Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Day 13:

Two hours sleep out of the last twenty-four. Exhausted. Blurred.
Even the smudges have medicinal value. The lightning definitely
hit the transformer yesterday. Here are the fireworks. Ignore, read,
scratch your head, speculate on the comparative creative psychodynamics of
Sisyphus and Chernobyl, whatever you want to do. Ok with me.
Read them serially like a totem pole. Or pick them up individually
like an occasional interesting leaf you findd at your feet. These
poems feel supercharged with a significance that seems to be
resonating throughout out everything I say, do, love, write, think and feel.
Pages turning, but the book’s a tree. Given the number of poems
from yesterday I’m about to post, and how taxing and time consuming the act
of posting them seriatim en masse is, I think from now on, I will post them
as they’re tentatively finished. Easier on you, that way. And easier
on me. Matter of husbanding chores and energies. Also think it’s more
open that way for both writer and reader. Puts more unbounded sky
into each flightpath and gives them room to shed, flap, fly. Or decide
they’re not a bird, they’re a tent. Doesn’t monumentalize the air with an avalanche
or meteor shower of gravestones at a bingo of extinction events, keeping,
in mind, we owe one them, at least, partially, our own mammalian proliferation.
Solar flaring, then, not publishing. I’d love to hang on to a fat head. Carry it
around with me under my arm. Consult it at parties like a Ouji board. But, I
don’t have the space for it. And if it starts to develop an ego where am I going
to put it? Lot of space out here, but I’m not sure about the living room yet.
Little tight I’d say at this point for an ego. Letting the light go. Though
no less care I assure you goes into writing one of these than has gone
into anything I’ve ever written. Possibly more because I am surgically
curious to know how deeply the meds have dug down into Mt. Helicon to establish their own wellspring, inclusive, but separate from the others I’m used to drawing upon. See if
the pharmaceuticals are fracking my good housewells. Good. This part done.
Never thought I’d ever be so happy to see prose on daylight savings time again. Lol

Nurse called. Pulmonary esophogeal biopsy in Kingston on Friday. Feel like
Dorothy skipping down the yellow brick road to defrock the Wizard of Oz
in a strange kind of way. Possibly a black lightning bolt from the brain pan
of the Sahara. But I’m staying as open and alert to whatever comes next.
Till then plan to use the unperturbed time in between as wisely and vividly
as I can. Write poems in the eye of the hurricane happy as a bird enthroned
as a peasant king on one of his own thermals. Ride the bannisters. Love, Patrick.

Watching my mind walk its own waters
like a long-legged spider off the wharf of the moon at Long Bay.
A syringe just before it breaks the skin.
The moon’s a junkie. So am I. But it’s called medicine.
Ghostly, lonely, blue aura rise like the spiritual life of milk.
Glow softly. Shine. Teach all these tears they’re light.
Veils. Melancholic solar flares bruised by the night they entered.
Marigolds among the waterlilies. Stars in the dark when they’re wet.

How easy the water pulses through its own veins like love
and a dark circus on stilts. Horror with a thorax
and a tumour to compare to. Perish the thought,
Yorik’s got better things to do than be afraid of you.
Gonna fly. Gonna fly over the whole earth
and prove there are extraterrestrials though that’s a sad joke.
Ambivalence wrecks everything like crumpled tinfoil.
Should have been a star. But I never wanted to shine like that.

Not sharp. Blunted by the heart. I took an edge off.
Looks better on me I think than all that warpaint.
How to teach scalpels to build their own aquarium.
Flowers how to make the bed. And live through the leaves.
Startling I said that like a star in the east above the treeline.
Such a small space to couch enormity in
as if it had seasons. My mother knows about this. She’s wise
as a bell that’s been crying. Me? I’m a waterbird
when I want to be. My solitude’s almost a woman.

So that’s me. I was curious. And little fella I think we’re fucked.
No more riverboats. Maybe one, but it sunk. Glad
I got that out of the way of that old, Medusan tree stump.
And got away with a rhyme that makes me look cleverer
than I am, but I think I’m going to take the bow anyway.
I’m feeling sorry for myself. You, too, if you want to know the truth.
Milky moonlight. It’s Celtic as snow in summer, beautiful
but cold as a flower that treasures its loneliness.
I’d rather sleep with a rose than a waterlily.
But I suppose that’s all over now, baby blue.

