Tuesday, July 2, 2013



You, my house of burning thresholds, come
to me written on the breath of urgent windows,
and the palms of the walls that want their fortunes read, come
with palettes and kittens and your blue notebook of poems
that grows through ages of skin and mushroom kisses
on the forest floors of your flesh, the bracken spume
of the fountain that pebbles its tears in the light,
and the thoughtful rocks with moss-covered shoulders.

Come like a spoon that sips from the heart
and your blood a riot of sea roses, pink and green,
and the black ashes of the eyes of your secrets
and the locks on the loveletters you wrote on the wind
and I will bury my boat in the waves of your mind,
and be your ghost forever, and live as if I were blind.

There are poppies in your paintbrushes, cherries, wine,
earlobes of blue, and the tongues of mute tattoos
that have pierced your body with sad revelations
of the lives that you leave behind, all the simple journeys
that unravel the keys of the mystery in the dark inks
of another face, another crime, dead trains in the tunnels
caught like words in the throat of a mountain
that forgot what it meant to say, the long, mourning sentences
that carry you away from life to life in the arms of today,
and the bells and the lanterns that swing like fruit
in the lonely midnight stations flowering under their names.

Bring me your love, your art, your wounded past,
your wardrobe of rainbows and scars, and the chaste rings
that chain your body like a planet with mutable orbits
to the vast freedoms of stars in the rain, all the comets
you could never explain to the skies you riddled from blue,
and all the men you’ve married under the fallen bridges
of final farewells. Come in the hour of thieves, in darkness
with your windows open, and the ladders we’ll never climb down,
from our islands in the clouds that call like whales across the moon.

And there are laments we can only say in echoes, in valleys,
in the loose threads of the stream, huge shadowing sorrows
that walk like clocks through our dreams, looking again
for faces in the window that passed their orchards in pain;
looking for tomorrows in the way they came in the night
to a doorway at the top of the stairs, that once was theirs.

There are reasons in the blood that we loose like gloves
and seasons and departures, exits and arrivals
that brave the coming and the going with maps and graves
that lead us each like bees to the heart’s destinations.
Let love guide you through the labyrinths and maze
and putting on wings feathered from the fires of sad silvers
that fall away like water and stars from the herons of our rising,
fly from the old reflections of the mirrors at your feet
out of your face of lilies and fish into a deeper darkness
that waits like a man on a bus with a vase, beside an empty seat.




I see you in the eyes of the rain
and in the broken aspirations of the swallow
that hit the windowpane dead on.
Fire that no longer burns.
Water that no longer drowns.
Earth that no longer receives.
A gust of air that no one breathes.

I see you in the tender, green tendrils
of the wild grapevines clinging to life
like the last plank of a shipwrecked lifeboat
washed up on the shore of the moon.
The most bitter farewells are those
compelled by understanding
to cry a little in the open doorway
and leave as if there were nothing more to say.

Words lightyears beyond communication.
Metaphors like burning bridges
that never quite make it to the other side.
And o how gentle an eclipse comes
to a lover’s coltish eyes
when it’s time to say good-bye
and if you’re a bad man, it’s revenge,
and if you’re good, it’s a sacrifice.

Good-bye, get out, be gone,
I’ll live on in my palace of lonely windows
like a man with class in an hourglass
and I’ll write faceless songs
to the passage of time as autumn approaches.

Leave me now to the pain
I must wrestle with alone
like an angel in my way
that knows I don’t have what it takes
to pull up stakes like a heretic
before I burn for the mistakes I made
on your invigilated test of love.

Once I feel like a loser again
I know I’m at home with myself
and I can feel the clouds laughing in tears
as I get around like rain.
I loved your body like a wishing well.
You loved my brain like an occult spell.

Three afterlives of a star, once you left me
holding the medicine bag of your absence,
I named a desolate street after you
like some kind of municipal gift
to the run down ghetto of a sub-prime heart.

My pain is consoled by my art
like a weather vane is comforted by the weather.
I ghost write the lyrics of the storm.
I incite riots against the norm.
I blood my poems like spearheads
in a wound that never scars the moon.

I shall be the nightwatchman
who makes the rounds of the zodiac
inspecting doors and windows
that are steadfastly closed to him
like lilies in the festering gene pools
of the idle rich in their bridal tents
spawning into money like goldfish.

I shall be an eagle at the extremity
of my wingspan and soar over the smoke
of burning cities like a cinder of freedom
in the eye of a failed revolution
and I will not lament my own extinction
when my starmud settles like a constellation
into the hearsay of bloodshot mirrors.

I will linger in precipitous heights
then shriek like the paper airplane of a poem
down on some bumptious homing pigeon
that was promised a comfortable flight
from here to there, until it was
snatched from the air like a pillow fight.

I will do this because I can feel the glee
of my talons sinking into hypocrisy
like the three crescents of the moon
with an eyrie full of skeletal snakes
that look like a pit full of twisted combs
without any meat on their bones.

Liars convince. Communicators convey.
It isn’t what I say. It’s the way I say it
that makes all the difference to the meaning
that tones me like a moody chameleon
resonating with a tuning fork of colour
that flickers like a photo-op of lightning
trying to get a glimpse of itself in the mirror.

And then I’m an illiterate divinity student
with a heart as big as an orphanage
full of baffled pilgrims that have lost their way
crutching through the labyrinths of the divine
on a cross that walks them to the end of the line
like the rapture of an apocalyptic anti-climax.

I talk to God about you and she talks back
like a comprehensive alibi for the way things are.
She’s got a scar as big as the smile
on the dark side of her face she keeps
turned away from me like an embarassed moon
she doesn’t want to reveal to anyone.
But I can see it in the rear view mirror
of my infernal lucidity leading me away from her
like an atomic Sufi reversing my spin
in the charged particle field of my happy sin.

I walk on the wild side in cowboy boots
in a truce with the shadows of Zen
that says a great general may establish peace
but that doesn’t mean he gets to enjoy it.
And I’m resigned to the sternness of my discipline
like salt to the earth, like a sail to the wind,
like a ferocious heart to a gentle mind.