NO ONE WICKED ENOUGH
No one wicked enough to risk enlightenment
though everyone wants to know what they’re up to
trying to thrive on their wounds like crime,
everyone auditioning for a part in the light
like a candle flame on a wax stage,
aspiring to stardom. If I
were to hold the moon to your jugular
like a straight razor in a back alley,
and demand you turn over everything of worth,
what would you hang on to
even if it cost you everything,
if not your life, that concept
you claim keeps on happening to you
when in fact it’s happening is really
all there is of you. Neither you nor the thief
can grasp it; anymore than you can seize the darkness,
nor the lost spinal cord of the mystic shoelace
that set out like a road to look for its shoe,
will ever bind the eyelets of the stars to its walking
however it thatch itself like a crosswalk to the journey.
No one mad enough to realize clarity,
to feel the intimacy of the ocean in every water drop
or the enormity of the universe
in the slightest whisper of a star.
No one mad enough to risk their madness,
no one suicidal enough to rise from the dead.
No one made cruel enough by compassion
to let the bottom fall out of the bucket
your heart has carried far from the well
like a bell or a seabed to revive the moon.
To be alive is to be constantly baffled by joy,
to be alive is to be terrified in the dark shrines of the mystery,
to be alive is to fall like an eyelash
from the sunset above the far fields beyond your awareness
like a bird that disappears in the distance
in the dwindling of an eye.
When will you ever
teach your clubfooted sorrows to dance;
or unhobble your gazelles of joy to run
if not now while you’re alive enough to be lost
like the wind playing an abandoned labyrinth like a flute?
I am pathetic. I am profound.
I am the grief of the storm
scrying the will of my life with lightning
and all that I have said, and all that I have written,
dust on the tip of my tongue, the taste of stars,
and what I have been, that I am now,
as tomorrow isn’t a future but a feature
no more indelible than a shadow crossing a threshold,
as everywhere I flow like water, I enter by the right door,
and the only direction I’ve ever followed, my next breath.
To be alive is to kick the encyclopedic cornerstone
out from under the building
and let it fall like an old casino;
to be alive is not to know why things happen,
but not convert to a chessboard when they do,
trying to second guess your life as if it were a covert operation.
It isn’t your eloquence, thought, intuition, or emotion
that carves out a voice like a harp
from the heartwood of your walking tree,
and tunes its nerves to the constellated sheet music of the stars,
and plays it like fire into the echoless unknown;
you, the singing, you, the listening,
to be alive is a star in the generative silence,
a song that writes you like a lyric.
If you want to know God, if you want to know
meaning, know life, as conversantly as you know yourself,
listen to yourself as if you were all ears,
and open your eyes until all that’s left is the sky.
The past and the future alike are keyholes
in a door that doesn’t exist; history, a way of forgetting
and what’s to come, hinged to this moment now,
the forwarding address of an ambient threshold
you cross with every step, every breath, every pulse
like a bell unlocking itself to celebrate
the miscreant of limits who lives
to wonder his way beyond why.
I am nothing, but everything I see
is what the beginning of the world looks like
from the inside, everything I hear
is that original rupture of the silence into being
before the first bird sings in the morning
to dispel the windows from their darkness
like water from its wings.