Let the feelings come through as they will
like freshwater dreams from the woods. Hey, that’s pretty good.
What am I looking at? Data. Raw data. Brutal mercy
with a quiet told you so. As if it was my fault
and I don’t care if it is. I got to see this, didn’t I?
Picture it as a kind of beautiful blue moon in late October
that sings in a choir of razorblades that haven’t
been threshed yet. Ever see a cornfield of trashed ribbons?
That’s what I’m afraid of. The snapping turtle
that unfeathered the moon. Feels a little bit like rape to me.
Am I in prison? Or is this Promethean? What do you say?
Want to look at the moon with me? Hear me expiate
on everything under the sun at midnight as if it had gone somewhere?
I sing like time got stuck in my voice like a grackle or a black box
in a morning chimney pipe. And so it goes, and so it goes, and so it goes
like a waterclock. Is there meaning in that enough
to drink from your skull cup down to the lees of your heart.

That old fortune teller with an eyepatch and a scarf
for a bloodstream. Can you see the sphinx underneath
her mascara? She’s wearing midnight with partial eclipses.
And it’s a delusion. I’m sure about that. But I think
she just winked at me like a starmap. Old bat. Imagine that.
I’m showing off. And it’s sad as the tears deep down
in the nature of things. The lachrymae dolorosae that beads
the leaves like lampshades and party clowns.
Hand me that waterfall. I think I want to drown.

Be serious. There are people around. Listening
to the shedding of the leaves that whisper something about autumn
in their ears. Eyes like the embers of an old fire
going through its jewels in the dark. Who loved you?
Did he treat you right? Or do you still carry a bruise on your heart
like a poison apple you want to give somebody as a surprise?
And miss all this for that. I’m the plague rat. You
be somebody else. And we’ll look at the moon together
on the edge of the world. We’ll resonate with our assessment
of what it is to stand here and just look. Just look.




In the green room with the hay out of a magical scarecrow,
I’m putting tarpaper on my pyramid like a suspicious eclipse.
Tar and honey on a biscuit that breaks like a stale cartouche.
Swoosh. That’s the wing of a sabre in the saddle. The moon’s
in Pegasus. I didn’t think that was possible. Has my head
come off like a narcissus bud at the end of a golf club?
Am I liberated enough? Or is this still the foodstall?
Gotta stop asking that as if I didn’t know any better.
It doesn’t matter. And I’m happy about that. Peasant King
when I’m not Buddha Pinocchio. Wouldn’t want to hurt
his feelings. He’s a friend of mine. I don’t take him for granted.
But you relate to him as the mood suits you. Ah, Cohen,
you lovely man, he’s flexible as a Zen ventriloquist.

An embarrassment of riches. A motherlode. Mountain gold
gleaming in the fissures of the night like a mended teacup.
Mystic scar tissue. The shining goes dark before it blinds you
into a supercharged photonic significance of covert insight
into the nature of life resonating with everything
like an old guitar humming to itself in a corner of dust
though that has a way of making me feel like the sex life of the Hubble Telescope
in a degenerating orbit. Quick. A candle. A moth. Luna.

What are you willing to die for as a way of life?




You can’t drink spit from another man’s mouth though I just did
and convince me it’s a desertwell in an hourglass.
I wrote a book about the Tuarig. They teach their camels to dance.
And play the cithara like a synchronized guitar.
Point is. You’ve got to taste the water for yourself
to know what’s hot, what’s cold. Bifurcated faucets. It’s an optical delusion.
Dust devils of stars. Poof. It’s a magic trick of the heart.
To be so cruelly lonely you want to fool somebody good.
Cling to your loneliness. Cling to your solitude.
Do you good if you can hang in there until you bloom
but I’m not your living room. That is. At the tip of your nose
like a rosebud. Like a black horned rhinocerus in a parachute.

Parking meters in veils and rattlesnake hoods
that make them look either like a medicine bag
or an executioner. Am I making myself understood?
It’s apparitional. A dream. A mirage. A ghost
you stub your heart on like a prophetic skull that isn’t
where it’s suppose to be like Christmas dinnerware at Easter.
The coasters are wrong for the occasion. This isn’t
a delirium you can see through easily as if you were someone
and the Queen of Heaven didn’t mind. But don’t
approach it feverishly. It sleeps. And you don’t want to wake the lotus
before she’s finished her dream. Of you and me, bud. Who else?

