DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT THE WORLD FOR AWHILE
Don’t want to think about the world for awhile.
Humans are insane. Psychopathically intelligent
monkeys inflicting as much pain upon one another
in their camouflage and white collars as it takes
to overthrow or retain the status quo. The big fish
eat the little fish and the little fish have to comply.
Too isolated by the lightyears I’ve journeyed
deep as my shining will take me into the dark
to care whether I’ll go supernova or not,
everything’s been vaporized in the mythic inflation
of a red giant coming to the end of its life.
Humanity’s easy enough to love microscopically,
up close and intimate, near as friendship,
lovers, flesh and blood, a kiss on the eyelid,
touchable lips at our fingertips like envelopes
to the soul as if there were a loveletter inside.
Macroscopically, too, given we die and dissipate
in common with species we depreciate because
they’re not as smart as we are. Rue the bodycount.
We bury older and fitter corpses than we used to.
And even our sorrows glitter with perversity
more than ever for their entertainment value.
Though we’re enslaved by the gruesomeness
of the way we die, hoping for a better life than this.
Fall in the woods and a pungent white mist
sweet and strange with the colours of perishing
like an albino paint rag a ghost too late
to put the finishing touches to the masterpiece.
The cartography of dry leaves slimey
as black walnut leeches when the rain lets up
and the few birds that remain can begin
to search for the survivors. When it’s
your time to go, it’s your time to go. Exploring.
If you don’t fall off the rim of the world
you’re limited by. To find a way to go on
walking through the waist-high grass and grains,
among the nuts and the acorns, the disappointed
waterlilies that made much of next to nothing
beside the blue narcissus and the suede cattails.
Maybe see the last of the chicory and asters
passing like stars into oblivion, into, who knows,
a deep, imageless, state of dream and the pure joy
the holy books speak of, creating worlds within worlds
where there is no love nor hate, when nothing
is opposed to nothing, wave and water, wind
and sky, and the heart doesn’t differentiate.
Just a moment of that to renew my faith
in the chaos and order of life on a grand scale.
Just a moment of that to remind me
I’m exalted by my humiliations. I’m fire
in the hearth of the gods I stole it from.
Not to lean too heavily upon the stars for trust.
Not to trust anything about life as if you
could anticipate it to rendezvous with you at the end
of a collapsed bridge, or one that’s burning,
a delinquent maple where the river bends like
an old shapeshifting Etruscan god salvaged by the Romans
as wholly useable as morphine in the land of dreams
they occupied like the nightward of a hospital
they pacified like a society having trouble getting to sleep.
Fate’s a petty thing compared to the death
of the flowers. And what god, secular or superstitious,
biochemical or divine, ever gave a sign,
except randomly, we were benignly possessed
by the imaginative freedom of the image
we were created in? Freedom, too, can play
the abyss when there’s nothing left to extract it from.