Tuesday, June 25, 2013



I can feel the skin peeling off me like old paint
around this windowframe I’ve pictured myself
standing in for the last two years like an astronomer
at the shallow end of a lens, or a water snake
shedding another ghost of what’s it’s grown out of
and leaves like a windsock to any passing breeze
that thinks it’s got the moves or the requisite serpent fire
to fit it. For me it was always a nightsky too tight.

A cellophane straitjacket, larva in a chrysalis
who thought the wingspan of dragonflies to come
were like man, the measure of all things. I’ve
been trying to step out of myself like a star-nosed mole
at the end of a black hole that’s turned the feathers of the crow
back to white like the fountainhead of a whole new universe
moving on like a waterclock from the empty bucket wish
of this one on its deathbed spiralling down like a kamikaze dove
that had been shot down in the flames of a spiritual fire
that burned like a dragon on the pyre of its own ashes.

I went looking for the holy grail, even it be
I had to drink the waters of life from my own prophetic skull,
or my eyes ran down my cheeks in sacred tears
of the most indescribable bliss of being lost
without hope of rescue on the vast nightsea of my awareness.

There was no beginning or end of things, nothing
as far as the eye could see, not an archipelago
of spiral galaxies washed up on a deserted beach
like a nautical starmap of sea stars that strayed
too far off the path like a Milky Way of fireflies
who are wise enough to know you have to keep
jumping orbitals like tree rings all the time if you
want to release the photons of spring, and, and, and
like the co-ordinate conjunctions of the rain
dropping from the eaves, I ended up here on the nightwatch
bailing the sea out my lifeboat with an urn
as full and round as the skull of the supermoon
reflected in the eyes of all these unread windowpanes.

Here’s as good as anywhere yesterday lingers
and tomorrow takes its time like an old growth forest.
I don’t drink, so I never have to pass the time
feeling hollow and empty as a gas can looking for a refill
to get back on a road that ran out on you
like a wife and kids that have had enough
of living in a ditch for the sake of love delayed.
In my work, I seek a greater intimacy with words
than merely inking my fingerprints
like labyrinthine firepits in the snow for the record.
I want people to listen to the roar of the oceans
in the rosey seashells of their own inner ears
when the wind is tinting the silver, Russian olives
like the patina of an alloy of copper and moonlight
as if the most expansive visions of life hid
in the mystic details of how to paint the picture-music
implicit in all this like shapeshifters bingeing on the light.

I’ve deepened my understanding over the lightyears
until I’ve lost sight of what I’m doing or why,
and it may be arrogance to pursue this kind
of earthly excellence long after you’re counter-intuitively sure
your eyes have returned to the sea like two waterbirds
evaporating into the aerial blue of the distance
like hidden muses in this dream of life
that cries out in its sleep as if it were drowning
like a lighthouse off the coasts of its own poetic consciousness.

Happy with the divinity of the image we were
born into or not, false idols of creator-gods and goddesses
shaping the starmud of their universe on the wheel
of life and death, and after it’s been fired
in a kiln of stars, and it’s been cooled like the clay
of the flesh in the tears that temper our passions,
return it to the source like a sword drawn from stone,
shrugging the world off our shoulders along the roadside back,
as we mutter some reflexive mantra under our breath
about how, at the least, we tried and tried and tried
as if that were some kind of sign that things were good enough.

Taking big steps for humankind on the moon
or getting up on your own two feet for the very first time
like a bipedal unicycle with a gyroscopic sense of balance
in a gravity free atmosphere has always been as much
the aspiration of the wrong stuff that weighs you down
as much as the right that ballasts your buoyancy
or a god-particle that tweaks your mass by passing
right through you like the contrail of a hadron collider
annihilating the positive spin of the English
you put on the cue ball to take a long shot
at sinking the solid in the sidepockets of the real.

You can think about it all you want, but thinking
is just the life of a flute wondering where the music
comes from that passes through it like a breath of light
appearing like the Pleiades on a windowpane late at night.
Thought falls like the shadows of things in print
across our paths from one margin to the next
like silver-tongued ploughshares yoked to the necks
of two white oxen gouging boustrophedons
like labyrinthine crop circles into the innocence
of our starmud. But where’s the seed, where
are the magic beans, where are the weeds
and the wildflowers the stars envy for their beauty?

Art is deaf, dumb, mute and blind as a starmap of Braille
in the eyes of those who’ve conditioned their eyes
to perpetually looking for the grails of their skulls
that are as lost as they are in the world as if
to find something they were happy with
put a stop to their minds and filled their mouths with silence.
Out of the dark, a vague prompting in the nebular heart
and things start shining of their own accord,
when the solid and the real merge like diamonds
in the waters of life translucent as the music
of bird-bone flutes that have gone on playing like dawn
in the graves of Archaic Indians lying by the Strait of Belle Isle.




