WAIT. WAIT. WAIT FOR IT TO COME
Wait. Wait. Wait for it to come,
the mad folly of my creative destruction.
Bleak the flowers in this ruinous garden
and my psyche speaking in tongues
like gates someone left open banging in the wind.
Bring on the storm. Uproot the lightning.
I will not run. I’ll stand here steadfast
as an amputated stump in this open field
with a ghostly feeling I can grow my arms back
like a faith healer sitting like Stonehenge
in solstitial silence at the last broken window
snarling at the fixed stars that keep drifting
in and out of the asylum like a seance of fireflies
that’s turned into an angry mob
looking for stars to martyr for not taking
their fanatical starmaps as literally as they do.
I’m an heretical astrologer tied to the axis mundi
of my own imagination. I read my doom,
cowled in candlelight like the skull of the full moon
scrying the entrails of a wounded bull
garlanded in laurels like a loveletter to the gods.
My end without exit. My beginning without a door.
My backbone bent like a rafter from shouldering
this dance floor that’s crippled me for life.
Should I paint my skin blue? Should I get a tattoo?
Should I carve a more fashionable deathmask
out of my heartwood and learn to lie like a man
acquainted with the truth? Should I go into battle naked
like a beserker sporting his own vulnerability
in the face of an enemy outraged by the insult?
I’m beating on a pinata of killer bees.
I’m cauterizing my nerves with the synaptic
welder’s arcs of the stars until I’m numb as an alloy
of water and blood at the point of a sword
that’s about to cut my throat like a ouija board
that’s run out of answers and alibis for everything.
I’m jester to the divine sense of humour
of a moody goddess trying to decide if she’s a crone
or a nymph. Too late for autumn. Too early for spring.
She falls through the cracks of time
like an old age pensioner. She is the muse
that takes the new moon from under my tongue
and throws it like a penny into a wishing well.
Good luck. I’m done. I’ve worn my bones out
like dice in a gambling den long enough.
Seven come eleven or snake-eyes,
it’s all come around like Russian roulette to me.
I’m dissipating my intensity in the supernal immensities
that don’t give a damn whether I exist or not.
The hurricane’s out of the aviary. The singing-master’s
dropped out of the choir of crows of the black mass
in the ashes of the infidels cherishing the leftover relics
in the sacred shrines of their fire pits, surrounded
by the boundary stones of their spiritual opulence.
I’m tired of mistaking a faithless face in a broken mirror
as an ultimate insight into life. There’s nothing orthodox
about a labyrinth of cul de sacs. Nothing infernal
about a scapegoat driven out into the wilderness
by the sins of the tribe to graze on burning bushes.
I’ve read the gnostic allegory of my life
to loose-lipped interpreters in burning libraries
all over this country from one coast to the next
without being hexed like a nightbird
by their symbolic superstitions. And I’ve listened
for vital signs of life in neglected cemeteries
where no one’s making love on the graves
to tempt the silence out of hiding its genius
like a birthmark under the headstone
of a prophetic paperweight with no voice of its own
to speak of were the wind not a shepherd of leaves
looking for greener pastures for its lost sheep.
I’ve done it right. Nothing less than everything
all the time. I’ve kept it all together like a night sky
that goes on forever like a crow with an eye
to the shining. I fletched my eyebeams like arrows
with the feathers of ospreys to bring down the stars
like messenger pigeons of the light with rumours of home.
I’ve broken the seal of my blood, like a scab on the moon,
or the immaculate sunspot of my word, to liberate
the mystic singularities at the bottom of a black hole
that promised them a better life on the other side
and hung a lantern in the tunnel of an oncoming thought train
that knew it could, knew it could, knew it could,
but didn’t. What more could you ask, what
moiety of my life hasn’t been devoted to the absurdity
of conducting sky burials in an orbiting observatory?
I’ve sung for my supper, sex, money, fame and meaning.
I’ve raised my voice like an axe on behalf
of people on the receiving end of the stick
and I’ve brought my winged heels down hard
on the skulls of slack snakes on railway tracks
when it became clear as an X-ray to me
they weren’t fledgling dragons and the babies
were as toxic as the adults. Retreads on black asphalt,
most of their books, shedding their skins
as if they were laying rubber on well published roads
lined with critical road kill. Everybody underestimating
the monstrosity of a mythically inflated ego
with the mass of a black dwarf that’s imploded
on itself like the withered daylily of a weather balloon.
Imagine the rapture of frogs in the rain
blissed out on the highbeams that will crush them
like chocolates with strawberry hearts.
And everybody grieves like a sieve
for the mystic mishaps of the lesser vehicle
But poetry isn’t a joy ride for petty thieves,
and there are dangerous hitch-hikers, thumbs up
on the backwoods highways at night out in the starfields
poaching the horns of unicorns to sell on a black market
that doesn’t believe one miracle’s ever enough.
I may have been eclipsed by my own enlightenment,
but I can still shine. I radiate. I emanate. Every meteor’s
got its radiant. And there are always stars in a poet’s eyes
he hasn’t got around to naming yet like diamonds in the rough.
My life might ring as hollow as an empty silo,
and yet I’m fulfilled. I’m ripe as the red end
of the spectrum, a windfall in the Hesperides,
all flavours of the lifesavers in the sunset.
My fear hasn’t aged. My grief. My love. My imagination.
Strange recollections from dissonant hours,
I regret having mismanaged the retroactive exorcism,
of my childhood, but things get better the less they matter.
Even a shipwreck on the moon has oceanic powers
over the way the waters of life ride out the storm.
I take liberties with chaos and risk more than I have to lose,
bracing for the fall with an incommunicable form of the blues
that reconciles me to the unattainable by revealing
what’s most human about me isn’t a still life with apple piety,
not what I excelled at, but the bruise I achieved when I fell.