Tuesday, May 28, 2013



In the left front parietal lobe of my crucifixion window,
beatifically blue sky letting the slow motion clouds pass as if
they were too white and puffy to be solemn about things,
chilly sunshine casting a neatly cut geometry
of occult hieroglyphs on red brick heritage walls.

Sunday. Free. Blesses its own bells like the left-handed virtue
of a secular day to celebrate a shopping mall.
No mail. No bills. No threatening phone calls.
No answering machine that talks robotically
in the tone of a guillotine in the Reign of Terror.

Good day to write if you’re summoned by other voices
beyond the range of the usual crows who talk
about the dawn of another encore more like roosters than moonbirds
whose feathers turned from white to black
for going as they were told, but never coming back.

Words aren’t a medium for fortune-telling your afterlife.
They’re vital organs of the trees who have no other way
of singing about what they feel from the bottom
of their heartwood up. All lightning and root fires
flashing on the waters of life rippling like tree rings
when a fish jumps like the mind at a low flying insight.

Twenty first century siege mind, brain meat,
soft walnut in a scorched black skull.
I’m dragon-spotting forest fires from a long way off.
I’ve got a computer for a watchtower and a moat
and if I can see any folly in your madness
that passes for the grailquest of a loyal clown
I’ll lower the drawbridge of my lap top
and show you where to stable your horse.

It’s freedom itself to drift like the sport chute
of a dandelion with a flightpath of smoke
away from the thermals of the canyon walls
of an abyss that’s as open and closed as
a tight-lipped door with no expectations of
greeting my alienation like a threshold that means well

and even the silence doesn’t care if you’re listening or not
to every thought that crosses the moon
like a Canada goose that empties the urns of the dead
at midnight, the echo of an ancient pathos in its voice
even on its return journey to pick up
another payload of solitude like a hearse.
There’s no doubt daylight’s kinder to love
than most nights are because there’s less magic
in its prosaic approach to metaphors that only
glow in the dark like the shadows of strangers
in the niches of sacred doorways slightly left ajar
like a black star saving its last ray of enlightenment
before it goes out nirvanically to see better
in the eclipse of the mirror that nothing can be recognized
for what it is until it’s looking through your eyes
as if you didn’t have an identity of your own
but you were still willing to share your absence with them
like a well-thumbed starmap and a telescope
that occasionally weeps to wash the accumulation of stardust
off its lens for clarity’s sake on a seeing-eye night.

Down by the broken phalanxes of the cattails,
their pale ochre almost a shade of moonlight
on the broken lances of an old war gone long in the tooth
like the shell holes of biopic cannoneers sighting their guns
on the British fleet in the harbour of Toulon
and a sea of lunar tranquillity nothing disturbs for long
except the odd wolf nosing around for muskrat,
the willows waltzing with the wind like ladies in waiting
in the most vernal of their ballroom gowns
under the chandeliers of the stars to the music
of a river in passing like a mindstream retreating through time.

Funny what comes to you when you’re dreaming awake
on a late Sunday afternoon in a small town
that’s going on around you like circuitous ants
in the pheromonic labyrinths of the water-logged grass
greening their prospects of pillaging the larvae
of dragonflies that spend most of their lives as nymphs,
hand-picked by the sparrows like krill from the grills
of parked cars beached like baleen whales on hot asphalt.




I’ve been a strong rope and I’ve been
a million weak threads. I’m waiting
for something green and vital to take root
in my starmud, but I’m oozing eclipses
like the La Brea Tarpit and there’s
the white swan of the moon in the window
across the street swimming through asphalt
and liquid bitumen like a chimney sweep.

Underpainting in. I’m labouring. It will
do for the night. No point trying to put
horseshoes on the muse when she’s digging
her spurs into your side as if you were her ride
for the night. Let’s go anywhere. I want
to step out of the light for awhile and forget
that I exist to witness myself struggling to live,
always wrestling with the next angel in the way,
looking for something illuminating in every defeat
just so I don’t waste that much pain on nothing
like a sugar maple being garotted by its own tree rings.

The silence of the town is peopled by ghosts
that feel like dead air when they gust against your skin
to let you know they’re still there as they’ve always been.
Clear night, but the darkness hums to its own madness
like a hermit thrush, and love numbs the heart
to protect it from worst to come. I was struck
in the throat looking for an antidote to myself.

Even when they’re defining things words are
perpetually expressive of the writing between the lines
of a vicarious human nature that doesn’t know how
to stand up to itself without hurting its own feelings.
Every step I take I’m bridging an abyss like a waterclock.
I pour the waters of life back and toward me
into the emptiness as a sign of uncontaminated respect
for the mindstream I drank them from. I’ve long
been a mirage of starmaps trying to fix by parallax
where the radiant of the light, in terms of tracing back
all these meteors and fireflies of insight to the source
they originate from is, if it isn’t non-existence itself.

The traffic lights must feel as useful as I do this time of night.
Red, yellow, green, they should try mixing
their palette up a bit and start adding a few more
complementary greys to the nature of their outlook
upon life. Hard to distance yourself aerially with the blues
when you’re always in the foreground of your own face
up close and intimate as primary colours
in their second innocence. Green, yellow, red,
like an apple ripening thousands of nights and days
without ever falling from the bough. No windfalls
of low hanging fruit there. The sun ignores the dusk
that has come upon it as if the sky were full of crows
pecking at the eyes of a fox on the run until it’s dead.

Night and blood. Blind before the rose. Is it
prophetic? A big life in a little death or the other
way around? Am I drinking from my skull, down
to the embryonic lees of a stillborn afterlife among
the enlightened who sometimes water the wine down
with vinegar just to rinse the taste of a miscarriage
out of their hearts, or do these mirages of black matter
sing and dance in their own desert starfields
as if there were a watershed the moon could drown in
like a nightsea of awareness in the heart
of a drunk poet reflecting on the hard beauty
of a forsaken life devoted to the unattainable truth
of knowing whether it was worth it or not, somewhere nearby.