
to lie naked in the dark beside them
like the tiara on an X-rated starmap of beauty queens.

Other lovers have estranged me from myself
in the name of the same oceanic notions
I can’t help seeing in the unfolding of the black rose
that burns me like a love poem I wrote in blood,
a nocturne of thorns, my rapturous devotions
to a mystical eclipse of a new moon rising
like Orpheus from the dead, my prophetic skull
refleshed with the starmud of the face I had
before I was born to wear this assortment of deathmasks
and return the swords I drew from the wounded rock
to the waters of life like the hands of a cosmic clock
that couldn’t do otherwise than throw them away
like crutches at the top of the temple stairs
I mounted on my knees in the bower of a feather bed.
The down of a dead swan in the eyrie of Altair in Aquila.
Blood on the talon of the moon and all those sad elixirs
that used to make my taste buds bloom as if
my tears had been spiked irrecoverably
by the picture-music of a black rose lingering
like the shadow of a hungry ghost about
to take possession of me again, a creative medium
of love pierced through the heart by the pain
like a searing dream in a black mirror
I’ve been trying for lightyears to wake up from.


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