EVEN HARMLESS AS DAY OLD PORRIDGE
Even as harmless as day old porridge no guarantee
of safety anymore, ducking down behind your anonymity
as if the one trick evolution gave you was being overlooked.
Big Brother is here, and it isn’t as if we didn’t
see him coming from a long way off. Reproach
the lighthouses. Swear you’ll keep your highbeams on.
Fall back on believing that sooner or later
everything’s that’s broken now will be amended then.
Comes the Cambrian again to the nexus
of that one atomically-timed moment
when predators acquired eyes and the prey
started armour plating their soft-bodied exposure to life
with oracular exo-skeletons like the cracks
in heated tortoise-shells. Axonic razor-wire
like a crown of thorns on the foreheads of the martyred rich.
Siege skull with a mouth for a drawbridge
it isn’t wisdom to open within hearing
of nano-tech houseflies cruising in squadrons,
observatory eyes slashed open a crack
like a paper cut envelope on a return loveletter
to look at the stars looking back from the other side
of a keyhole that looks like it was made by a bullet.
The darkest, the most exacting. Those whose playbooks
would make indifference seem like a homey word,
and you, just another example of a finely honed
stereotype grazing on your own mirages
in the climate-controlled Sahara desert
in a water-winged hourglass with nothing to drink to
like a shopping mall where the consumer is consumed
in a single gulp of greed. The snake swallows the frog.
Everybody expects to be cheated by their own birthday party.
That’s not honey in the hive. That’s a pinata
of killer bees. Who doesn’t feel swarmed?
Polarized. The laser beams copy writing rainbows
as corporate logos, lobbyists and lawyers worming
like loopholes in the misty covenant of peace
that will follow in the wake of global warming
from sea to shining sea, from Los Angeles,
o city of drowned angels, to the East Coast.
Can you teach a ghost to swim? The earth
redresses the Tao of our conditioned extremes.
Chaos swings its pendulum by the neck
in the secret rendition of a third-world dungeon.
Psychotic shadows of the curious inquisitors
burning the eyes of a telescope out
in the Court of the Star Chamber because
no one puts any credibility in the whisper
of the truth anymore unless it’s shrieking.
Spiders at the loom of the news weaving their nets
into the tapestry of the truth like prayer rugs
and flying carpets over New York in a new sci fi movie
about tourists caught off guard, sight-seeing
the garbage cans of the have-nots in the slums
and favelas of the Land of the Narcotized Dead
floating face down in the lotus garden of their toilet bowls,
or waiting for the bus, on a winter morning, to go clean
somebody else’s house of life without welcome mat of your own.
Paradigms of precisely organized atavistic insects
dressed like heavily eclipsed swat teams of robotic ants
to keep the collateral damage of the helots, the aphids,
the kamikaze heretics that prefer suicide to murder in line
with the corporate foodchain of their modified dna.
And look more like the movie for dramatic effect.
In the biogenetic labs of the alchemical farmers
flowers that were just following orders are on trial
for genocidal war crimes against the bees. Dead fish
on the shoreline of your doorstep after the oilspill
gave its word it would never happen again and again and again
like a skidmark on the dirty laundry of the earth.
Privatized slavers buying prisoners wholesale
like the children of the Visigoths for a little dog meat.
Shoot first. Then ask endless inquiries later
to keep the rest of us informed about what’s happening
to the innocent. Democratic window dressing
hung like garlands of laurel over the sacrificial manneqins
posing in front of the Lincoln Memorial to have
their pictures taken by the NSA. before they cut
the throat of their bullshit like a religious offering
to propitiate the compromised supremacy
of a human bill of rights to a televised prosecution.
Isn’t it so? Or are you still looking into the third eye
of a security camera in your bedroom, calling it
enlightenment though it replays like a snuff film
of serial killers on a red carpet at a cinematic festival
celebrating the loveless obscenity of our prime time inhumanity
to those we’re insulated from by our reality shows?
All the glossy junkmail of the news. Your political views
sponsored by feudal coalitions for a baronial charter
of divine rights against the Peasant’s Revolt.
Monsanto just bought Blackwater. Here come
the Chinese warlords. Black ops for fracking rights
and genetically engineered popcorn for all of Africa.
It takes a lot less than having your picture taken today
to have your soul stolen for good. The stars demoted,
the gods are spy satellites. Smile, you’re on Candid Camera.
Pyramidal hard drives in a desert of data resurrected
like a conspiracy theory about whistleblowing graverobbers
taking a short cut through the afterlife of a cemetery in the dark.
Be sure. Be sure. There will come an end to all of this.
Chaos out of conformative order. Messed up lives
dismembering their childhoods like celebrity voodoo dolls
in psychic theatres of the inane and absurd. Citizen Kane
and Lavrentiy Beria dating the same movie stars.
The scars on the face of the earth caught in a hurricane rose
of razorblades will heal like the shapeshifting cartography
of climate change and lakes in the wake of the storm
will open the eyes of the Sahara again to the water-gardens
of new mirages getting ready to bloom. Doom has its day
and then ends up as homeless as the rest of us
seeking shelter in the shadows of its paranoid rage.
The people are impoverished. The people are bullied and sad.
Repression. Depression. Aggression. The sewers
are roiled by the savage indignation of the bad
coming to the surface of consciousness like snapping turtles
buried in the muck of their starmud, slowly arising
like the moon out of a nightmare it’s wholly possessed by
to redress the sidereal pretentiousness of trumpeter swans.
As below. So above. Eventually. Beware the rage of the mob.
