Friday, October 11, 2013



Beautiful day. Free of the world. Cloudless.
A gift of my dreams, hormones, doesn’t
matter much to me, play with your theories,
More immediate and real. Events flash
like kingfishers and switchblades over
halcyon seas. Words rollick as if I’d
forgiven them a day off as yesterday
and the day before that to sing as they please
when dawn hits the tops of the morning trees.

I don’t care if life is good or bad, mascara
or mother-of-pearl. No doubt it’s sad, no doubt.
Still too aghast at the million subtle nuances
of suffering, and the horrors that cake like blood
to the past to have resolved the internal contusion
of it spreading like a bruise of deadly nightshade
over my heart. A body made for love. A body
made for pain. I delight in the absurdity
of the agony like a man who’s gone half insane.

Astounded by my awareness of anything.
The way I remember the columbine this spring
on the skull of the rock as if it had had
a hair transplant of a thousand lamp posts of grouse
sceptred on the crowns of their heads.
Memory’s the biggest challenge time’s ever faced.
I feel graced by the lack of intent behind
my intelligence, to have outlived all
the old purposes for being here that fell
like apples from a tree with a dull thud
softened by the stargrass in the middle
of the night when no one was there to observe it.
Protocols of the particle letting its hair down
like a wavelength on its own in the dark.

Who can imagine what the world must be doing
behind their back, out of reach, empowered
by dark matter that doesn’t make itself
readily available for interviews? Life’s
not a teaching device. There’s not a lot
to learn from suffering except you don’t
make things up that sell like greeting cards.
Silence heals what words fail to find a cure for.

It puzzles me to say it but poetry’s beginning
to smell like a corpse flower in bloom. O
the pollen of words. And yet the bees still knead
neonicotinoids into the most translucent honey
to fill their cells with like the petals of solar panels.
Feel like I’ve been walking through a valley
most of my life trying to have a spanky conversation
with the jawbone of an ass. I am not denigrated
by the size of the mountain of starmud, nor
the depth of the grave I had to dig my way out of
to attain a freedom of expression that echoes
among the peak moments of silence that speak
like clouds and eagles of the way we keep changing
creation myths to the fixed starmaps we project
like insect planetariums on the roofs of our skulls.

Further in. More deeply drowned. Gone beyond,
I rejoice without having any reason to.
Words wheel like pigeons over the wetlands
of invasive antennae broken by a lack of use.
The doorway’s been torn down that used to
let me in like a thief and throw me out
for the eloquence of my fingerprints
in a labyrinth of homeless thresholds.
Nothing but blue sky to lose my infinities in
and the sunlight crisp as newly laundered sheets
folded away like poems in the drawers of the guest room.

The mystery’s evolving somehow I can’t discern.
I’m uplifted by a fire that doesn’t burn. I laugh
as I scatter my ashes along a path with no way back.
First the rose petals and then the thorns. Just
the way the moon transforms its eyelids
from night to night like the cosmology
of star-nosed moles with divine telescopes
photo-shopping the lunar complexions
of their cover-girl conceptions of a black hole
that’s full of light, the waters of life in a housewell
but, who could have guessed, bright as they are,
know less than nothing about shining without
relying upon the dark to affirm it. Things
end and begin in the dead of the night
and the rest of the day is unimaginably irreproachable.




Whenever I remember you. Heartwood knots.
And the birds go silent. After all these years
of trying to flower my way to fruition in the light
of the effortless vision that’s been the engine
of my life. Windfall of blossoms. Windfall
of warm apples. Windfall of burning leaves.
I can still feel your arrow of moonlight in my throat.

I can still feel how you peeled back the rind
of the moon and pieced out my heart calendrically
like sundials that lost track of the time
in the bluing of the lyrical distances in your eyes.
Taste it. You’ll like it, you said. Acidicly sweet.
Indelible. Like the first time you ever smell
the dead. Love is a pear. But I wasn’t listening.
I was looking at you as the embodiment
of lust and love and death and dream and karma
summoned out of my psyche to give me
what I’ve always been in danger of wanting.

You made the dark shine when I put
the powerlines of my most courageous poetry
in my mouth, and spoke in tongues
to the naked ghost dancers that brought me
my totems like owls of smoke and crystal skulls
of dragon fire, only you, with your finger
on the trigger of the silence, could put out
like a candle with a word. And things hardened
into wax tears as if a switchblade just showed up
and cut the jugular of the wick with a flick of the moon.

The only rational approach to what we
were doing together in the same dream for awhile
was insanity beyond reform or reproach.
Night in a blackberry patch maligned as razor wire.
Intensities met like two stars passing through
these immensities like virtual solitudes looping
around each other in a prayer wheel of a dance
both knowing in advance, though you were more
inclined to fly off centripetally like a bucket
you whirled over your head the bottom had fallen out of,
we didn’t stand a ghost of a chance, however
well we conducted the seance that brought us
back to each other like a table with the manners
of a ouija board. And the silence, do you remember
the silence as I do that overcame us like a surrender
we’d resigned ourselves to? Nothing left unsaid?

No. That’s a lie. I went to the block protesting
my love of you like a death bed confession
you’d have no reason to doubt, though at that
late hour of the night in the torchlit tower
it didn’t much matter anyway. I felt
the blade of the moon on the nape of my neck
and my head fall into the basket like an Orphic dismemberment.

You added a prophetic element to my voice
but my future’s been a quiet kind of voodoo ever since.
I sing alone in the woods at night under
the willows rinsing their hair in the river
that’s keeps me company when I want
to unburden my heart of the sorrows
that have deepened it beyond comprehension.

O how many of the grains of dust on the windowsills
of these worlds within worlds once boiled
like guitar strings in the impoverished begging bowls
of a coffin open on the corner of a bank
and the tone-deaf cosmos of love on the fly.
The way it was was the way it had to be,
I suppose. Not exactly scar tissue. But at least
I can go out in public without space
fracturing the nervous system of my reserve
of dark energy shepherding the stars like lost sheep.

Take a look at the Milky Way. Doesn’t it
remind you sometimes of a scarf that got
strangled in the axle of a zodiac winched up
from the bottom of a black hole where we
were both drawn to each other like singularities
that weren’t given much of a voice
in what the wild geese cried out in transit
across the moon like an ancient farewell
that always heralds the sad beginning of new world?