Wednesday, January 16, 2013



My lonely island music,
already I see in your eyes, devastation in the dead zone,
skulls littering the field, autumns wandering away
weeping like windows that mistook themselves for the sky
and murdered a bird. Mystic September, vamp of this vision,
how could the moon not leap from my tongue
in praise of the world that shines through you
bathing alone in the dawn of every moment, utterly
alive, your beauty the page of a unwritten scripture
poised in the ink at the nib of every blade of grass to say
beyond the saying
what can’t be said. How unbearably sad
in this defeated hour that so few know the truth
that walks ahead of them like their own footprints
returning to the door they left by, already lost,
their houses, foundation stones of quicksand. Get it right in the seed,
get it right in the root of the eye, let the wind
take the ashes, sweep the shadows from the stairs,
and all the moons of yesterday are caravans of blossoms on the water.
Get it wrong and you’re a widow plundering corpses
for wedding rings and pocket-watches, black rain
on the open eyes of the dead. Devoid of transcendence
in the mirroring awareness, on a diet of fire,
you’ll end up combing your hair with a ladder.
Can you hear this bell of green before it rings, can you see
the painting in your blood before the brush is lifted
like a maggot of consciousness to the rose?
If you can, then check your shadow at the threshold
and walk naked into the far fields of your seeing, your feet
on the ground, your head in the stars; if you can’t,
you’re deepening your ignorance by ignoring your depths,
your light passes over itself like an eclipse or the hand
of a black magician, conjuring. Peril in the seeing.
A mask of frost over the surgical face of the heart. Understand
deeply and with authority that this dream cannot be understood,
taste this dream for yourself and look once
into the brilliant darkness that lies beyond wisdom and forsaking
and acknowledge in a crown of water
you are queen of that, your own teacherless realms.
Can’t you feel the roots of the black orchid of this space
wounding the soil with the stars of another night-sky
already opening above and below you? Rightly and brightly,
you are that opening, the sum of all the awareness of the whole of your life
expressed in the unborn no-point of a star of perception in space,
blue knowledge beyond the scope of the death-sighted.
Why study your own legends like snapped twigs on the trail
and send yourself in a straitjacket to school
when you already know by heart
the book of the breath you must live? Open your fist. Where
did it go? What’s in your hand? Do you understand? Our lives
are the shadows of birds sown like seed across the skies,
fish-maps printed on water, compasses looking for directions
that don’t exist. We are brief and we are vital, pilgrims
on a bridge of ancient zeroes, angels under every stone,
gypsies at home. Hold your life up like a match to a mirror in a dark room
to see whose face it is
then blow yourself out like an orchard
before blazing becomes a kind of blindness.
Put the world to your lips like a finger
in the black clarity of the silence. Do you see, do you see
the white songbird of the moon enter the throat of the well
to flaunt its plumage privately in an empty theater,
the roar of the ghosts of the infinite aeons for applause,
the sound of one hand clapping? Anciently, you were so
and now you are so
and tomorrow after tomorrow you shall be so, hidden
right under your own nose, calling yourself like a girl to her friend
when the game is over to come out of hiding. Most people
never understand more than a keyhole and a whisper of themselves,
trembling behind the dangerous doors of their own names
when they’re called to come out and play
with a universe that begins in every moment,
a fire-fly in a canning jar. They graze on the fodder of illusions,
domesticated by their own cupboards and cowardice,
peopling the wilderness beyond their artificial paradise
with demons that threaten to behead them in a palace coup
for the genuine liberation of an empty throne.
The blossom doesn’t know its own beginning,
nor the snowflake, its end. Can you find your true face
in this mirror of echoes,
the one you wore before the birth of silence?
I shall come looking for you like the wind
and I shall find you among trees and flowers
and among the grasses of the fields
and in the living light that breathes over the harvest
and in the water-mind of the stream that flexes the reeds
and playfully graces the ripe honey of the sun
with a sweetness unknown to the business of bees. No inside, no outside,
everywhere I step is the arrival and the walking of my blood
the whole of the way to you from whom I cannot be separated,
slipped like a letter under a door that opens, a mouth in space,
to paint the moon on an eye of scarlet water. One leaf falling,
the whole history of the world
in the way I love you by letting go; in the way
when you are closest, your heart, the thunder
of subtle intimacies in a lost well,
I drown in the vastness like a bird in the reflection of the sky,
happy refugees all along the side-roads of my nerves,
my mind, a fool of the moon, all parade and passage.
Do you understand? Not different, not the same,
we are rain on a window, faces beyond
the blindness of mirrors that use our eyes to see.
In every feather, in every leaf, in every flight of the word
ten thousand dawns, all of the earth,
this emptiness within emptiness singing to itself in the void.




