Friday, September 27, 2013



And should it come time to speak of the sadness
that reaches fruition in the medicine bag of the heart,
don’t bring a teacher that can’t heal by singing and dancing
to the wounded discipline of a lost art that’s gone
into the sacred solitude of the secret suffering
that upholds the integrity of the silence in your eyes.
This is a seeing that has nothing to do with truth or lies
or the innovative causality of pain. Don’t speak
of its release as enlightenment or liberation,
as if you were uncaging doves from the ashes of your voice.
Don’t seek what has eluded you when you’re cloaked
in an eyeless night like the screening myth of a lonely alibi.

And should it come time to speak of the sadness
don’t humble the message at the expense of the medium you choose
to weep in when the hidden urges you into the open
like a dragonfly emerging from the hovel of a chrysalis
into a palace of air with the wingspan of your diaphanous windows
beaded in tears like the afterbirth of the rain
in the post-natal mirrors of your indefinable awareness of life
as the sweetest agony of sorrow transformed into bliss
you ever had to endure like the darkest night
of a sea change in the unforeseeable nature
of your inconceivable soul trying to emulate
the unknown likeness you shapeshift to accommodate
the arrival and departure of everything you’ve ever had to let go of
like summer stars, and waterbirds, and legendary ordeals of love
when the full moon so often filled the empty silos of your longing
with the unsuccessful harvests of hungry ghosts
that competed with the sparrows and the scarecrows
for the seeds of a garden the wind neglected to sow.

And should it come time to speak of the sadness
that saturates all human affairs in an aura of mourning
that hangs in the air like a mingling of swords and bells,
don’t pretend your life was a nuclear winter of unrelieved misery
when everyone knows if it weren’t for trying to cling to joy
or even the longing for it, you might have smiled your way
through everything like the cold stone of the moon.

Remember those thoughts that used to come
like snakeoil salesmen that greased their sinusoidal way
into your heart like coiled serpent fire that mesmerized you
like the blue bird of happiness on your own projections
until the promise wore thin, and all your ploys at joy
turned out to be nothing but the hucksterism of tapeworms?

And, then, as it sometimes happened more often in autumn
than spring, your heart soared like a guitar with a broken string
taking wing like a waterbird off your tears
until you burned out like a comet with an uplifting message
in a niche that was meant for candles with slower wicks?
That kept you hanging onto life like a burning box kite didn’t it?

And should it come time to speak of the sadness
like a sin of omission that overpowers us all eventually
because the best things we promised ourselves
were never unattainable and the joy we sought and fought
and laboured for, and did not find, was barely explainable
even to us who became experts in grinding mirages into lenses
to reveal where it might be hiding somewhere in the universe
right under our noses. Up close and as intimate as our eyes.




Won’t mean much if your eyes aren’t open in your blood.
If the stars can’t see you because you don’t know how
to read them poetry in the small cafes of your heart
accompanied by spoons and plates and broken goblets
of the cheap house wine that smash just like love affairs
dashing your skull against the rocks, hoping the mermaids come back.

If you can’t hear in the parking lot of a raucous industry
the colours of your emotions, you’re a deaf chameleon
and who could make you listen to what you can’t listen to
even if you had enough people who loved you around you
to want you to try to listen to your own tears when you cry?
Your ear on the same wavelength as a corrugated tin roof,
maybe you can see what I’m trying to say to you
if you close your eyes, and just listen to the rain without
trying too hard to make a big effortless effort to be
auditorily enlightened by the racket of your delusions.

I can’t remember when my life stopped being my own
and I went to bed one night, and I was as human as my toes are
and I awoke, I was merely the afterbirth of a visionary
I didn’t recognize, as my eyes were being igneously wrung
from a cope of dark ore like stars out of the distant hills.
Not a lot of self-respect from the beginning, maybe
it wasn’t that hard becoming everyone and everything else,
and I was a prime candidate for effacement
but when I looked into the mirror of my
ten inch, equatorially mounted, clock-driven, reflecting telescope
I used like a canning jar to capture and mount stars and fireflies
on a black velvet starmap, all I could see
was this abyss staring back at me that couldn’t say
where I’d gone, but the last I thought I heard
was that I got a job as a janitor in an hourglass
sweeping mirages out of a desert of private school stars.

I say what I see as it occurs to me spontaneously.
And I’m compelled to say it without hesitation
so the vision isn’t tainted by the colour of the jewel
it’s passing through, from one eye to the next, ad infinitum.
No light pollution in the shining, though there’s something
about the idea of purity that continues to appal me
because I never had so much against chaos from the beginning
and I sense a deep hatred of all that is soiled and flawed,
in which case, I’d rather be an outlaw than one of these monks
who disdain me because I can’t help seeing their discipline
as uncreatively redundant. Eventually, if they’re blessed,
all our faces are going to fall off by themselves
like the scabs of sunspots that healed the wounded light
like a wildflower shedding its petals like nurses’ caps
and deathmasks frozen like a moment in time meant
to last forever though we go on being estranged by them forever.

Uncanny transformations of the solid into the real.
Maybe it’s time to let the mindstream flow as it will
and let the burning bridges of our delusions cross us for a change
to get to the other side of a life that’s only got one bank
and it’s as clear as space, we’re not even standing on that.
Hang on. Let go. It’s just your hand opening and closing
like a door in a dream, and you’ll find your falling
just as fast as you ever were and if you were to ask your eyes
they couldn’t tell in this vastness whether your were falling up or down.

When you’ve dismantled all you’ve desired,
post neo-deconstructionism sets in like spiritual rigor mortis
and you can’t tell if you’re sleeping with the living or the dead
when you haven’t got your mask on. You can wear holes
in your shoes, and windows and carpets, pacing
like a waterclock of the heart in an hourglass of waiting
like a boy at the edge of the curb with his elbows on his knees
and his face in his glum hands, waiting for a parade
with sacred clowns throwing away free candies
like stars along the route of the mystic Milky Way.
Just be sure to keep your eyes open like a spring thaw
so the light can recognize you like the flower that brought it
to full illumination this time last year like a candle
that keeps blowing its petals out so you can see
the black matter of what you are not deeper
into the eyeless dark than you’ve ever bloomed before.