Monday, September 9, 2013



Never make a goal of your destiny, a chore
of your happiness, a precedent of your originality.
The night air is querulous. The full moon
harvests its perishing. Time wanders in a fog
of flagellant willows trying to blood the abstractions
of a teenage philosopher fallen out of love
with the river she questions like a way of life.

Hick town drunks holler ubiquitous obscenities
out of the open windows of their vehicular
boom boom boxes cruising the streets for meat
with a pulse trying to relate the wavelengths
of a watersnake like a delayed lightning strike
in tight jeans dancing to the music of thunderous toads.

Come the false dawn like the dead pallor of grey skin
shed the morning after as if the anti-climactic apocalypse of lust
had fizzled out like a wet firecracker grown ashamed
of its own nakedness in the more vulnerable light of day,
and every virgin it saw after that, pimples on the ass
of a goddess, it called a slut, as if it had carnal knowledge
of what it was talking about, like blood on the sheets,
dogs in heat on the sexually frustrated streets
of a small town that changes partners like a square dance
every spring and autumn, as a distraction from the boredom
of laying heritage brick at the glazed gates of Babylon.
Little Red Riding Hood follows the bush wolves
into the woods like a scarlet letter at a witch burning
and everybody’s saddened by her lack of experience.

The waterwheels don’t turn anymore now the gears
of its teeth are seized like lockjaw, and the stairwells
to paradise in the flesh are helical as Sisyphus
listening to the recoil of his dna in the distance
start another avalanche of starmud to keep him
from being buried alive in a crossfire
of ricocheting gravestones milling more chaff
than grain like asteroids trying to make a big impact
on the eternal recurrence of evolution returning
to its hometown from a curative year in Toronto
like the first to abandon the farm to the barn owls.

Everybody’s trying to heal the nostalgic panaceas
that afflict them by applying leeches to their heart
like wet leaves to the forest floor of an old growth book,
or the stick-on stigmata of scar tissue that bleeds them
like the warning on the wall spelled out in the pedestrian kells
of wounded fridge magnets talking among themselves
like the logos of post-modernist oracles growing corpulent.

Despair is the fuel and fire of love in the house of life
when the whole planet’s burning at the stake we prepared for it
like a pyre of crutches and flying buttresses we needed
like a ribcage to stand up on our own two feet again
after being knocked down like a nosebleed that wouldn’t
turn the other cheek like the face of the moon
that would rather stare out into the abyss than
turn around and take a good look at us and what we’ve done,
and unrepentantly, how we look for the algorithms
of the grail that will green the ailing kingdom
without intending to fix it. So the exits are blocked
and no one has the strength, even on the inside,
to roll the shepherd moons and asteroids away from the entrance.

Every beginning has an oceanic notion of where it ends.
And in the interim, nothing but the desperate gestures
of drowning men and women watching reruns
of their lives flash before them like sunspots on a firefly.
Despair of the radioactive ashes in the hearth
of the nuclear family with solar systems in its ancestry
like a broken circle of prophetic skulls trying to set bounds
to the petty Armageddons in the domestic fires of love
melting cosmically down, down, down, like candles
and ice-cream cones embedded in the ashen wicks
and gravel on the roads that divide in life like the Milky Way
and the Road of Ghosts, as we’re firewalking on hot diamonds
of translucent insights into the nature love and life and art
in our dreams, only to wake up, after splashing
cold mirages on the faces of our disbelieving mirrors
to find ourselves crying real tears like chandeliers in a coalbin.

We lie like labyrinths of bullshit to ourselves
like bad highway engineers starmapping a spiritual path
through the roadkill that died without anyone meaning ill,
but there it is, the fox, the porcupine, the skunk, the beaver,
the cat, the dog, the frog, the snake, the drunk, Iraq,
torn, mangled, no jewels of light in their eyepits,
hung, gutted, drawn and quartered like racks of meat
by the serial undertakings of the funereal turkey vultures
at the sky burials of Gobekli Tepe, or a rock concert in Ardoch
where the woods, after the sun goes down, are
the black ops of darkling predators with nightvision
as everyone’s preoccupied with painting pretty pictures
on the walls of their caves by the numbers in blood, soot, and spit.

But here’s the thing itself. There’s no point trying
to colour in the negative space with the bluebirds
and weeping rainbows of a positive attitude
trying to outline the identity of the shape of emptiness
like a candelabra, a tree in winter, five ways
to go in life that stop dead in their tracks
like cul de sacs in an abyss that runs like a watercolour
down limestone stalactites. Or the fingers of a hand raised
in greeting or farewell as if the difference were negligible
as the direction of the wind to the doorway
of our return journey to the rustic innocence
of the dream grammars that reveal our most sacred nightmares
like red creator spiders empowering a mandalic web of dimensions
as everybody feels a desecration nobody else cares about
lost in the dark woods of their philosophical apprehensions.




