NOW NOTHING. THE DREAM FIGURES HAVE GONE TO BED
Now nothing. The dream figures have gone to bed.
The painters have have entered their dreams as if
everything were better said in the morning and they’ve
left their half-finished paintings of muscular women
into Tae Kwon Do sex on their easels, and they come
and they come and they come to nothing with
a pretty little idea of the flower in their head
blooming like ball lightning in the rear view of the night.
Peace. Relief. Poof. And it’s gone as the mirages
come on for more. Something settles. Is it dark?
Is it dust? Is it light? Are there stars on the tarpaper roofs?
Quiet. You can hear the silence breathe. Me wheeze
softly with death and ashes on my breath. God
I wish there were stars on the tarpaper roofs.
But that’s the way of it. Does anybody need any proof?
There are memories that recoup the moment.
Birch trees and gardens shaped like icons of a woman
I knew once I was trying to please. Elecampane
and eglantine, and always, always, always
the wild grape vine. Locust and apple trees. The moon.
When it’s up. The way I’m edging this like a fluid
jeweller with my tongue to make it run. So nicely
it almost seems like compensation for taking
my breath away. Ting. Ting. But it’s lower than that.
The hospital ward is absorbed in it on the nightshift.
Soft-shoed silence. And the musings of the dead
in a hospital bed on what they’ve lived, what they’ve loved,
what they died for. My turn. I’ll try to be their equal
not peer of anything. Maybe a fun companion at the end
to help relieve my suffering with their laughter. It’ll work out.
I’m almost sure. I can bumble my way through this
black out with a kiss on the forehead for good luck.
Full stop. No more birch trees. No more gardens.
No more full stops. Isn’t that ridiculous? No socks.
Is it brutal as a snowflake? Does the soul leave
the body when it dies? Have I got one. Do you?
Is it bearable, durable and wise? Does it lie to you?
Mine does sometimes. I wonder about that. Not much.
But some. This is creation. Who knows what to come?
Court jesters in a heavenly kingdom? Or sunflower angels
with deadly nightshade in their eyes to make up for it?
See? It lies in the way it tries to make me feel better.
It doesn’t have to try so hard. I’m mellow as a bride
of the lamp posts outside. I’m wise as a blade saw
that knows how to cut its own umbilical cord. Midwife.
Not trapline I’ve got to eat my way out of. Or be eaten alive.
But that’s another matter. What’s everything for now
is looking into this while the night surrounds me
as if I were a gold fish in the submarine pens of my aquarium.
Digits of time. Thumbnail sketches immersed in it.
Should I say the waters of life? The evanescent
exit and entrance. You breathe it in you breathe it out.
And then you die. No trick to it if that’s all there is to it.
I’ll try. Take a good run at it and fly like a waterbird
with nothing on my mind but taking off on time to go blind
or enter another space, maybe a lot like this place
where I’m fine for the moment unlocking the sky
like a diary of stars way back in the woods of my mind.