But the world as it is and always has been and will be
past tense by the time you think about it. Gone
like yesterday’s sunset that made even the crows hesitate
or Basho in the autumn looking up. Even so. Even so . . .
The blue thrush calls over by the waterfalls that sound
like the Pleiades mourning for somebody with bells.

Forget that. This is as crucial as an abyss. Emptiness.
Endless emptiness where nothing is but the stars as if
they’d just been winnowed by time. Stillness. Silence.
After the stained glass windows, your eyes turning back
on themselves like a memory losing its mirrors
of something eternal as sand in a wine vat.
Stars in an hourglass timing cosmic eggs with Sufi flutes
at the still point of the crossroads where the equinoxes meet
like mystic weathervanes an octave lower than light.

Sing it. Sing it like you mean it like an unsigned loveletter to your soul.
Trample the grapes like mistletoe pawnbroker moons
and saccharine snow globes. I hesitate to say it
but this is all you know on earth, all you need to know.
It’s a sad, sad, sad, sad gift from somebody you don’t know.
But they gave it to you anyway. And it’s meant to be opened
in gratitude and anticipation. Then give away some
like a cake that begs to be shared with desolation.
Poetry. Here’s your hossu. Now you can whisk the dust of the stars
off your shoulders like epaulets on a fossil
and address somebody from the heart beside a well
that can hear the stars in what you say from so, so far away
they look like shortcircuiting fireflies at Armageddon
that are at peace with themselves over the stillness of an ocean
that thought it heard mermaids singing just a while ago.




Thin loam on the forest floor of the trees at their podium.
And the leaves flying around like lecture notes
and regatas of sulphur butterflies. Sorry about that.
I didn’t mean to be so wise. This is skin and starmud not bone.
It hurts when you touch it like that with a compass needle
and a blood transfusion for alley cats in heat
that want to get outside and look at the stars for themselves.
Meow. It ain’t me, babe. I’m not worth looking for
anymore. But I want you to take the window with you when you go.
Go. My name is Chernobyl. Fukushima mud pies
with a happy face that never smiles these days.

Not much anyway until I say something sweet
about being handcuffed by the rain like the tree rings
in your heartwood. I can tell the time by them. It’s late.
And there’s a blue hinge on the sky that makes it look
like the lapwing of a gate that’s lain in the vetch
a long, long time. Like a cry that nobody heard for help.
What can you say to the street lights as they’re coming on?
It’s open and private all at the same time?
The hayrake in the grass you spilled paint on
like a comb with a Jew’s harp made out of a thin skeleton?
Look at the tail on that one. A chandelier for rats
with skin problems you don’t want to hear about
before lunch as if lunch were some kind of dinner.

Eat. It helps the pills go down better like little gravestones.
Pebbles in a wishing well. What did you wish for?
I’m afraid of mine like a butcher’s wife with three blind mice
on drugs. Pulmonary esophogeal biopsy. The big man.
The Wizard of Oz in a ministerial parachute. OK
we’ll listen to that too as if there wasn’t anything left to say
but thank-you. I just met an oracle I can relate to.

Hope so. We’ll have to wait and see who takes me by the hand
at the crosswalk. Without a traffic light looking for
a manger like a prophetic fledgling. Or a baby lapwing
that plays on a Jew’s harp like the skeleton of a snake
or the rain plucking at the plectra of the heart
in cosmic water droplets and morphine drips. Tick tock.
We’re back to waterclocks fused to improvised explosive devices.




I’ve got this contagious smile on my face
I traded a dentist friend for a painting of a great blue heron
at the focal point of a lake with irises and waterlilies in it.
Now I understand that skull with crowns above my desk.
He’s proud of his teeth, too. And the dragon
from the R-complex at the back of my brain.
He’s the tumour. And that must be me. I’m Icarus falling.
I hear it’s good to die with a smile on your face.
But I mustn’t get worked up about this. I’m tired.

And the evening is as blue and beautiful
as a bruised Prussian uniform on parade
for the very last time before it glows in the dark
like that smile of mine. Darkness work your magic on me.
Deadly nightshade. Persian violets like the lights
of a city coming on. And the light, the dark that shines,
what a shade, caressing your skin like a cat burglar
you’re going to let in to take the curtains off your bed
like an empire of classical blue velour. Stern stuff. But true.

