Saturday, February 9, 2013



If only I could remember you as you were
for a few, brief radiant moments as indelible
as light in space and not as time would have it
the way things have changed. To see you
lingering in the doorway on a winter night,
the snow lying lightly on your hair like the Pleiades
over your shoulder descending below the treeline
as if it knew more about saying good-bye than you did,
and o how I loved you for it. If only I could
remember that lonely ghost of a mirage
that hovered over the watershed of your tears
and looked at me like the first lifeboat
you’d seen in a thousand years respond
to your s.o.s. in a hourglass. If only I could remember
the fragrance of the summer rain on your skin
as if it had mistaken you for one of the flowers
and how I used to like wiping your tears away
with my opposable thumb like plum blossoms from your cheeks.

Eternity coming to the surface of time
like old corduroy roads and bones in a makeshift graveyard.
Not likely I’ll ever see you again in this life
but if only I could remember you before circumstance
underwhelmed itself and killed the ambiance
of our last dance by turning all the lights on at once.
But there you go, no help for it. The nightbird
transits the moon and the eternal sky as is said in Zen
doesn’t inhibit the flight of the white clouds.
And this moment, too, though it’s endured
a thousand deaths to come to this afterlife,
always saying good-bye to some aspect of you
that symbolizes the evanescence of love and life
in metaphors that buff the open wound
like scar tissue on the moon, like fireflies
welding living insights into the dead brain coral
of this encyclopedic coma life
can sometimes seem without you, even after
all these ensuing misadventures it would take a fire
and half a dozen bottles of wine to tell you about
if only I could remember you as you once were
like the lamb that laid down with the lion without fear.

For light years, images of you have flashed out of the abyss
as sharp and quick and vital as moonlight
wielding a sabre, or a bird quickened by a purpose
out of the unknown into the unknown
and I recognize them as blossoms that have blown
far from the tree that was lovelier
than the whole orchard to me, though angels
attended upon it like scripture from its roots to its leaves,
you were the locust tree with your demonic thorns
I wanted to tear my heart on like a rag of blood
on the galactic razorwire that encircled your heart
like a storm of dark matter with unlimited potential
for creative destruction that got the light out of the way
long enough for us to see what glowed behind it.
If only I could remember you as you were
when we both made eye-contact with each other
like exo-planets in the void, and understood spontaneously
it wasn’t going to take much of a wavelength
for either of us to understand this immediately
as if we could read each other’s shadows like Mayan calendars.

Water hemlock, wild parsnip, sometimes
the memories scald like volcanic dew on bare skin,
but seldom have I ever regretted
that I lived through you for awhile,
when the stars raged in my heart like a madman
obsessed by the crazy wisdom of a woman
who had the wingspan of a bow on a bent event horizon
but knew enough about compassion
to push the burning arrow of my fascination with her
all the way through like a blood sacrifice to love and life
and the mystery that moved in the darkness up ahead
like the fork in the road that separated us,
like a wishbone that had granted all it had to give.

How tenderly painful the brevity of what
we actually relive again as if some moments in life
are illuminated by a different light than that
we read by in bed late into the night
looking for translucency in the windows of insight
that keep on opening their eyes in this recurrent dream
like the black waterlilies of new moons coming into bloom.




What an impasse, quiet moment, come to this
deeper than a bell in the dead of winter. Grime
on the grey windows as if I were living inside
a sooty lantern, consuming the flesh of my body
in fire that will make me indelibly invisible
for generations to come, to each, the prelude of a ghost
that produced abundantly out of nothing
windfalls of the imagination that shook me like a tree.
I lived like a slag heap of ore for the sake of the jewels within.
Amino acids in a meteor with a genome
falling out of the abyss like a star you could wish upon
and risk getting what you really wanted
though you weren’t honest or courageous enough
to believe it at the time. Starwheat for the soul,
bread massaged by human hands, black pearls
with the lustre of a thousand new moons
you’d forgotten about your life, the dark beginnings
of something splendid that died inside of you
like creosote on the chimney pipes that creaked
like the arthritic boughs of tin trees in a firestorm.

The snow outside draped over the phantoms of buildings
like ragged cotton dust covers over the furniture
of the abandoned town as if the owners
always intended to come back one day. Time
squatting on the property like juniper and thornapple
in an overgrown field returning the way it came
like a prodigal that made it home lightyears too late.
Leafless municipal trees stripped of their legends.

I know more about being alone at night
than the moon does when everyone’s asleep
grinding their teeth like millstones geared
to the endless waterwheels of their mindstreams
going round and round without a stop, a top
or a bottom as if it were crucial to be homogenous.
Everyone trying to stand out in the crowd
like a retinal response to the black hole
in the middle of their moondog iris like a pupil
they’ve never put up to their eye to look through.
Witching the abyss for water with branch lightning
is a much more dangerous calling for wizards
that have more in common with solitary dragons
than they do with the scintillant eyebeams
of magic wands chirping in fountains of stardust
that spring out of the optic fibres of whatever
they look upon, like a rosary of dew lying
about the death trap of the spider web it’s ensnared by
in the false dawn of a mandala that makes
everyone feel better by lulling them with the opioids
of the lotus-eaters who never got off the island
to see how vast and exhilarating the sea of life truly is.

When the starmaps stop at the edge of your eyes
and you’re not disobedient enough to cross the threshold
you eventually die in a cul de sac of sticky constellations.
Shore-huggers in the tidal pools of your stagnant tears.

No need to go to a war of lenses over it. The karma’s
as instantaneous as the charismatic depravity
of the electromagnetism of your name. One day
when you’ve donated it like a black walnut
to scientific research lab for tax deductible lobotomies
someone’s going to cut deep into the sweetmeat
of your brain, to see what you thought about life,
and what it was like to live for the stain
of a little bit of fame so wholly indoctrinated
like a polyp into a tradition of dead coral,
you gave up thinking lyrically about life and light
in words, and began, at the behest of a patented gene,
expressing it wholly in a grammar of corporate logos.
Fashionably unreal as the Cambrian outbreak of icons
for Exxon and Monsanto, Shell and Microsoft in
in the auto-hagiography of your Burgess Shale.

If the spirit of making a gift of a gift within you is dead,
I suppose the only recourse you have left
for the corpse you’re passing off as the real you,
is a deal and a sale and the hysterical jealousy
you can arouse like a muse in an escort service for that.

A cosmetic surgeon playing Pygmalion with his Botox wife,
not a healer that ever brought anyone back to life
by transfiguring the shape of the universe they dwell in
by reminding them it only takes a little bit of starmud
aged in their tears to mould a face of their own
to the reflection of the infinite spaces contained
by their hearts and minds, eyes, smiles, and grimaces
perfectly fitted to human flesh and blood and skin
like a mirror that looks at them from the inside
to determine the colour of their eyes,
by what they’ve seen, what they’ve dreamed
what they’ve lived for, what they’ve loved,
and what they haven’t dared to look upon before
with a passion so intensely perennial and clear
it will be their eyes that will go out of fashion
long before the stars ever realize that what
breaks out of the darkness into light above
finds the source of its shining looking up at them
from down below and gauges the lifespan
of the radiance of their seeing and depth of being
by how many new moons and lightyears ago since that last was.