Sunday, October 27, 2013



Took it to extremes to see how much
people would care if they were told
it was in their own self-interest to look after
another. That feeding the poor, easing
the fever of the ill, might be the privilege
of privileges for those who call themselves healers.

If money is the root of all evil, don’t
stick your nose in flowers with tainted pollen
or you’ll go the way of the honey bees.
None of the petals love you and green
is the most perishable colour of them all. Comes
the fall and that wad of bills will shed you
like a turncoat for opening you’re wallet
like a pine cone in the middle of winter.
What you want to do is learn to bloom in fire
like the udumbara flower once every
seven thousand years. Do you see how
inflammable the tears of the dolorous conifers are?

You can make a little fire for yourself
of dry moss, twigs, and birch bark and not
let anyone else sit at it but the elect
in the board rooms of an ancient religion.
I eat you. Now you eat me. That way
we’re always full. Leavened bread
from genetically modified wheat
rises like a loaf of the harvest moon.

We can talk to the mythically inflated shadows
within the magic circle of our own
prophetic skulls in a Stonehenge of moondogs
haloed with a hint of brass on the clouds
or the aura of fool’s gold glowing at night
on the low hanging branches of an avalanche
of windfalls when the moon descends like an ax
on the nape of snakey apples in the grass.

We can remember the war bonnets we tarred
and feathered like black swans for non-compliance
with starmaps that sounded more like treaties
than a land grab. O the music of the spheres
is a celestial requiem. The lightyears are paced
like professional mourners learning how to dance
like ghosts, and the plumes on the horses
of the hearse are black as the turkey vultures that circle
and swarm the corpse of the Great Square of Pegasus
going down in the west over the Lanark hills,
slowly dying like an inspired sacrifice in
the name of humanity in myself and others
I quickly came to hate for the sake of the tribute,
not knowing if it was a comic death or
the life of the party that was hardest to believe.

I celebrated against the odds that praise
was enough to overcome the triumphs
that we suffered in a holy war where the cause
was already lost long before we took our vows
to terminate ourselves before we caught on
like a firewall that didn’t work to stop the flames.
The whole hillside is burning its slash off
like the ashes of the sacred clowns who
polka-dotted their faces they painted in the spit paste
of an urn that had scattered them prematurely
like the blossoms of a rootfire breaking into the open.




Greed. Politics. Corruption beyond surrealistic
conception. I’m going mad in self defence.
The delusion of insanity doesn’t look so bad
from here. How did these distortions get
elected to represent the things I stubbornly believe
I so breezily accepted in the sixties? The mediocrities
are fracking the well of the muses and the astronauts
have grown old and died of gravity that use
to float freely high, high above the earth.

There are perennial truths to our experience
of humanity, of being human, that endure,
without divine sanction, or with if you prefer,
to this very day like oxygen and water. Love
and understanding, compassion, empathy,
pity if it’s not meant to destroy someone,
freedom to say, protest, or create without
a profit margin being where all things come to rest
like autumn leaves in a gutter with an iron grate.

Fifty years, a poetic heretic, a literate demon
good for the angels’ imaginations if they’ve
got one among them left of their own. As well
as those abject modes of starmud that
have no idea of what’s shining within them.

The frogs have dressed up like cannibals
far to the east and everything is scum,
born that way like the cosmic eggs of a priest.
Is the day ever going to come, not as
a supernatural act of intervention, whether
God’s an extraterrestrial or not who sneers
at our technology, people realize they need
each other as a coral reef needs the moon
to remind the polyps they’re not alone?

I’ve had enough. I’m overwhelmed
by the termites munching in the house of life,
untimbering the heartwood of the rafters,
undermining the foundations we built
our pyres on, turning our walls to a weather front
as if the rest of us were the asteroids
of a natural catastrophe with hidden strings
like a kite that nose-dived like a puppet
into the powerlines that ignited a universal
conflagration, a good capitalist that fed
on everything it touched, Midas in a vegetable garden
looking for a golden harvest under
the genetically modified rocks that feel
more like a skull of dry ice that’s been fuming
forever it seems, sublimating itself as smoke
and ghosts since the beginning of this new fire age.

I can’t believe how the one-eyed liar can deceive
the many new ways of communicating life
and death issues with the convenience of a cellphone.
A fly on a computer screen. Even walking
beside the Tay River that never lies to me
like my own mindstream offering me a mirage
of what there is to drink from my own reflection.
I see the stems of the fallen leaves stacked
like a logjam or the wicks of clear cut candles
whose flames are single petalled starmaps
of someone who didn’t have to ask if they
were loved or not better in solitude than company.

I feel the suffering of everyone until
I can see it somewhere between the treeline
where the river winds, and the stars overhead
that made it all possible in the shining forges
of their fire-wombs, the sacred smithies who said
one half of you shall plough the moon,
the other, raise a sword against water
that can’t be wounded by the tears in your eyes.
And for the mad espionage of the war mongers
there’s always an adulterous fishing net
the dolphins, muscled as they are, get snagged in
like a spider web, a dream-catcher, a suspension bridge
on fire with the naked acts of the truth
that has no where to hide its eyes or alibis or lies.

How many gates and front doors, entrances compared
to the back, emergency exits, second-holes
of a groundhog’s labyrinth in this house of pain?
I see it in the junkie prostitute’s eyes at twenty seven
open to whatever comes though she puts
a smile on her life to gloss over it and keep
up with the Joneses. I see it in the bones
of the baby muskrat the wolves have been
sniffing around for from the day it was born.
And even the thick asphalt of the rat snake
that made its way through the grass like
a highway slick with rain. Pain. Until
it doesn’t matter anymore it tastes the air
as if it were witching for water with forked lightning.

A million hues of oxymorons on a colour wheel
turning grey as the journey gets longer
than shadows at moonrise on a premeditative sundial.
The agony of giving birth to something bigger
than a self. The impersonality of suffering
though you send it birthday cards that are
always well-meaning however absurd it is
to believe your pain taught you anything but how
to hurt as if it were teaching you to transcend yourself.
Even if you wanted to be a fountain efflorescing
like a mirage in an eyeless desert and you
turned out to be a waterclock going supernova
in the endless emptiness of a blossoming flower.
Even if you walk alone by the Tay River
as you have a hundred troubled times before
at night when the willows, in the summer
of their long green locks, or in the winter
when they open a bordello, are on
a first name basis with your business here.