Monday, October 14, 2013



When there was wine in the gourd, not vinaigrette,
and we didn’t put a brown paper bag
like an executioner’s hood over the bottle
we drank from each other’s skull like an sos.
Crazy elixirs that tasted like poison at first
until I fell in love with what they turned me into.
And the way you could purr when you were drunk
and I stroked you under the chin like a mantra, aum,
just before we made love to each other as if love
were a sin, not a virtue. Our irrationality was above
the reproach of the little test-tubes and telescopes
taking water sample of our tears to see what
what absurdities polluted us like acid rain.
We made love to each other and we couldn’t
stop laughing at the way people squirreled
their emotions like black walnuts away
in the heartwood of the tree that engendered them.

We weren’t being mean. The humour was existential.
And the last laugh was on all of us.
Just some very serious things seem funny when
you see them from a certain angle, unafraid
of making the same mistake twice, thrice, four times
a night, until there are more embarrassed mirrors
in the house of life than there are mice.

You wore huge moon hoops in your ears
and even your earlobes didn’t break the circle
we were orbiting around each other in
like a binary star system in the grip
of each other’s gravity bridging the gap
between us like a suspension bridge of toffee
or the action of dark matter at a distance
that spun silk mandalas out of its spidery psyche.

I overloaded your server, and you, mine.
After that there was nothing to opine about.
We were selfish, mad children amusing ourselves
with alternative zodiacs the astrologers
had forgotten about like ghost towns when
the moonlight ran out like a silver mine.
With you I lived six months of my life
as intensely as a war torn dragon ever wanted to.
You orgasmed like a supernova in a black hole
that had bitten off more than it could chew.
We exceeded the limits of each other as if
life weren’t fast enough to catch up to our afterbirth
like the light of a star in an ancient galaxy
millions of parsecs away from telling you where
it’s at now. We were finger printed like emission spectra
for the labyrinthine legends of our personal history
and as for the intimate details of the rest, they’re
just going to have to wait until they’re dead
to ride the flying carpet of the flesh
like a wavelength pulled out from under
the noose of sex they tied around their necks
like umbilical cords giving birth to them all the time.

Fire, fire, fire, in my loins that wasn’t fathered
by a mystic note sewn into anyone’s coat
when I see God framed like a woman in a window
fixing her hair for the night, plumping the tresses
of the willow who avers she’s mourned long enough
for deaths and abandonments she can’t do
anything about. Love would make martyrs of us all
if we let it. I wonder if the autumn leaves
ever wonder if they’re dying for something
bigger than they are when they immolate themselves
like moths and loveletters in the candelabra
of a tree they’re drawn to like crows in a winter sunset?

You were the amazing water sylph at the prow
of the moon ploughing the sea like a dolphin.
Seabirds and their reflections burned like kisses
on your shining skin and the poetry didn’t
have a cruising altitude where the worlds level off,
and we, who had drunk from our skulls, knew
of a certainty no one else could do our dying for us
so why let them live our lives, as if
wild grapevines had to grow like English cucumbers.

We were hated for this kind of freedom
to heed ourselves like two hurricanes on nightwatch.
And whenever you were pink, it was
a warning and delight to a seasoned sailor
who wanted to drown more deeply in you
than the moon would ever be able to again.

Love with you wasn’t a reward or a punishment
or training wheels on a dream no one
could make come true and remain
spontaneous about it, which kills it as a gift
and makes it more of a wage, than a windfall.
Our senses lit up like the eyes and fingertips
of enlightenment emerging from the dark like stars
we were quantumly entangled in like
the old moon in the new moons arms, or lovers
in a sacred hotel room that didn’t leave bibles
in its drawers for sinners who have trouble
sleeping at night even with the mirrors covered
with veils nobody can see through to the other side.

I never expected you to make the exit that you did
but, then again, every Perseid has its radiant,
and somebody’s got to wish upon a falling star
just to cover their bets in case the emergency
fire alarm breaks its glass ceiling and secularism
isn’t right, and anthropomorphism sees the light
and man is adorned by the garland and the garter
of a female god that fills the mangers
with fledgling messiahs that win their wings
after they fall for her without any spiritual parachutes on
that will return them to earth gently again.
God bless the meteor that wiped me out
like a species that had to change like a raptor into a bird
to be worthy of the moonrise it sang its heart out to.




There’s a woman in the doorway
flaking like a rose of red paint
with eyes that have been weeping
the shadows of dead saints, a full eclipse
of mascara, sloppy sorrows, and a mickey
she quotes like a Bible, chapter and verse,
though the Bible’s mickey-mouse
compared to how bad it can get
as I notice there’s a pink Glock in her purse,
the arthropod of an uncalibrated shrimp
that isn’t going to let her lover off the hook.

I’m engraving poems on the frosty windows
with a crow’s claw as they whisper to me
like the moon among the corals when I dream,
strange omens of incipience I always mistake
for a sign I’m about to cry though it’s seldom
revealed why. The earth is a sad, sad place
sometimes as you’re ushered to your seat
by a starmap of waterlilies that can see in the dark,
a bouquet of wildflowers in a funereal movie-house
at the first screening of a cosmic prequel
featuring your life as you’ve never seen it before.

