Thursday, March 21, 2013



My stomach is a man gingerly walking across quicksand.
If they’re not looking at the sky, my eyes
do more looking on the inside than they do
the phenomenal world I’ve brought in doors
homelessly out of the cold, a stray
that burnt its paws on ice, shepherd moons
around a rogue star, fire enough for the night.

I’m painting waterlilies, late summer sunsets,
apple bloom on a moody spring day. Spring
in violet and green. I find a dynamic repose,
sanctuary, shrine, a white hole that shines
on the other side of this carboniferous eclipse,
an embassy I can run to from the secret police
by painting mirages that drift out of the ether
like the visions of desert poets with an oral tradition
of making watergardens out of hourglasses out of time,
a madman who knows by the taste of the wine,
the jewels encrusted like barnacles to the grail,
amber, rubies, star sapphires, emeralds, diamonds,
amethyst and topaz, are mere tears of the rainbow
and not the night nor the radiance he’s in love with
like a hundred billion stars wheeling like a prayer wheel
at the crossroads of a Sufi ghost dance. I’m

absorbed into the mysteries of life, light,
the human heart, darkness, the elaboration
of the imagination aware of its own mindstream
flowing from one form into another, transmorphically,
butterflies out of their cocoons, dragonflies
from their makeshift chrysales, a sentient heart
lilaceously embedded in its starmud like the bulb
of a skull about to break into light like a waterlily
that effulgently lost its mind, trying to cling
to a starmap that can tell you approximately
where everything is, but not, syllogistically, why it shines.

I’ve been sweating the details about how
I’m going to pay the rent as I hang
helical coils of flypaper from the rafter
of the seasick feeling I have on the gallows
where I’m suppose to forgive the maenads
for severing me from my prophetic skull like Orpheus,
keel-hauled on the hull of a cretaceous moon.
I wish I was a chandelier of sticky monoicious catkins,
an alder that wasn’t so co-dependent upon attracting bees
to the wildflowers, the asters and chicory
of my paintings and roadside poems to churn out
just enough of a taste of honey to keep me going
long enough to spread like loosestrife through
the cemeteries and sunken fleets of the birch and cedar trees.

Uprootable. Like lightning, rivers and nerves.
The brachiation of dark matter, the skeletal trees
bound to their own masts like three bells of morning glory
singing all’s well to the pink skies of a warning
that’s isn’t enough of a storm front to dislodge them
like the big bad wolf at the door of the little pigs’ house
trying to blow the roof off the zodiac again
as if every hurricane were a sign from God
to found a new tent city of stargazer lilies for the dispossessed.

No joke. Sometime you just have to let go of the wheel
of birth and death when you’re swept overboard
by a maverick wave from the stern of a Tarot deck
trying to wash you like a cinder out of the one good eye
you’ve got left to navigate with like a mystic
clinging to the planks he’s been compelled to walk
like water on the dark night of his soul, trying
to salvage himself from his own wrack and ruin
as if Apollo Delphinus were going to send Delphi to his rescue
so the oracular dragoness that coils around me now
like the umbilical cord of Pythos, the earth mother,
post-mature as I grow gummy in the womb
of her lunar seas, with long hair and the Mandarin fingernails
of Edward Scissorhands trying to perform a Caesarian
from the inside out like a medicine bag he’s using
as a collapsed lung to stay afloat until he’s born
with a less ambivalent outlook on learning to dogpaddle
in a gale of raving mundanities that shriek like banshees
at the jagged windows of the eyes into his soul.

Times like this, counter-intuitively I purse an earthly excellence
as if I were painting landscapes like placards in protest
and writing poems as if I were framing the Declaration
of Independence with French overtones of the gathering fireflies
of revolutionary insight into the Enlightenment
about to strike the tree of life from the roots up
like a guillotine of lightning dropping the blade of the moon
on the neck of a black swan like an intinerant executioner
leaving murals on the walls for the next prisoner
who’s about to go under the knife, or about to be hung
from an easel by the neck as he lyrically addresses the crowd
like the body bag of the Shroud of Tourin, or Napoleon
going into exile, weeping se souvenir de moi as he
kissed the colours, proclaiming, like Mnemosyne,
the mother of the muses, apres moi le deluge. Je me souviens.
Like a license plate that hadn’t forgotten its cultural heritage.




Darkness, let me enter. Oblivion, open your arms.
Sweet liberty, lengthen my chain by light years.
Venus in the Pleiades, let me feel your charms.
I want to ride the light, o yes I do, as far as I can
toward some flowering of the mystery
I can add myself to and bloom as the stars do.
My most intimate familiar, solitude, eras of it,
yet it’s never known my name. My best feature
once you get pass the indignation and the anger,
compassion. And though love seems to me
the sum of many hearts, trying to express itself
as one, when have I not been a doorway to the dead?

When have I ever preferred my happiness
even as my last rainbow bridge went up in flames
and there was no where else to cross before the falls,
to that of the ironic beatitudes of the forbidden and the blessed?
Make me a star again one day with a few habitable planets,
each with at least one moon that can make me crazy as this one.
Promise? Promise me it will be so and mean it.
I will continue. I will keep on. I will endure like a mountain
that never capitulated volcanically to my own rage.
I’ll walk the road standing up. I’ll traverse it on my knees.
I’ll be the nightbird. The green bough. The apple bloom.
I’ve learned. I’ll listen. And when I’m overwhelmed by words,
I’ll give you my voice and let you speak for yourself.