It kills without the imperial niceties of rank and distinction
like the protocol of a furious abattoir looking for signs
of its revolutionary historicity in the Sybilline Books of its blood spatter.
Civis Romanus. Cannon fodder Goths slaughtering Dacians
under the aviary of eagles on behalf of six Mafia families
fighting turf wars all over the known world like Halliburton
and Exxon to get their hands on the silvermines of Moesia,
the black camels of oil in Iraq just like the Wall Street gangs
of New York, promising illegal immigrants hunting, happiness
and home, access to a profiteering cure all for firebombing
incidental villages without hospitals like the ones they came from.
To live palatially in a place and time where you can
grow fat off the garbage of Toronto while
twenty-five million kids a year in a civilization
based on agriculture are mummified alive by starvation.
What to do? Take your fingertips off the keyboard.
Touch a rock, the skin of a lover, a baby’s hair.
Pierce the earlobe of a rose with its own thorn
and hang jewellery you made yourself
like chandeliers of rain and stars as a drop of blood
pearls like a berry of paint from the wound.
Keep the same attitude toward life as oxygen.
Break loves and fishes, if and when you can,
and throw a little salt of the earth of Mother Russia
over your left shoulder on them, and if
sometimes you have to eat bitter, black bread,
throw a little jam on it and pretend it’s
a kind of surrealistic dessert. Common sense, yes,
just enough to get by on, but rely upon your imagination
to show you a back road deeper into the woods
where you were at your most lost the last time,
when all those tears like a flashflood in a mindstream
levelled out like water seeking its own equilibrium
and you saw all those strange constellations
waiting to be named, reflected in the lowest of places.
Remain human, if only counter-intuitively.
Celebrate what’s approximate about you, rounded off,
and how wonderful it is when you put it up beside death
to second-guess what your neighbour means
by nodding your head as if you were dorning
at the Wailing Wall. Remember, arrayed as it is,
illusion too is enlightenment but don’t squint
too long into the sun or fixate on an eclipse
through a glass darkly. Compassion without reason
is wisdom. Reason without compassion
is the antic of a vindictive clown. Blood
your abstractions. Ideologies are black spots
on your heart. What’s that compared to the starmaps
you’re charting as you go along with the wind
and the sea along the coast of your own shining,
and sometimes, deep fjords where the knife went deep
into the heart of the continent. Weep when you need to,
one of the stations of your human divinity,
and when you get to the part where you laugh out loud,
buy a dove on the black market and set it free.
You’ll enlarge the sky you’re walking under that way.
Seek, but know the seeking itself is walking
in your footsteps, finding signs of you everywhere,
and when you do find something intriguing
share it. And let there be parity between your eyes
and the stars they’re getting high on, mindful
that tomorrow’s already been achieved before
the light reveals it. That what you perceive
isn’t idle reflection, or the eccentric delirium
of a dust devil wheeling at a crossroads in a desert
to see if it can dance like a Sufi, Allaho, Allaho, Allaho,
but the whole of creation itself collaborating with
your body and your mind, to see what you make of it all
when it looks through your eyes opening
on a clear mountaintop with a view of the valley below
like the prophetic skull of an observatory
gazing at the splendour of the sidereal insights
on one of the great seeing nights into human nature.
From quantum to quark, life is the substance of revelation,
not concealment, It’s got its Burgess Shales,
its Conservation of Data Principles, its black holes
and bad imitators like hydra-headed hard drives that lose
the singularity, the mystic specificity of things
like the tree of knowledge in a labyrinthine forest
that leaves them as disoriented as the north pole
in a haystack of compass needles rendered trivial
as the eyelashes of the visionary evergreens
seeding the fires of life with the incendiary urns
and ash eating furnaces of the green dragons
resting for the moment in the pagodas of the pinecones
like the crumb of a dream in the corner of an eye
blooming in the flames like the return of wildflowers,
to the burnt lands of a renewable mindscape,
coming up with new creation myths
as if we were giving names, like elders
of the Ojibway at the birth of the multiverse
in the life-mask of a child, names to the stars
like fireweed and raspberries, the perennial ephemerids
that wink like fireflies at eternity as if
a blind eye into the future could see as far
into the abyss as a Cyclops, or a one-eyed liar can
with the petrified cinder of an old growth forest
driven like a silver stake of moonlight
through the heart of a vampire caught red-handed
at a bloodbank for low albedos listening
to the audiotapes of billions of nano mosquitoes
coming to get their blood lines back, bro,
because the lowest in the foodchain always eats first.
Virgo, still a virgin in the brothels of the temple
Love with a passion whomever, whatever, whenever
you’re inspired to, wholly dispossess yourself
like a bat from a burdock, a lucky star
from the flypaper of your unwieldly attachments,
and run your hands through the goldmines
of this harvest of light rooted in the darkness
with every stalk of wheat you sow like an arrow
that already found the bull’s-eye long before
anyone were targeted by hallucinogenic missionaries
burning the libraries of Alexandria and the Incas.
Lord, spare me the deathblows of my enemies, but beat off
my apparitional friends with the jawbone of an ass
and wholly save me like a gnostic parchment of human genomes
from the assassin behind the door trying to save me from myself.
Let me fall asleep in an oracular cave somewhere
among the echoes of my poems and the afterlife
of my paintings done in red ochre for blood,
and the experienced fires of life for indelible charcoal,
and when I wake up like a dream figure in the shadows
not let me know when, why, how, or where.
Just let me marvel in wonder I’m transmorphically here at all
listening to the stars whispering to me in my own voice.