Friday, May 24, 2013



Lady in the rain surfing her excess dopamines
like foreign exports her neurons can’t afford to reabsorb
because she’s intelligent, bored and lonely though
she revels in friends the hilarity of their smiles
is way too severe to be trusted, a moshpit for the Taliban.

She snorts comets of stardust as if life were
no more than a biochemical powder when you squeeze
the tears out of it like an aquifer of Sodom and Gomorrah
without a desalination plant. And for the moment,
and the moment is eternally inclusive as an interreflective jewel
in the net of Indra, interoriginally elaborating
mutual fractals into blazing chandeliers of edgy insight
into this anodyne of power and joy that makes her feel
she’s healing like a naked god that just got into
her deathbed with her, and he were her creator and she
were an abysmally deep solitude greater then he could imagine.

I prefer constellations, myself, but this isn’t
an anti-drug commercial or a self-help manual
for people who think they’re doing just fine.
I’m an asmatographic cartographer compiling
an encylopedic starmap for lost fireflies who are apt
to mistake themselves for chimney sparks
when the wind is whipping across the glazed snow
like a downed powerline venting like a spinal cord
on a Fender Stratocaster whose nerves have finally snapped.

Born in a furnace like the urn belly of a dragon
that miscarried, what else can you do but stick
short straws in the black, bitter bread of your starmud
to see if you’re done, or the oven gave birth?
Way past feathers in the scales of my self-worth now,
what does it matter the price you put on your head
like a wanted poster when no one’s looking for you anyway?
Solitude’s not so tough once you threaten
to walk out on it if it doesn’t stop whining.
Draco on the nightwatch like one half of a chromosome
winding around a winged caduceus, when the need arises
to know something about the better half I’m missing
I watch other people sleepwalking in a dream
I’m spiritually well-mannered enough not to wake them from
like the prophetic voyeurism of a metrosexual Teresias
that hasn’t noticed that he’s gone blind and is led
by a seeing-eye girl that died young like Beatrice.

When you want to study the life of the mind
it’s always wise to begin by taking your name off it.
If you’re intelligent enough to be grateful for being alive
it’s inevitable you’re going to die haunted by the feeling
as hard as you tried, you couldn’t help wasting it,
and, oxymoronically if you’re stupid and spoiled
you’re going to rejoice like a ponzi scheme in your success.
Long after your death they’ll still be talking about you
like an oversight with a Dixie cup of coke on your desk.

But my preferred folly is strictly a matter of taste
and that’s as much motive as anyone needs to make it through life.
I efface myself and take the low place like the persona
of a sea on the moon that receives the rivers and sewers of life alike
and I greet what I can’t avoid like the universe that says
it would recognize me anywhere in my crowded solitude.

Sometimes we live like thieves in a refugee camp,
hovels among the Taj Mahals that don’t commemorate
the Mogul loss of anyone we’ve loved, hoping
we can pass our moral squalor off as patrician poverty
exiled in the slums and favelas above the city of God
with an aerial perspective on the angel fleets docked like yachts
that bloom and wither like stalks of the birds of paradise,
and hell invariably adopts an oblique attitude toward heaven,
looking down on what it can’t hope to aspire to.

Others keep absinthe on tap like the heavy water
of a Wormwood Star in a housewell that glows in the dark.
They live as if they were wreaking a slow vengeance
on their own self-destruction, snakes with their tails
in their mouths who’ve lost all track of the eternal recurrence
of time as it eats them all the way up to their heads.
Where the roads part in life they crack
the wishbones of the harps in their throats
and make a wish that seldom comes true or gets sung.
It’s not the words of the song they want to impart
so much as their voices and tongues that are listening
for an encore of applause from the echo of a mother
that abandoned them on opening night in an empty house.

Isn’t it wild how many people are trying to stay close
to people who didn’t love them by practising their mistakes
as if that were the only way they could embody them
in their absence, or when lovers break up they both
walk off with the salvage of the other’s shipwreck
like crooked lighthouses lamplighting in a storm,
astrolabes of fireflies faking fixed latitudes
off the coasts of consciousness like whole galaxies
of phantom sea stars prying the lids off an oyster bed
where the dead in their coffins sleep with pearls on their tongues
to pay the ferryman and grave robbers off with coin of the realm?

Compassion isn’t the default anti-dote of any venom
known to humans. Born with winged heels humans love to get high
on fletching themselves like the arrows of toxologists
whistling like the deathsongs of warbonnets in the aviaries
of the toxicologists who have been trained not to be insulted
by massive insults of any kind like hypodermic snake bites to the brain.