Reruns in the multiverse, I’m standing
on a million streetcorners all at once
trying to hawk my theory of fiscal surrealism
to a bloodbank trying to hang on to the Iron Age.
I turn the page like an eyelid to exorcise
the ghost of the jinn in the lamp, and the cupboards
are as bare as the vow of a celibate wishing well
the watercolour lovers have lost interest in
now that the stars have evaporated from it
like the spirit of yesterday’s perfume in a purse.

Where is the lost atmosphere of the moon going
like the shrinking ferns and bonsai trees of my breath
as if it were revising nirvanic haiku until all that was left
were parings of nothing, lunar phases
and fingernails of glass that could scratch
your eyes out like nature red in tooth and claw
as you rake wavelengths in the sand
like a Zen garden in Kyoto waiting
for enlightenment to germinate the rocks,
hard-scrabble farmers with almanacs of crystal skulls.

I’ve ploughed the moon monkishly long enough
with a silver tongue to know when
to sow, tend, reap, the skeletal crops
of the dragon’s teeth that police the secret
of a green thumb trying to hitch-hike out of here
on a long, dark, estranged, radiant byway
lacquered in black ice like the gleaming mirrors
of a snake uncoiling like the full eclipse of an oilslick
waiting for me to slip up like an apostate
of my mystical ineptness long after
the last sacred clown sat down on the ground
and had a good laugh on the house
at the expense of the unamused abyss,
remarking how absurdly child-like all this is.

Medusa, armed to the teeth, tries to tell me
she’s tired of crossing swords with her own fangs
over a point of honour someone has to die for
like a crescent of the moon she’s going to pull
out of the mouth of her lyrical liar with pliers,
every one of her vocal cords tarred and feathered
like the black swan of a stone guitar
reverberating in the Martian canyons of her heart.

Ars longa. Vita brevis. Hatred and angry grief
so much easier to master than the impossible art
of keeping your evanescent fireflies of insight
undisciplined enough to ride the lightning
like a pale horse with the wingspan of the universe
without tampering with someone else’s specious curse
or plotting a course by the stars on your Spanish spurs.

Not on the dance-card of her spite and ego,
I listen compassionately to what
the white noise outside is trying to teach me
like the universal hiss of the afterbirth of road kill
about the ontological misfortunes of being born
to long for nightbirds and hear the rattling of crabs
lugging their armaments to the front lines of love
like lunar castanets, or the horns of a bull
narrowing the gap between parentheses
like the clashing dooms of Scylla and Charybdis,
a whirlpool and a rock, gravity and mass,
the crone phase of the moon having it out
with the vernal equinox at a calendrical toredo.

I see the first crescent and I want to put it up
to my head and pull the trigger to put an end
to the incommensurable agonies of fractious decimals
repeating themselves like mantric alibis
until nothing’s left of the original cartel
except the amputated torso of the fire hydrant
that tried to put the blaze out like a voice coach
who didn’t know all the words to the hysterics
of an anonymously amorous narco ballad
mythically inflating the legend of a famous love affair
out of the redoubtable details of a few bad superstitions.

Pity the fool who begrudges even the grubbiest delusions
of the quixotic heart tilting at the stars
like the precessional axis of the wobbling earth
come round again to the eternal recurrence
of the stratagems of spring in a Great Platonic Year.
Love is as much of a companion to death
as murder is to sacrifice or genetics to loaded dice.
House wine or love potion number nine,
pink guns with clips of rose-petaled lipstick,
everyone’s upholding the incriminating honour
of their uncontested heart defended by their folly
to the death as if the mystery were about to be
lost upon them for good as they rend each other asunder
shooting out the stars like a fashionable crime of passion.

As for me and my tent, the dancing girls
with coral lips and wishbone hips have come and gone
like serpentine wavelengths red shifting into
the shadows they left behind like signs of intelligence
alloyed with carnal desire like a nocturnal mirage
of the moon laying its broken sword down on the water
like a vow we didn’t let come between us
as if we didn’t belong to ourselves
which made the theft of fire we stole from each other
a greater blessing than the hurtful consolations
of obedience to the thorns at the expense of the rose.

What can you say about the nature of crazy wisdom
when the heart is bemused enough to cherish someone
barefoot beyond the bounds of common sensical shoes that pinch?
Some people would rather be loved than right.
Others more righteous than touched. Majnun
had his Laila. Love limps beside others like a crutch.
And though he sipped from many goblets
encrusted with star sapphires from the Pleiades,
none of them tasted like the night until he drank
from the reflection of the beloved from his own hands
and knew a darkness brighter than enlightenment
and the music of rain in the eyes of a desert
more beautiful than water imagery on the moon.
The mad man knows a secret even the deepest stars
can’t understand without losing their way to the well.