THERE ARE WORST THINGS IN LIFE YOU CAN SUFFER THAN DEATH
There are worst things in life you can suffer than death
like the excruciating absence of lovers, children, friends
you cherish for the irreplaceable negative space they leave
like black holes of pain in the vacuities of your heart.
Gone through a lot in the shadows of the taskmistress
of an art I’ve endured like a sibyl’s apprentice
in the name of poetry to sing to her of love like pillow talk.
You start out talking the talk, but you fall to your knees
in adoration before her when you begin to walk the walk
with a muse hand in hand like a bouquet of black roses
with sidereal plinths and thorns on the eclipses you leave
in tribute on her temple stairs, waiting aloofly
in the wings of an inspired play like an understudy
to see if she picks them up like the words of lyrical loveletters
you wrote in the cursive script of your longing
that she took deeply inside with her instead
of throwing them on a wormy compost of a garbage heap
without putting a penny of the full moon on the eyelids
of anyone of them. A cemetery of flowers on your grave
killed by the first frost of an eternal autumn without
many windfalls left. But then again you don’t need
many sleights of hand or tropes like a house of cards
full of tricks to catch a fox like an Archilocan hedgehog
with only one, but it’s got to be a good one as the man said
and I would add out of the little experience I’ve had
it better not be a leg hold trap or she’ll eat your leg off
to get out of it intact like a surgical barge of body parts
being towed out to sea like a nose ring through
the tongue of a jealous slave with an inferiority complex
whenever he comes close to a nervous embrace of perfection.
Dance, laugh, sing, jump toward paradise together
like dark angelic comets in a burning house of life
without any back-up parachutes on except for the wings
you fly around on hopping from bough to bough
in the tree of life in the first draft of the original garden
not caring whether it began with Lilith or Eve
sowing weeds like wildflowers and apple seeds
in the fertile crescents and farrows in the garden of Eden
you overturned like farrows of starmud ploughing the moon
as it rose over the event horizon of your heart when you
first saw her inventing agriculture like a left-breasted antidote
milked from the from a gland of ecstasy and human kindness
to obviate the poison fang of the snakey right mindedness
of a civilization that takes dying like loving and living for granted.
This might not sound as seductive as Ovid at times,
but at least I’m not exiled in Tomis on the Black Sea
of a total eclipse of the sun in the winter when
the mindstream freezes over and the Sarmations
swarm over it like the bridges I’ve burned behind me. Or
maybe I am and just haven’t figured it out yet.
But it’s solid advice from a lover with his head in the stars
and his feet firmly planted on the earth like underground
root fires among the cedars that wander down to the river
at night like white-tailed does with big wide lachrymose eyes
to drink from their reflections to see if they can taste
the waters of life like willows flowing on the moon at night yet.
I don’t insist you listen to me but I think you’d be wise
as an enlightened madman not to forget what I’ve said.
When has love ever not been a lunatic with the happy face
of a dark strange, radiant flashback of an acid trip
with a smile on its lips as wide as the west coast in the sixties?
A woman you’re in love with is a window into the abysmal godhead
of a space without mithals or metaphors to see exactly what you’re looking at
if you know how to open her up like the harvest moon
gone blue like a Doppler shift reflected in a see-through
thermal paned mirror with x-ray vision of life and love
she looks into, if you’re lucky as a gentle caress
that looks into the heart of you sometimes twice a month.
She can make you feel like a beautiful supernova
getting off like a climax in the Andromeda galaxy
or a lethal gamma ray burst of a firing squad of stars
you got caught in the line of fire like the collateral damage of love.
In which case I suggest you don’t refuse
whatever kind of blindfold she offers you like a total eclipse
because, I swear, I’ve been there, and you won’t like what you see
she can do to a misalignment of the heart when she’s mad at you.
You can say to yourself apres moi le deluge in an ice age
but it truly amounts to nothing more than a shallow watershed
frozen like a boastful mud puddle idling in turmoil on the moon.
Go dig up Ovid like a necromantic grave robber
if you don’t believe me, and ask him. He’ll tell you the same thing.
Like the art of love that inspired the afterlife of so much tristia in exile.