Lady in the rain trying to keep her powder dry
as the whites of her eyes in the doorway of a Masonic Lodge
that serves, once a week, as a gateway drug
into the occult occupations of the mysteries of life.
So many ruined temples like columns on their knees,
gods and goddesses unhoused by what they seek from themselves
as they drink from their skulls like the begging bowls of their grails.

Compassion might not be a panacea, nothing is,
not even death in life or out of it, whether it be
merely the mirage of the moment cast by the shadow of time,
or the fever of the nightmare you’re suffering in a dream
like the decapitated history of the acephalic iambs of humankind
dancing on its own volcanic grave with a serious limp.
One way or another, there’s always a hidden crimp
in the sundance of the lapwing that gives us away
like a false alibi at the dawn of a noetic eclipse.

Just the same, and that’s the whole point of these metaphors,
lady in the rain snowploughing a mirror you’re
trying to keep your pain from crying on, my muse tonight,
my lovely simulacrum across the street, stopped
at this station of life before you wander off into the darkness
of a party town trying to get down like a church bell
from a steeple that’s giving it nose-bleeds, compassion
remains, like water, the most cultivated taste in the mouth
of these hermetic deserts where the vipers leave scars
in the sand like signs of an oscillatory intelligence
looking for the Rosetta Stone of its own wavelengths among the stars.

On your way, there you go, wraith of blow. May
there be no dead air in the music of the day ahead of you,
and the masters of tenderness not lose heart
turning away from the rain on their windows
as if they had to weep harder than that to apprentice themselves
to the lost art of compassion thawing the wounds
of those who’ve grown callous about life
like a peasant princess holding herself for ransom
in the glacial palaces of the feudal ice-age in her eyes.




A thousand years from now
who will remember me
once I’ve disappeared from this windowpane,
a vapour of breath with awareness,
a nebular stain on the clarity
that will wash its hands of me
like a scar of water that has clung too long?
I’m not trying to embalm
the elegaic content of these obvious sunsets in words,
and it’s hard to shake honey out of these mordant bells
that lie like duplicitous lifeboats to the gullible compasses and maps
that keep crashing like doves that don’t have the wingspan
to come back with news of land
to this museum of DNA, two of every kind,
I keep scuttling like an ark on the top of every wave.
And what is a grave if not an abandonned embassy
that didn’t have time to shred its dreaded secret?
And sometimes, when the emptiness and the silence
are beyond bearing,
I hold myself up like a passport at the panicked gates
that have made me an exile 
and a wounded threshold in my own home
and clamour like a continent
to be repatriated anywhere
that isn’t a country whose borders 
are stretched out like refugee lines.
But it’s a foolish wish.
And if there’s a dragon to slay,
I realize it’s only more shadows and swordplay,
and I think of the return of the rain lifted from the sea
and how the sea never feels anything is missing,
and everything is passage without arrival or departure
and how the arrow never leaves the hand of a good archer.
It’s human nature to understand,
a sacred mode of disobedience
to look into the eyes of our worst fears
even if it’s just to flare like a star without rescue
and scream out in light a moment against its own extinction.
But who or what or nothing is ever there to listen
as we go out like flies and stars in a toilet bowl?
And a love of laws is not the law of love
and there have been so many dragons
left out of the chrysales of their questions like answers
that the heart is not sustained by the impersonal blessing
of ubiquitous entropy in a long, lab coat
as the spirit longs for transformations
a star and a night beyond itself
that might astonish a human
with something enduringly human
like a next breath that can’t be smudged by death
or something drastic in the dust that remembers us
when we were stars
that thawed through the windowpane
as if we were looking through the lenses of our own eyes
to discover everything we live is how we die
and we’re always a plight and a plea away from knowing why.
Imagine, one night, looking up at the sky
and there were no death to raise the moon
like a calendar above your neck,
and everything you saw around you,
crows, kites, keys,
last year’s pine cones on this year’s trees,
were not denuded of their mystic specificity
in this mortal profusion of origins
that ends where it begins. Imagine,
one morning, not getting up from the dream
to pan the mindstream for the nugget of a skull
that might be gold, and the luster of the radiance
never grows old like the taste of the moon in your mouth.
Wouldn’t this onceness then be eternal,
and what I’m saying now, indelible
as the space that prompts the stars to shine?
Learning wisdom is learning the universe
as if it were your own face, on the inside,
and you were its only eyes,
disappearing from view so that all that remains is you.
Birth, a breathing in; death, a breathing out,
before the first and after the last, this pulse and suspiration,
muses around the wellspring, witches around the cauldron,
planets fluttering like moths
at the windows of the constellations. Like the moon
I pass my hand over like an eclipse as if it were my own skull,
I have been creatively maintained from the start by my own expiration.
Are there no orchards in the hearts of old women?
Are there no graves in the eyes of a child?