Saturday, July 13, 2013



If only I could remember you as you were
for a few, brief radiant moments as indelible
as light in space and not as time would have it
the way things have changed. To see you
lingering in the doorway on a winter night,
the snow lying lightly on your hair like the Pleiades
over your shoulder descending below the treeline
as if it knew more about saying good-bye than you did,
and o how I loved you for it. If only I could
remember that lonely ghost of a mirage
that hovered over the watershed of your tears
and looked at me like the first lifeboat
you’d seen in a thousand years respond
to your s.o.s. in a hourglass. If only I could remember
the fragrance of the summer rain on your skin
as if it had mistaken you for one of the flowers
and how I used to like wiping your tears away
with my opposable thumb like plum blossoms from your cheeks.

Eternity coming to the surface of time
like old corduroy roads and bones in a makeshift graveyard.
Not likely I’ll ever see you again in this life
but if only I could remember you before circumstance
underwhelmed itself and killed the ambiance
of our last dance by turning all the lights on at once.

But there you go, no help for it. The nightbird
transits the moon and the eternal sky as is said in Zen
doesn’t inhibit the flight of the white clouds.
And this moment, too, though it’s endured
a thousand deaths to come to this afterlife,
always saying good-bye to some aspect of you
that symbolizes the evanescence of love and life
in metaphors that buff the open wound
like scar tissue on the moon, like fireflies
welding living insights into the dead brain coral
of this encyclopedic coma life
can sometimes seem without you, even after
all these ensuing misadventures it would take a fire
and half a dozen bottles of wine to tell you about
if only I could remember you as you once were
like the lamb that laid down with the lion without fear.

For light years, images of you have flashed out of the abyss
as sharp and quick and vital as moonlight
wielding a sabre, or a bird quickened by a purpose
out of the unknown into the unknown
and I recognize them as blossoms that have blown
far from the tree that was lovelier
than the whole orchard to me, though angels
attended upon it like scripture from its roots to its leaves,
you were the locust tree with your demonic thorns
I wanted to tear my heart on like a rag of blood
on the galactic razorwire that encircled your heart
like a storm of dark matter with unlimited potential
for creative destruction that got the light out of the way
long enough for us to see what glowed behind it.
If only I could remember you as you were
when we both made eye-contact with each other
like exo-planets in the void, and understood spontaneously
it wasn’t going to take much of a wavelength
for either of us to understand this immediately
as if we could read each other’s shadows like Mayan calendars.

Water hemlock, wild parsnip, sometimes
the memories scald like volcanic dew on bare skin,
but seldom have I ever regretted
that I lived through you for awhile,
when the stars raged in my heart like a madman
obsessed by the crazy wisdom of a woman
who had the wingspan of a bow on a bent event horizon
but knew enough about compassion
to push the burning arrow of my fascination with her
all the way through like a blood sacrifice to love and life
and the mystery that moved in the darkness up ahead
like the fork in the road that separated us,
like a wishbone that had granted all it had to give.

How tenderly painful the brevity of what
we actually relive again as if some moments in life
are illuminated by a different light than that
we read by in bed late into the night
looking for translucency in the windows of insight
that keep on opening their eyes in this recurrent dream
like the black waterlilies of new moons coming into bloom.




Restless with the dead tonight.
Old friends, the gates to abandoned farms,
the roof collapsed and the wind with access
to all their windows, overgrown roads
going nowhere I can walk with them now.
Blue-green the evening sky, still,
without direction, island clouds, but unmoving.
Sparse beginnings, and sorrow in the seed.

Relying on the stars to do for me
what I can’t do for myself. Pull me out
of this black hole I keep slipping in and out of
on the rim of my event horizon, stray photons,
butterflies ducking in and out of the dragon’s mouth,
a halo of X-rays looking brutally right through me.
Down to the musical instruments of my bones.
Flutes and drumsticks. But I’m void-bound,
trying to shed my skin like a chronic illusion,
liberate the chains I can feel but can’t see,
numbed by having to say no
when all I want to do is say yes
over and over again to the picture-music
to the themes, the hints, the clues, the nuances,
the radiance, sorrow and horror of the mystery
wherever it leads, whatever occurs,
be so fully here, I don’t exist, not even
as a witness, and be nothing but the listening.

I suffer crucial impasses of circumstance.
My heart is blocked, the way isn’t clear.
The emptiness is leaner than usual, longer
than a plague of Egypt living up to a penurious dream.
Third eye of the hurricane slowly closing.
My friends at the end of a tunnel of light.
Reptilian as a camera shutter. I howl
for stars and fireflies, the accoutrements of my bliss
and the pleasure I take in the hidden harmonies
of my drifting, my circuitous blossoming.
Someone is using my skull for a door stop.

Too grounded by the shadows of the impending,
Even here by the river, the sound of distant trucks,
the occasional train bemoaning its way through the dark.
Snakes out hunting the frogs, slide and splash
back into the lake at my approach, estranged enemy,
walking in my place, face covered with ashes
of a man-shaped urn that’s avoided me for a while.
The way I like to live. Overlooked by the world.
Unregarded. Obliviously free to disappear
without worrying about what I’m coming back to
or who’ll be waiting for me when I do
to tell me while the idiocy of this languor
has got its hands on my throat, I should learn
to get a grip on myself, eat the pain, swallow the bilge,
live like a bear nibbling on the edges of a garbage dump,
give up this discipline of doing nothing
as if mere being were a form of worship
though to what is anyone’s guess and why
is just the nature of the mind reveling in itself
the way the stars make me guess their names
peering through the crowns of the trees,
dissociated from the features of their mythologem.

Time with their lifemasks off to be uncontained.
To go mad and not be held to account for it
because it doesn’t excite the attention of the crowd
when you’re unattainably available to live
as if your eyes were the way the stars touched you in tears
to see how the light labours for its flowering in you.
Thought-moments and light years bringing news
of friends from the past, bats and owls
flashing through the inadvertent moonlight,
the whole of existence in every locket of my cells,
freedom born, creatively, with a starmap for a genome.