IS IT IN THE NATURE OF LIFE AND LIGHT
Is it in the nature of life and light
that if you look deeply enough into their eyes
eventually you’ll begin to cry?
If you turn over enough skulls
in a cemetery of shepherd moons,
if you exhume enough gravestones
it’s not the angels that keep their ancient places
but maggots in a charnel house with no return address?
Fountainheads of enlightenment
rooted in a watershed of sorrows.
I’m tired of bringing bouquets to the dead.
Listening to the lies we’re compelled
to tell ourselves like waterlilies in a swamp.
Lachrymae rerum, some nights life shrieks
like a mother that’s lost it’s only child.
Try being blissed out in a secret garden
in Auschwitz as if morning glory grew
on the barbed wire fence. It was ashes, not snow
that fell on the dungheaps of human flesh.
Lampshades of human skin that flowered
on the desks of bureaucratic offal, not chrysanthemums.
So much innocence swept aside before it was born
like the rape of a bride by the mirages of power
that claim the right of prima nocta to the waters of life
on the first night. Lion kings kill the progeny
of the old to put their genetic seal on things
in gules of blood on the claws of dynastic genocides.
Disneyland specializes in pseudomorphic fairytales for the kids.
Politics, court intrigue in a cloak of creosote at a dogfight
for the amusement and profit of savage fools.
Justice a screening myth for the real play
that goes on behind the scenes the curtain
never goes up on like the permanent fix
of an eclipse of blackflies blotting the sun
like the inkspots of unprincipled signatories
to see who gets which half of the cadavers of Poland.
Hitler sleeps with Stalin. The red army stalls
outside the abattoir of Warsaw burning
then Churchill sneaks off to the same brothel
without telling the Americans he’s got loose morals
as an iron curtain falls across Europe by rhetorical arrangement.
The history of the world. Mining gold teeth
on a battlefield. Old men and women
metastasizing their avaricious senility by sending
the young and poor of one gutter
to redress unemployment in the slums of another
as the factories work overtime on behalf of the rich
on the patriotic nightshift to stick their thumbs
in the profiteering pies of market shares
improving the instruments of death
like a windfall of plums and cluster bombs
the growing limbs of children play among like Orphic dolls
you can’t call back from the dead like the songs
you used to sing to them as they lay in their deathbeds.
The night appalls and after sixty-four years
of swimming in this ocean of toxic fumaroles
I’m numbed by the effluvium of megalomaniac volcanoes
erupting like boils of capitalitis and commucarcinoma
of deficient immune systems on the skin
of the body politic lionizing plague rats
according to the effect they have
on the general well-being of the public.
The shilling under the arms of those who died for money.
The tubal ligations of budgets like welfare mothers
by the eunuchs and castratos of fiscal tapeworms
against the propagation of any but their own kind.
It blisters the eyes out of my soul to be irradiated so.
To walk among the houses of the zodiac alone at night
even out in the woods where death has a more honest smell
and know it’s only the earth among planets, fouling the footpath
with corpses it hasn’t got enough body bags for.
Free people fighting and dying, giving up the gift of life,
in the vital interests of a few who take from the many
the morgue of birthrights in a time of plenty
defended by a holy war of lies to death against
the infidels of perjured ideals sacrificed for the common good.
Labyrinths of vertiginous spin at Sufi crossroads
and the crooked path out of here baffling the starmaps
of the direction of prayer like aluminum constellations
of confetti foiling the radar of early warning systems
of pink mornings like cherry blossoms in hell.
Fireflies, stars, compassion, illumination, poetry,
the disarming generosity of genius in a few humans
with hearts large enough to think bigger than an ego,
wildflowers in the eyes of certain women
who intrigued me like hidden secrets I longed to know
like the dream grammars of sacred syllables
in sensual temples only the wind and the nightbirds
knew all the lyrics to. The candlepower of mystic insights
embodied in the starmud under my fingernails. Now
were it not to leave forensic evidence of my homicidal silence
I don’t even want to write this in tears of blood.
And I’m trying to hang on like a weed that’s never known
its proper place in life except as a cosmic diaspora
in the context of everywhere, but they’re killing the bees
to protect the genetically modified crops of the parasites
that own them like oil in the flour of bad bread.
The pleonasts are abusing the antiseptic honeys of life
with corporately commiserating insecticides
who say, even so, in the peacetime atrocities
perpetrated on the elemental joys that combat
the blight of the private sadness in the superstitious facts
of the public madness, by law, not love of the land
nor what lives upon it, you have no choice,
despite the stingers in the poisoned apiary of your voice,
despite the hand you put over the mouths of your abducted hives
to keep them from giving themselves away
to the leaves and flowers that lie in ambush
like judas-goats bleating to kiss them on the cheek
like a patent on a garden on a hillside of skulls
blessed by the money-changers on the benches
in the the temples of life for thirty pieces of silver
and the noose of a chromosome to hang from
like seedless fruit in the medicine bags of their funeral bells.