Whether you call it crazy wisdom or not
I mean. Gone. Nuts. Neither in nor out of my mind.
So if I were to say to someone I’d made it
to the other side, I’d have light years further to go
than before I started out. Great wisdom
from the further shore, yes, but if your river
is still emptying into an abyss, something poured out,
albeit in bliss, like the rapturous mindstream of Aquarius
at its most mysterious, you’re still skinny dipping
in the waters of life breath-watching through
the gills and aqua-lungs of your afterbirth.
Meditation might help stabilize your full lotus
vision of life, but that doesn’t mean, it’s not mad
because it smiles a lot with equanimity and compassion.

Proxy enlightenment. Are you still polishing mirrors
like a housekeeper who works for somebody else,
hoping to change all your ostrakons into koans?
The nightwatchmen dreaming at noon on the job
on a dayshift of shadows taking time off like a sundial?
I don’t exhaust myself on the effortless labours of the mind.
Keats: If it come not as naturally as leaves to a tree
it had better not come at all. The rest is artifice.
Il miglior fabbro, but not necessarily, a poet.

The sun turns the heritage field stones of the bank
across the street, pink, orange, yellow, a mood ring
at dawn, at sunset, and the turning of the leaves.
I don’t have to paint a demonic masterpiece of disobedience
to have a change of heart like that. Imagination
explores the hydra-headed life of the mind
caught in the coils of its own delusions with as much
regard for the beauty of its innocence, as its laws,
without trying to con snakes into biting other people.

Should it mean more at the end than it did at the beginning?
Time and space. Perth. September 8, 2013.
Anybody have any idea of what this means
in the greater scheme of immateriality when thought
travels faster than the speed of light time either stops
or returns to the past like a snakekpit of waterclocks.

No one has a local habitation or a name anymore
if they ever did, but runic taboos on the boundary stones
of our prophetic skulls aside, couldn’t that be
the uncaused effect of space expanding
the unbroken circles of our minds centred
in the infinite everywhere of our shape-shifting formlessness?

The more seriously it takes itself the sillier wisdom seems.
One night we’re going to run out of stars
to take our bearings by, far, far, far, into the dark
and just as it is now, so it will be then,
the mind lighting lamps in the shade of its own shining
trying to see who goes there. If you start out seeking
you’ll find a way to hide, or hiding, all things
will be revealed as a kind of childhood game
you’re playing with yourself as if your left foot
didn’t know what your right was up to
when you came to a sacred fork in the road
at the equinoctial intersection of time with the timeless
between your legs like the pivot of a compass
trying to fly in your wake like the begging bowls
of pleading seagulls. Even when it’s new,
the moon is always full. The sun rises at midnight.

In the beginning was the imagination. Were
you there at the creation of the stars, somewhere
in the crowd of nameless angels, or were you
inconceivably notable for the mystery your absence?
A creation myth of yourself founded on the past
as if there were some kind of continuum between you
and your emergency exits off the freeway you were on.
I think we’re all hitch hikers watching the world pass
from the back of a pick-up truck. I think because I think
I am not. What difference does it make to the mirror
if you break it like the radiant of a meteor shower,
or falling stars cliff-jumping toward paradise
like the rebuffed lovers of suicidal angels with nothing to wish for,
or praise it for never telling you the same lie twice?

There’s nothing oracular about anyone’s reflection
they can consult for advice without turning into
a warrior healer who takes the words right out of their mouth
like spears and arrows and lightning strikes of insight
from the blood seal of a wound that authenticates the pain.

Life’s an agony. Life’s a breeze. Three and a half pounds
of starmud packed into the neo-cortical labyrinth
of the brain whispering to itself in the dream grammar
of its own biofeedback, the mind is as uniquely
inconceivable to the enlightened as it is
discretely believable to the indiscriminately insane.

Doubt or no doubt, when the secret’s out
like a mirage of water nearby on a lens of air,
there’s nowhere to hide but out in the open
in the third eye of the storm turning like a prayerwheel
counterintuitively to the clockwise direction of creation
in the northern hemisphere, unless you’re a sunflower
closer to perigee in the south. And you know what
I’m talking about as if you had a mouth of your own
that makes things clear as they appear to be alone.

Feathers of moonlight on the waters of life, stars
igniting fires in the crowns of the black walnut trees,
mad enough to mentor metaphors into liberating you
from unnecessarily sweeping the mirages of the stars
like sand paintings of the constellations off the stairs
you climb on your knees to throw away
the crutches and training wheels of your extremities.
In this house of life, the mind relies on nothing
as the natural cure-all for the heart’s home remedies.