Whoever, whatever, you are not or you are,
though I hear you’re too ineffable to get to know,
should the day ever come you want to disclose yourself
like a hidden secret that wants to be known,
I’ll understand that, I’ll be the night in your mirror
that shows you four hundred billion stars in the eyes
of as many life forms and more in the multiverse
than you can see without being astonished by the beauty
of all the secrets you’ve kept to yourself for light years.

Even if I’m just talking to myself like a waterclock
pouring my mindstream from one ear into another,
whether you’re there or not, or just the matriculated anima
of a pineal gland projected onto a holographic space time continuum,
and my spirit be no more than my own breath
condensing on the diminishing window of this cold sky
where I write the name of someone I’ve never met
with a frost-bit finger, longing for encounters I won’t regret,
let me flow into your awareness like a wavelength
into a river of light or let me burn in the immutable darkness
a firefly of thought, a thread of lightning, a distant star,
a thinning fragrance of a wildflower you might have known
a long time ago that reminds you of someone
so many changes away from anyone you’d recognize today.
I’m not looking for someone to whine to.
I’ve been omnidirectional since I turned forty-five
so I don’t need anyone to tell me where I’m going.
I’m not looking for a soft shoulder of the road to cry on.
After so many nights of laying my head
on this hard rock pillow of a world
that’s refeathering itself in scales and razorblades
I’m not dissing the occult wisdom of my consolation dreams.
The way it seems is the way it appears. Let it.
I grew up on the streets, drastically. I know how
to break a mirror in case of a catastrophe.

Just let me pretend for awhile out here in the woods
where I always feel as a human it’s the first day
of a kid in the schoolyard until I make friends with an owl
or the occasional, curious bush wolf wondering
what I’m doing so far off my natural turf, and why,
just like a dog from the city abandoned on a farm
I feel so disowned sometimes I should learn
to snarl back at the moon when it bares its fangs at me
instead of baying its praises to the rest of the asylum.

Just let me suppose for awhile that a poet
isn’t the orphan of the absurd, that there’s
a bloodline of meaning that still seeps into everything
like the dye of a black rose in the night that steeps the heart
in all frequencies and colours of the clear light of the void
that tastes like the mystic poetry of the waters of life
on the tongue of a stranger who’s just wandered in from the desert,
his lips dusty with the stars he’s been drinking
from an hourglass rimed with sand and salt.

I don’t want to receive everything only to find out
I prayed for nothing, so I won’t, but if you’re
the shapeshifting creatrix of subtle intelligence
I intuit you might be sometimes when I’m alone
with the stars like a childhood that hasn’t forgotten me,
and there’s a sudden breeze out of nowhere
that grazes the back of my neck like a sabre of the moon
so close I could swear we were lovers in another life,
light a candle for me somewhere in the universe,
and you be the light by which the light is known.
Show me your smile like moonrise on the lake.
Let me see your eyes in the rain, so inter-reflected
they can’t help shining out of everything as if
no one could keep you a secret for long, except you,
and for the moment, at least, I’m not accepting this.
Don’t care if I’m painting a lifemask to put on an abyss
of molecular indifference. You should see the tears
I’ve smeared under my eyes to save face
with the sacred clowns I’ve been from time to time.

You keep your distance and I’ll play hard to get as well.
You take one step toward me, and I’ll go the rest of the way.
Devotion’s always been a weakness of mine. One sign
and I’ll light up like an esoteric zodiac that just went electric.
I’ll meet you on a bridge at midnight, and I won’t forget
when fire comes down to the water’s edge, fire
has to use the bridge as well. Just tell me that you care,
if not for me, for all these humans that die like roadkill
stunned by the highbeams of oncoming circumstance
as if nothing in life, however rightly or wrongly,
however young or old the blood on the hands of the clock
that kills them as if they were as devoid of characteristics as you
could console them for the loss of what they dared to hold close.
That’s the gamma ray burst of the protest that has kept us apart
since my innocence first started bleeding in childhood
for the impersonality that mutilates 3.5 billion years of evolution,
the sum of all our infirmities and strengths, as if there were
nothing to cherish or venerate in us, like a homeless drunk
beaten to death on a fire-escape in a back alley just for the fun of it.

That’s the thorn in my heart. I watched my mother
half beaten to death three times by my father before I was seven
and it wasn’t you, it was me, that picked up the ax
to put a stop to it. Who could aspire to heaven
when that’s going on in the snakepit at your feet?
How do you return to your toy truck after
the cop cars and the ambulance has left with your mother
and the absence is so terrifying even the nightmares
don’t dare echo an answer that isn’t an atrocity of guile
that lies to a child about the good that will come out of it.

I’m sixty-four now and ever since my eyes were pryed open
like the petals of a flower that wasn’t ready to bloom yet,
everywhere I look, the indignity and ferocity
of intrusive happenstance inflicting itself upon life
with a few intermittent truces to lick our wounds
like razorblades in candied apples. Yes, I stand my ground.
Knock me down. I’ll get up again. And I’ll carry my pain
in my heart, in my voice, in my art, my blood, my arms,
in the urn of everything I’ve ever cherished
like a silver eagle, a placard, a birthmark back into the tear gas
of the last crusade that never had a chance, if I must,
until the human divinity that broke the seal of our suffering,
small as our light may be now, leaves an indelible impression
upon space and time, or you, if you’re there,
like the labyrinth of a fingerprint you can’t ignore.

And I’m not asking for an emergency exit,
just take the gate off the entrance and let everyone in
on the secret of why everything seems so brutally true
in the bright vacancy, dark abundance of your absence,
and I’ll dance with you in a garden on the moon
until the lemons turn blue as the wild grapes in late October
when you shall be my folly. And I shall be your fool.