Friday, March 22, 2013



Every step I take either a crossroads, an impasse,
or a dubious suspension bridge that looks like
the work of spiders swaying over an abyss.
Eerie thresholds that don’t scare me the way they used to.
I take them now as if I were dancing
with clear-sighted surrealistic suicidal abandon
and what used to threaten me so deeply
I laugh at now as if it were just another buffoon
that overdid it, and turned its legend into a farce.

The furies that swarmed me once for things
I couldn’t even imagine doing at my most bitter
have mythically dwindled into black flies of the mind.
Now I smile at them like a miniature Pearl Harbour
dive-bombing a rotten piece of fruit. Malignant pests.
Even in my homelessness, kamikaze pilots
drunk on sake, bad house guests binging
on a divine wind that sweeps them all away
from the brittle sky above the windowsill
that fakes them all out eventually, though it’s sadder
on the other side, to witness the death of birds.

Once you accept you’re going to lose everything
you’re inestimably freer to spit in the eye
of your tormentor, and in that moment of enlightenment
the power and superstition of a madman in the joint
that could scare even Joe Frazier like Muhammad Ali
losing it at a weigh-in, overcomes you as if
your death were already behind you, inconceivably achieved.

You learn to stay ahead of the past, like a star,
shining down on the future history of who you are
even when you’re convinced you’re not anything
whether you win or lose and everything you do
is a risk you must take to keep on deepening your solitude
without shaming the eagles by living like a maggot
who sees a rainbow in a drug-induced mirage
and dreams it’s turning into a butterfly
with the dead-eyed instincts of a bird of prey.

Compassion isn’t the mirage a white flag you hang
like a bed sheet outside the window
to surrender your ego like a weapon.
Like a flower, it’s a sign of resistance that begins
deep underground in the blood roots
of a cult of rain and light that death cannot suppress.
It’s a compact with pain that enlightens the way of the other
by taking the egg-laying turtle of the world off the road
or using your own backbone to splint the broken rafter
of a house of life that could not stand without you,
one light enjoined to another like honey in the heart of a beehive
buzzing with stars. Not an alchemical crack house
freebasing its own mythic inflation like a dealer
tripping out on his product in a riot of vacillating ideals
that wobble like uninhabited planets losing their spin.

Compassion is a warrior. Not a martyr of circumstance.
Or the short straw of the last chance to be someone
on your deathbed like a sword between you and what you loved
as you lay side by side together and dreamed
your courage away by hesitating in the moment.

Sometimes mystic disobedience is a greater sign of love
than all the echoes and shades of our oaths and vows are.
Compassion’s a candle with the heart of a dragon
and it roars into the silence of its imperious empathy
like a black czar at the wedding of the waterlilies,
raising them up like paupers and constellations
or the crystal palace of the Celts wheeling in Corona Borealis
like a Sufi dancing with the dust and the wind at a crossroads
to celebrate his own annihilation in the rapture of his wisdom
to leave every room in his heart open to everyone else
as one of the fundamental conditions of intelligent space.
Not to fit the uniqueness of the human face to a life mask
compounded of enculturated delusions of its just proportions,
but to see in every one of its tears, a locket with the moon inside,
like a ripening lyric to the beauty of longing fulfilled,
a windfall shaken down in a sudden squall of stars
that fall to earth like the seeds of urgent cherry blossoms
to make way for the vital fruits of their unspoken exile.




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,
whoever 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 practised 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 lets 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.