Don’t try to force me to my knees to pay homage to the world
you’re living in, and I won’t ask you to verify my last mirage.
Let’s just pass through each other imperturbably intense
as two cosmic events encountering in this immensity
like galaxies in a ghost dance when the night
is an abysmal radiance, and I’m mystically intrigued
with the turn of your earlobes, oysters making pearls,
where silver ripples of rain are hooped like the orbits
of shepherd moons on a concentric abacus of prayer-beads,
and though I’m not trying to account for anything,
what metaphors they might have in common
with the golden ratio of sunflowers and seashells.

I want to bathe naked with you in the sacred pools
of a silence that isn’t polluted by the history of our sorrows.
Even if they prove as waterproof as a twelve volume tattoo
they’ll wash off in the stars if you scrub hard enough.
I want to look at you with innocent eyes again and again
directly into the eyes of a human insight into creation
and the occult labour of enlightened destruction
that follows in the wake of winged heels that are blown
like blossoms off the green boughs of their night songs
so that an apprentice of your heart like I am
might sweeten like an art in the afterglow
of the many journeys, many sunsets that have flavoured it
like an old brandy remembering what it was like to be a young wine.

I don’t want to broker your light through the middle man
of a lens, a mirror, a window that treated its stars like dirt.
I don’t want to analyze why you’re sitting on the futon
crying, and feel the supple silence after I ask you why
rigidify into a maze of lab rats looking for antidotes
to a snakepit of radioactive wavelengths that can’t be trained
to bite somebody else if that’s what’s on their mind.
Why spring? Why autumn? Why passions you pick up
like a fever from the stars on a hot summer night
when you fall in love with the cool poultice of the moon
lying like a waterlily pad on your forehead, trying
to draw the infection out like enlightenment from
the iris of your third eye rooting in the spiritual looking glass
of a crystal skull suffering from the chromatic aberration of its rainbows?

I promise not to shatter your delusions, if you
never stop setting my doorways on fire everytime
you walk into the room like a total eclipse of the senses
in black underwear with a smile like a starmap on your face.
I want to walk down a long, country road at night
with you in a state of grace that intensifies
the hermit thrush’s longing for the unattainable.
I want to feel your golden needle penetrate my voodoo heart
like a love song that never mended, a wound
even the latest surgeons don’t know how to stitch up.

If I praise your body like the resurgence of a sea on the moon,
don’t misconstrue that as an insult to the fire
on the altar of your mind. If I touch you and light comes
on the first day of creation to the fingertips of the blind,
how is that different from nocturnal wildflowers
opening like eyes in the starfields of the mystically inclined?

If I seek illumination from the dark mysteries of the blood
like a black rose in a cult of thorns, and my intensities
engender life forms on planets that seem uninhabitably mad to you,
and you’re not convinced there are evergreens that germinate
and bloom like a Zen garden of pine-cones in fire,
I won’t challenge the evanescent vapour of a dream
that’s haunting you like the fragrance of a song for the dead
you can’t get out of your clothes, or those boas of moonlight
that feather the bays and contours of your lonely island shores
as if someone who had drowned in the emotional undertow
of your breakers, trying to get to you, were about to be
washed up like the master of some lost purpose
under the eyelid of the next wave, and you, just out of reach.

I will not ask you what that was. Enigma favours you.
More than one petal on a sundial and time flowers
in all directions at once. I will not disturb the dead
that are buried in you. I have my own, and sharing
isn’t disclosure. Tell your ghosts they’re as free
to answer the seance of your longing as they ever were.

I don’t expect you to translate the poetry of your silence
into the same language you speak to me in, nor the river
to uproot the tributaries of the lifelines that sustain it.
In every affair, one is the grammar, and the other,
the inspiration of the holy book they collaborate on
like the biography of water’s fathomless afterlives.

And none of the rules, like your tears, indelible
should the wind or the rain decide to wash them out
like a flashflood of stars in a spring run-off
that sweeps your heart downstream like a message
in a bottle for someone else should you decide
you need a stable bridge not an unmoored lifeboat like me.
If you’re attached to the danger of living as I am
when I’m with you, who’s in need of saving
when you can drown a whole ocean of sacred syllables
in a few simple tears or a dragon of crazy wisdom
with fireflies in its eyes and a moonrise in its heart
in a single star in the rear view mirror of last night’s dream
where objects, like lovers, are always closer than they seem.