Maybe I was a sacred painter afterall. The oracle
at Delphi in a funeral pall. With lemon bitter on the side.
At least, it ain’t parsley. And there’s a clown in it
I always wondered about. Now I know. This is crazy.




The kite undoes its own string like a spinal cord hydro line
it stole like a line of poetry from the sheet music
of the Zeitgeist reading its own crystal skull
as if there were too many notes in it to call.
See stars. See birds on a stave. See music x-rays
from the grave like the visual fragrance of what we are.
All night long on the corner of Clinton Street and Desolation Row.
Gore and the Universe at a restaurant called Passiflora.

In the bright sunshine, tanning, at a table outside,
so you didn’t look like a blade of stargrass under a yellow board.
As if things were too good to be true. When
you didn’t think about things like the raw, new moon of a tumour.
And tiny ice pellets flicked like whips and ladyfingers
into your face like Tom Thomson considering one of his paintings
by firelight in the parking lot outside the emergency entrance
to suicide. Stark, bleak, helicopters, I bet you weren’t expecting that,
like dragonflies landing on a lily pad that’s lost its flowers.

Is this genius? Is this madness? Who cares?
Come along for the ride and pretend you’re sick.
Sick people like sick people better in a hospital
reading Jean Paul Sarte and Beckett while they’re waiting for Godot
like a fly on a wall they wished they listened to but I don’t.




Death, the unravelling. Penelope unweaves the moon.
In the nightstream in the woods at night, pouring the water
I drank from back. Water of life. Water of light. Dark elixir
widow-walking burnt bridges. The lighthouse of a window
in the woods. Giving my silver sword of moonlight
back to the water sylphs in tribute for all the pain
they caused me so beautifully, poetically, mysteriously wise
in the way they treated me. Well done, guys.
I’ll be looking for Venus through the trees for
the rest of my life without a silver sword. Thanks
for letting me keep the spur. It reminds me of the stars
in your eyes when they come out like chandeliers of sex.

Grasp your flesh as if it were the only soft spot
in the world you’ve ever found to lie down upon
and pretend you were dead convincingly as a pillow.
This gob of fat and excess, this deer bed, these eyes,
with dawns and dusks of their own with orbiting observatories
in direct communication with the brain, it’s a coolie
of a vehicle at your disposal with a good suspension bridge
made of spinal cords. Flat guitar strings that haven’t
been boiled enough to keep their spring dangling
above the abyss by the tail of a misplaced participle
in the mouth of a snakepit that cheats on its Fs with a capo.

Back in the Glebe when we all sat at the same table
and got drunk on ourselves lying like young
and middle-aged artists as we were supposed to have done
because for everything there is a season. And that was it.
I wore mongoose and snakeskin boots back then
in this enormous freak show of dreams and visions
gone right and wrong. Liked the cowboy show. And the wolf.

Dark, drunk days when the whiskey smelled
like puke in the tungsten snowbanks of the streetlamps.
Sick nuns of the Tetragrammaton. I am the world’s
most evil man said no one who was ever serious about himself.
Ah, Spanish roses in Jewish health food stores
unrelated to the Outlaws of the time. Golden Triangle
cowboy stuff with a lot of smashed glass that broke
your heart like a nasty beer glass on a road trip to the moon.
Art. Is it murder or suicide? Or Willie P. Bennet?
Though I sense it in the ashes of Wiffen on his highway
of poetry in tears. But there’s a limit.

And I took it when my life moved out like an exit
off the freeway to be with somebody else.
Because it was true love for a while there.
And you weren’t allowed to be with anybody else
who wasn’t true to your sequins and scales.
Inside of me there’s a lunatic fringe Zen cowboy
islander poet pirate painter prince trying to die extraromantically as if
he’s lived under the moon all of his life howling at it
as if he were in mystical agony like a shepherd of wolves
who knows the difference between the meaning of the words,
pack and flock. Baa. Baa. Black sheep. Black bird.
Anyway you want to put it. What suits you plum
tickles me to death. And I mean it like a rattlesnake
on drugs at your jugular vein. Never again, thank God
for all the haloes in my life I’ve ever grabbed at like brass rings.

