Wednesday, January 30, 2013



The snow a silence whiter than last night
and the sky, a red violet. A mysterious rose.
As if the night were blushing at something said
that wasn’t meant to be disclosed.
I feel cramped without the stars, embedded
like a hibernating frog in my own starmud,
my bloodstream reconfigured as the thin thread
of a red alcoholic thermometer, though I don’t drink.

Nocturnal solitaries huddle their way through the night
like dark comets past the unwary mirrors
of the nightwatchmen working on their novels
as if nobody were watching. I people the abyss
with my life and let my mindstream decide
where it wants to wander through its own timelessness
as if the past, as well as any future I could imagine
could take the lead at anytime from compliance
with the present, and it wouldn’t make
the least bit of difference. Three waves
of the same oceanic awareness. Three talons
open like the triune esoteric crescents of the moon
and one hawk blooms like a poppy in the snow.

My imagination isn’t a cry I follow
deeper into the woods of a hidden mindscape
as if it were mapping my eyes like stars
it had never seen before and was wracking its brains
to come up with names that made it feel less homesick.
It is me. Like a nightbird is the child of the wind.
Like a song whose dark secret is a longing to live.
Like the heart of a stranger is the hearth of his homelessness.
I am the evanescent foundation stone of my own fire.
Like the moon, a lantern in the arms of my own journey.
I gather the fruit of a rootless tree and it tastes
like the voice of the sun and the moon waxing lyrical
as the water and light of the alpha and omega
of sacred syllables, with the third extreme
of the earth in between shining in the middle intensity
of the three wise men in Orion’s belt
just before the dawn pales the seeing-eye dog
of blind Osiris blazing like an underground root fire
set below the treeline of cedars ageing on the hills to the west.

I remember the lovers I carried both ways
across the thresholds of a burning house,
and what I’ve made of my sorrows are wildflowers
that bloom for a night in a garden that tends to itself.
If my children are lost to me as they are,
I don’t ask my imagination to explain why anymore.
I let it drink its fill of compassion from my heart
like a bottomless well deeper than the stars are high
and I leave my door ajar for the dead who still call me friend
to come in, whatever the hour, as often as I open it
to the apparitions of the living I greet like dream figures
who have just stepped into my intuitive vision
of not needing to wake them up until I do because
as I keep repeating like the riff of a mantra on a blue guitar,
mark one jewel like the third eye of Venus in the dawn
and they’re all marked with the same morning star.

I invite the darkness to enfold me within the pages
of its imageless book like the godhead of the great void
revealing a story that keeps growing in the telling of it
as the mindstream changes the tempo of its narrative theme
from a pulse, to the merest fragrance of a melody
expiring like the last breath on the deathbed of bird-bone flute.
I am all skulls. I am all shepherd moons. I am space
that exculpates gravity to bend and relent at a black mass.
I refuse to imprison my enlightenment in a church
and get by with finding my way by a candle
that casts as many shadows as it illuminates.
I put my hands up over my eyes like the wingspan
of an eclipse over a full moon, instead of folding them
like birds roosting in a dark wood, praying for light,
and the stars that fire the eyes of the Queen of Heaven
grow brighter than I’ve ever seen them before.




Quietly and like a thousand other times,
I want to go. I don’t know where. It doesn’t matter.
This moment now is as homeless as it gets.
You can have all the entrances, I’ll take the exits.
Been so long I don’t trust what happiness
would turn me into now, though I think
it’s just as stupid to despair. I’ve let go
of the crows and doves of my emotions,
the quantum insanity of my thought experiments,
and if I ever had dreams, they’re lost atmospheres by now
like a childhood among the asteroids
that happened astronomically to someone else.

I started out on a qrailquest, a maculate clown,
a partial fool, and though I stayed in the shadows
of my right-brained peripheral vision, more
a magic circle than a halo, I kept my third eye
out for it in passing. Strange how time mutates
the journey without losing the narrative theme
of the original psychodynamic. Now
I’m drilling for oil on the moon like the watershed
of a full eclipse and I’m no more averse
to the darkness as I was to the light. Either way
there’s more sincerity in being lost than in being
insufferably found. However rough the storm
who ever comes to the aid of a lighthouse
with a heart as empty as a lifeboat and says
hey, get in, we’ll be swept out to sea together
where the earth can’t threaten either of us anymore?