While the great blue agency whales sift us
like the metadata of krill through their baleen wiretaps,
and the rainbow in the iris of my eye is identified
like a fingerprint grown suspicious of its own reflection,
and it dawns on me there’s somebody else out there
that wants to know who I am as badly as I do,
I just want to disappear like an albino crow
in the snow for awhile, go mystically snowblind
in the blazing of a billion diamonds on a nightcreek
exploring its way through the woods like a tributary
of the Via Galactica, that milky road of ghosts.

The life of a fish is conditioned by the quality
of the water it swims in, same as any medium,
We’re either a loveletter to a stranger down river
or a message in a bottle pleading for rescue from ourselves
bobbing along the mindstream like the prophetic skull
of the image we used to entertain of a self.

By their fruits ye shall know them was always
good advice, but just as do unto others
as you would have them do unto you mutated
into do unto others before they do it unto you,
tonight, looking straight into the third eye
of a spy satellite that’s been following me
disguised as Spica flickering through the trees,
I say it out loud, without popping my ps,
if things don’t get worse, and they will, of course,
history is going to look back upon us and ask
who we were, and all we’re going to be able to answer
is a collection of laminated deathmasks in a wax museum
as we slowly forgot what our living faces
looked like to one another once. The silence.

The Wonder. The mystic shadows that we cast
like Venus on a moonless winter night,
the crowsfeet around our silver eyes like laughlines
cracking the mirror up like an ice storm
when we feel it’s all been one long, endless joke
at our own expense, and herein lies wisdom.

Neither nostalgic for an old-fashioned kind of ignorance,
nor enlightened by the eugenic photo-shops of the orthodox,
miasmic as I am, evanescently veiled by the solar flares
of my own unique insight into the feminine atmospheres
of whatever right-brained planets and moons
I happen to be orbiting at the time, imprecisely
focused as I am on my peripheral vision
of the mystic specifics of these retroactive flashbacks
of future memories without the precedent of a prophetic past,
I resist being fossilized prematurely in the Burgess Shales
in some Cambrian sea floor of a corporate data bank
as if I were being forensically interred for eternity
like Opabinia or Pikaia, or some remnant fingerprint
of a sacred syllable that once lived its life
like a prayer in progress albeit whispered under its breath
in the accent of a dead language, a hierogylphic
on the hard drives of whomever’s listening in.

Some people were born into the open enough
to express life. Covert others merely to overhear it
like shadows keeping an eye on the light that cast them down
they’ve dedicated their lies to spying on like spin-doctors
looking for the disease in the heart of the cure.

Ask any fanatic. Certainty is the mother of doubt.
The one returns to the many, and the absolutes
grow relative as paranoid second cousins.
There are ferocious, predatory octagonal buildings
that have developed new sensory receptacles
to archive the asylum of junkmail that constitutes
human consciousness like an ip address for a seance
into espionage in an era that doesn’t even trust the dead.

Or as the Zen master said, just look at the extreme chaos
of conditioned consciousness. The more
you listen in the louder we can hear the silence
of what it is you won’t come out and say
like an echo in the labyrinth of that seashell
you hold up to your ear like a hearing aid
trying to record everything the ocean says
like the sonic bells and whistles of nuclear whales
under the Arctic ice-caps thawing out
like a northwest passage through the cataracts
of a global warning not to wear rose-coloured contacts
when you’re pearl diving for new moons among the corals.

Best place to hide is out in the open. So, come on,
take a look. My life is an open book skimming
my thought waves like a kingfisher on a halcyon sea
of oceanic awareness after the Titanic went down.
You can board my brain like a shipwreck
at the bottom of the Burgess Shales. And you can tell
which way the wind is blowing by the lack of my sails.
Somewhere in this abyss of water you’re bound
to come across the eyes you want to look into
as if you were doing a spectroscopic analysis of my tears,
and it were compassion to wipe them away
like a swab of dna red shifting into the longer wavelengths
of extinctions to come that will make
the most infamous eclipse on the worst day
of the Middle ages pale like a new moon by comparison.

It only takes one mood ring of a chameleonic shapeshifter
to bring out the lion in a lizard, and fill the wax museum
with the Mayan ruins of itself. In the slightest of interactions
the compendious motion of an entire universe
past, present, and wondering what’s to come of it
as the stars get further apart like constellations
on a mythically inflated unbounded balloon of a universe.

Who’s going to be left to talk to like another neuron
along your axonic way, as you listen to what they have
to say about having covert access to everybody’s lies
when you’re virtually trapped in your own hydra-headed server
like the straitjacket of an expert who’s heard it all before
bottom-feeding like a microphone on the fossils
of who we were zodiacs ago when life went crazy
as a genius in an arms war of the senses and things
were revealed without confession or innocence
like Hox genes deciding where to place our eyes
on both sides of the great divide of our noses
wiring security cameras in the hairs of our nostrils
as the watchers watch to see who’s looking at them
instead of breaking genetically modified bread
with the hysterically distracted circus mob calling for the blood
of martyred lions burning in the manes of their own
solar coronas glowing brighter than the dark haloes
of the black holes in the conservation of data principle
the darker it gets like a blindfold in front of a firing squad
when the light turns around like a double agent on itself.