All moondogs with an owly look about them
and something slightly carnivorous about the roses
we threw at each other like the silk purses and bullsears
of a dead matador. Ole as the crowd rises to its feet
like a flying carpet and a cape. And we all had to have
whiskey, music, poetry, and death on our very last breath.
It was life’s legendary way of cornering on two wheels
as if you were turning a car over like a card you’re peeking under
to see what you’ve got. Seven come eleven. Or snake eyes
on an inoculated starmap. Or a strawberry tart
with fangs like crucifixion nails on your birthday
for a heart. An art. A way of life I couldn’t compare anymore
to what? I always tried to. Then covered up the lies about it
if I were the only professional emergency exit stage left.

Say hi to Joanne for me. She’s the only woman in my life
I feel I owe something to more than I gave her
because I was arrogant and young. Hi, Joanne.
You were my apostate magdalene-madonna and I loved you for it.
You can research the rest in these Burgess Shales
like an old, beer and blood stained photograph of the past.
You must like to suffer or you wouldn’t have recognized me.




I adjusted myself like cement block brick books at a picnic table.
It’s not a funeral march to immortality baking its starmud
by the liongates of the sungods. I’m just looking for a star
through the dirty window of the world. How many opportunities
in life do you get to see your own death in the eyes
of the way people love you? I’m blessed. So says
Buddha Pinocchio, but Azazel thinks he’s evil cause he guessed.
And keeps on guessing, guess, after guess, after guess.
But what’s the sun got to fear from the fire when it’s all us?

Alone together in the same liferaft. How you exit like a peasant king
delirious with poetry. Summer wandering into a mine field
should I say it, think I will, tumours. Pop goes the weasel.
Or is it Betelgeuse? Got to stop that before I get carried away
with myself. Ride your bannister like a red tailed hawk.
Metaphoric code for an asphalt wavelength of a joy ride.
Better to be a river than a highway. Or a rat snake.
You’ve got to leave them alone to eat the vermin.

Insanity, my friend. You write good poetry. Sylvia Plath
says so. But you’ve got to watch all those Anglo Saxon
gutturals when you’re trying to pray with
a ventrologuial mantis on your knees that talks like a cardinal
about debilities as if he had an oven up his sleeves
like an emotional crematorium for broken hearts
trying to make it in the arts. Pray. Now altogether pray.
Glad I got that out of the way. Hope he’s happy.

Let’s get on with this. Pass me a cigarette through the bars.
I think I see stars again. I’m a Chinese mandarin
who reads Ovid in the original by the Black Sea in the winter.
Maybe I should put some city imagery into this
for oxymoronic effect. Tug boats off Haidai Gwai in the distance
and a lone heron on the fly who takes the moon for granted
because it’s all so impersonal to fake. Green moss
on a totem pole lying in the bracken and the seagrass
as if someone fell off their seahorse. And died with the moon.

OOOOOOOOOO It’s calendrical. Stonehenge, anybody?




I didn’t make a holy colouring book out of the cosmic scripture of my life
but I sure liked painting it. I’ve got so much respect for stars
redshifting into longer wavelengths of thought.
Meditative x-rays cogitating on themselves as if in each one them
you could see a blood cell or the seapoppy of a passionate B.C. Sunset
crumpled like a tropical duvet of clouds on the far horizon
of everything where the sun goes down to die.
And be born again if the Egyptians get it right. Maybe.
Hell’s pretty this time of year. The moon blooms in winter don’t forget.

Houris around the fountains of Salsabil. With coral lips
that no man has ever kissed before. And veils, veils, veils
everywhere with eyes behind them like star globes
at three in the morning out in this desert of stars somewhere
the sphinxes let down their hair like a henna oilslick
that’s cut like a crystalline goblet apprenticed to a prophetic skull like mine.
I like them as women and they way they keen. So convincing
I believe it. Mean grief. Savagely indignant widows enraged
like queens of the pride disturbed by the funny smell of death.

Seven parts, eclipse. Three parts, leonine. Mix. It’s an elixir
of poetry and madness embodied in the persons of Laila and Majnun.
For mad poets the sun shines at midnight. And the moon.

And it maybe that death is no more
than a pragmatic mystic who has learned to use the silence well.