Doesn’t happen. Much. There’s something fatuous
about security that takes your edge off like a keel
and leaves you bobbing on an inner tube way out
of your depths and your legs dangling
like participial jellyfish out of the mouth of Satan
like Brutus in the coldest ditch of Dante’s Inferno.
For lightyears I’ve practiced the furious discipline
of a purposeless art, and betrayed myself
in the name of compassion for the beautiful absurdity
of celebrating the immensity of my own impoverishment.
I passed the test I set for myself like a stranger
at a dangerous gate to prove I was still sincere
in my own eyes. And even when I suspected a trap,
still, I was a wild shepherd of wolves in the wilderness,
and I hopped the fence. Intense as a wounded exile.

As soon as anyone starts explaining themselves to me,
I immediately hear the bells of faithful alibis.
Unfamiliar demons arise like infidels of the truth
and I’d rather follow last night’s wolf moon down
below the treeline, than cry over another fool’s lies.
Not bitter, not overjoyed, my curiosity amused,
given how little hope there is for any of us,
I’d still rather err with the largesse of dragons
who know more about shining and burning
than the fire blossoms of a thousand Chinese box-kites
looking for the ley lines on tinfoil starmaps
that never lead anyone astray creatively, least of all,
stop longing for the more subliminal phases and shadows
of Venus on a moonless winter night at perihelion.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference
between artifice and a genuine sacrifice
but it’s a matter of taste whether you want
bubbles in your poetry breaking the surface
like effervescent sacred syllables at a seal hunt
coming up for air, or add your breath
to the nucleation of new worlds in hyperspace
by going along with the drift, the gist, the flow,
the probable concourse, the aniconic fractal,
the supersymmetrical elaboration of the rococo,
loading every rift with ore like John Keats,
or the wound of a rikku teacup at a Chanoyu
ceremony for the taste of Zen with mended gaps of gold.

If you’re still too distinct to tolerate life with a smile,
at least try not to wince, and pray for a day
when your facial expressions are not in the name
of trying to better anything that isn’t spontaneous.
You can call it mind, form, matter, and then,
you can reverse the spin into the opposite
thought, the annihilant emotion, and achieve
spiritual immolation in a rapture of nirvanic self-destruction.
Nihilism when it isn’t in vogue as fashionable sentiment
looks at the world and says it’s empty as if
something were there that isn’t anymore, an absence
that let the meaning leak out through their pores.
The little green apples of disappointment are sour
but if you hang around long enough, the return journey
is sweeter than the first, and disappointment
gets drunk with the wasps in the decaying taverns
plying the windfalls of dusk with nectar and ambrosia.

When things go supernova creatively, it’s not the end
of anything. It’s just one prelude over the line
like the Big Bang before it was wired for sound
like one hand clapping and all the lights going on
when you enter the house of life late at night
like a stray thought in your mother’s head
that nudges one stray photon into a collaborative avalanche
of interdependently originated genetic chain reactions.
You can be an inert gas and light up like a flavour
of neon or argon, with a fixed address
at the candy store of a highway motel, or more
significantly radioactive like a heavy metal
you can shine like an enfant terrible orphaned
by your own catastrophe in the name of art
as the potted plants wither on your lethal windowsills
for the lack of deuterium, and the waterclock
glows in the dark like a small zodiac on a stopwatch.

There’s no lack of fraudulent embassies ready
to forge a false passport with a name and a face
into countries that don’t exist without a border and a map,
but in all the years of my transits and zeniths, nadirs
and pain thresholds, gates, doorways, taboos,
dares, taunts, threats, holy wars and peaceful defeats
without any regrets, I’ve secured my passage
by exploring spiritually poetic realms without
a lack of identity in a universal mindscape
that doesn’t have one separate from everything else
for fear I’d give myself away as an imposter.
Why sip from the waters of life when
you can gulp the ocean whole in every drop?
Quick, quick, said reality to the passenger pigeon.
Humankind cannot stand too many birds.