July 15, 2008

Naked as rain, I walk my ancient rooms,
a willow-the-wisp or bruise, a sliver of spite
goads me, withers whipped on through my doom,
my body dissolving like another marsh light
with handsaws and hawks, since even soaring kites
are tethered to the wind, wind bubbled in sky
sky just a dreamer’s brushstroke in sight
and every brushstroke calligraphs why?
My provincial ceilings, now raised high
house no answers, there’s just this walk;
this next step kills each step gone by
and love just sits in mirror talk
lips now become a mirrored world
or cushions, where my path unfurled.


lone moon

June 17, 2008

Lone moon ripe as belly
split birth your cicadas,
come rain down the night
sweet silver nectars.
Come glisten the rivers
lone moon ripe as belly;
split birth your cicadas,
come drink the mystery
will rest in their humming.


June 16, 2008

Night and water all the time;
I drink their signs, the redwoods creaking.

Day and day star out of reach:
the lights that teach are constellations,

slight in the glove of a weary mime
who sets them as my sight comes leaking

rills to wend dusk’s perfect breach,
its silver charts bright consolations.


May 28, 2008

Our sky is not a colour like your sky,
it is more like your blood:

not red, but warm, full,
and dangerous to spill.

There is no death here –
we do not lose what we have made.

Moments do not fade; time is embroidered, not passed;
each instant thrives

and life is a fabric of vines. Love is like weaving,
anger like strangling. Seeing is making –

some say we are tricks of the light
but we can touch minds, angle ourselves and become others.

Each of us has one great heart
that floats ahead of us like smoke.


May 28, 2008

Two hundred feet below the high rise, and soon,
the cars will loose their horns at everything.
Celine Dion offends the French with her Canadian accent –
she’s there on the TV, in a dress like a mirror ball;
you are with me, drinking champagne.

We squeeze lemon juice onto oysters
who tremble in their shells, pale by candle flame.
I am sipping flesh from a crescent moon.

The hours embrace, then expire without protest.
You sit before me, latte skinned
on tight North African curves,
talking to your friends in language I am free of,
relieving me both of silence and the need to speak
though sometimes I do speak, when you stop,
lean forwards on your elbows and explore
or we worry at translations like meat caught in teeth.

Yesterday, Reims cathedral looked about to awaken –
encrusted with statues of the beatified
carved in stone the colour of dirty mustard,
their eyes watering with piety.
Now, at midnight, spirit blows through the walls

like a god cooling his food,
pulverising the shells around them.
Awakened, they must be sounding the horns,
or else it’s city folks begging to be saved
from saints’ swords and angels’ tridents.

Our eyes flicker in time with the candle flame.
The door opens; metal reflects decor and digested skin.

The army of heaven can’t believe that on this day, of all days,
we’re having a dinner party, rather than praying
or gouging out sin with a rusty apple corer.

I smile over my gateaux, tell them:
that’s the trouble with the living,
but the living is good.

summer of love

May 22, 2008

The stained-glass saint has a beard
and behind his head is a tendrilled sun.
He thinks he looks like God. They all do.

I think of the cross
how its wearer’s blood dried to ink
then black wire.

The sky is fierce with clouds.
Angels turn to silt in their guts, cast themselves
to the pavements, the gutters.
I move to shelter through my thoughts

of America, wishful,
imagining a pulsing bag of chrisali. At Beltane
a girl wove me a circlet of twigs and flowers
and I dreamt I was a summer of love.

when hell froze over

May 22, 2008

Pale blue angels

paused in falling.
Tatooed name

rank, serial number. Wings
bloodied as damascus steel.

They fought like samurai,
between science and dance;

God watched a pageant of mantids
devouring in his name or its negative.
Attention seekers, He sighed
and they heard the ice.


May 22, 2008

I am not an absence of rib, nor am I clay
infused with anemos. I am not an emergent pattern
of patterns upon patterns

oscillating like harmonics…
or an intertextual meme; I do not,
like Prospero, raise storms by brushing
or clipping wings.

I am not the words or the thoughts
or the void, the emptiness; I am not Buddha’s neither this nor that,
nor the unbound, nor the probabilistic causeway that giants like Heisenberg

cast upon the waves they saw. I am not the sea of consciousness,
nor do I lack existence. I am not my name.
I am not a number.


May 22, 2008

I tell you to think of onion skins furling
or rainforests like faces. I tell you the heads of pins
swarm with angels, and we are everything
that is neither metal nor Elohim. I tell you the jewel of the dance
is a pearl that everyone is running on
and one must not slip.

You ask what is life’s substance, its shape? I say
quicksilver or sand, labyrinth or symphony.
This tapestry tangles smooth, weaves past anew
as present glances by. Storm and eye
or not I and form no new words please

for what we cannot describe;
such words labour breath into barbed wire.

I cannot hear myself,
I will not listen, I do not desire to grasp the philosopher’s stone
or the unifying theory of hearts.

I must take these words to the river;
the water will make them its own.


October 26, 2007

A soldier is lost in a library. Between page and eye
birds are forming from coloured honey.

The soldier thinks there are so many answers, but mine must be
the prettiest.
The birds are fountains that swallow themselves.

They are all liars, but they sing well and pretend
they exist and are sane. The soldier juggles with them,

clings to them, entreats them,
wrings them till they spill

ink over continents, thinks
that if they are mad then the world is mad.

The birds shed themselves empty.
The answers are not colours and sweetness, the soldier

is pleading, is pleading, is pleading.