The Holidays are over, unwrapped, worn thin and two headed Janus is sitting in the doorway with a scowl, asking me to rethink everything. Make a resolution. Be a better person. Its ok if it’s gone in a month. Everyone is like that. But, you have to do something and you had better make it fast. Meanwhile, it just gets colder and colder, Capricorn arrives and everyone gets older. Goat fish swimming in the ice with frozen smiles, as though they know something we don’t know. The average temperature is eleven degrees and it isn’t even night yet. Wake up! It isn’t warm enough to sleep. Frostbite nibbling. Half of my body numb. Tight, constricted, stiff as Saturn. No time to be lost! Burn the past and sit by the fire. Maybe that’s the best thing that could happen. Maybe we should all be celebrating. Put on the red shoes and start dancing. At least the days begin to lengthen and everyone knows the future, whatever that is, is coming.
Time is always moving forward, at least from our perspective, from the perspective of everything alive, the perspective of life itself. Your life. My life. Diatoms to dinosaurs. Trees and titmice. Ravens to writing desks. This is evolution. This is because life overcomes entropy, except, in the end of course, entropy always wins, no one out lives death and time moves on. Names forgotten. Lessons lost. Nothing changed. Everything changed.
Only the ages of the stars move backwards, only the stages of civilization and the souls of the species precede, corruption added to corruption. The Golden Age giving up to Kali Yuga.
Everyone says we were all nearly wiped out when the great flood of the Age of Cancer came, after the fabulous, golden Age of Leo, Age of the Sphinx. Nothing left over but a riddle? Nothing left but piles of stone? Nothing written down, nothing remembered, starting over, scratching survival out of the leftovers? Only the survival of the desperation of continuation, appetite and sex? Where will we be tomorrow in the Age of Aquarius, artificial intelligence? Robotics without hearts? Efficiency without emotion? Saved or everything stolen? Wiped out again, this time by our own hands, by our own cleverness? By our own hubris? Another Atlantis fallen and forgotten? Betrayed by Fukushima? Mocked by genetic miracles? Still searching for immortality but no where left to live? Is the only answer left to us to figure everything out?
I am returning
Back, to my desert
Back, to my own space
To my internal silences
Where clouds do not linger
Over my head
Watching my every move
And, the long strands of time
Are spun out of sunrise and sunset
Spun out of expansion and contraction
Enchanted, unable to stay away
I am going back to where nothing
Except myself and my mission
Are reflected back from the empty earth
Where the blistering fire of sun consumes the day
And, even when I look away
Thirst consumes my whole soul
And, darkness is subsumed
By the hungry, hollow ground
The desert is just like I am
When you look underneath
There is nothing but hot, red dust
Wishing to be something else
Dry liquid, contradicting itself
If you come to my desert
You will be welcomed
But then, you should really move on
Because you will find
It is full of trapping
Warping of minds
Commitment of all kinds
You may be unable to get away
Be charged with keeping the clouds at bay
Your dreams may be stolen
The way mine were
When I went astray
When I came to stay
You may become
As I am
The unwilling keeper
Of demons and doubts
Charged with the keys which keep
Secrets and faults
To underground prisons and hideous vaults
Someone entrusted to guard the nest
Gather the children and never rest
Watch the seeds
Keep track of deeds
Be one who hears
And, a witness who heeds
The world is full of poor souls
And, entities, unrepenting
Under the dust
Must, have been
Here since the Great Overturning
Sunk in the sand
Without a hand
Without a footprint
Without a shadow
Rapacious, hiding everywhere
Running along the thick, dark
Underground veins of the earth
Along side smoking lizards
My breath takes
A long break
Nowhere ready to leave
Don’t even try to deceive
This is my reality
This is the battleground
This is the range
This is where the colors of the wind change
I am willing to be here
Because I know what is happening
The sounds of the shifting sands
Are summoning wheezing bones
I am holding darkness apart from the light
I am a part of the fight
Refusing to let the demons out of my sight
Refusing to take flight
Infusing the circular altars with ire
Calling a liar a liar
Fighting to triumph in temples of fire
At dusk I will take off my sandals
Gratefully light my candles
And, yesterday’s Rembrandt glow
I know, will show
Neither the corners
Nor the center
Of the crystal ball
Running under the soft footfall
Running through the secret underground
Without a sound
Under the chapel
Through secret chambers
Over the prison of demons
Dancing with black-light scorpions
And, shaking the feathers of vultures
Desiring destructions of cultures
Their deeds restrained, herein contained, for eons
By wills and words
By spells and burning pentagrams
Demons cast out but never quelled
Disembodied and all the more dangerous for it
Thirsting for a being
Rapacious for a soul to do their bidding
Feeding on innocence
Swelling indolence and insolence
The moonlight is breaking
Untouched by spider webs
Merrily drunken on mescal
Jumping over jimson weed
Laughing at scorching sagebrush
Cold and heat
Refusing to retreat
Refusing to be concerned, at all
With our fall
We are being gathered up by gravity
Depravity, leeching, reaching
Screeching at the ashes of those already transformed
Still concerned with their return
Escaping the burn
Wanting to know
How does it go?
The invisible battle
Between the wills of conflicting gods?
I am concerned because of the here and now
And, the vast continuum of life
Which tries to forgive the silence of skeletons
The injuries of the past
Tries to out run the multi-colored lizards
The flying sun
The shadows of the flying birds
The thoughts of the shadows of the flying birds
The eloquence of the animated sky
The night, cloaked in cold
Is whispering under stars of steel
Stripping me down before the dawn
Teaching me how to compete
How to be complete
Without any movement
Without any breath
Companion to death
Keeping the watch fires without fear
I will give up possessions and aggressions
I will disconnect all my wires
I will discard all my attachments
And, disavow all my desires
Left with only my barest essentials
Only my entrails
Only raw survival
Only the vast, dry spaces
The lizard’s skin’s lacework places
Shimmering between cactus thorns
And, the sand dune’s moaning tunes
I will be spent
To inhale phantoms
Confused by collapsing sun spots
And, drifting dust devils
Driven by dreams
I will think in circles
Converse with mirages
Fall in love with visions
And, spend my time
Watching eyes that do not exist
Except in the instant
Of the thunder’s crash
The lightning’s flash
The sand storm’s slash
After I have given up, as well
All of my impatience
I will stand naked, empty and still
Waiting for the shadows to begin to move
For the stars to burn up the night
For the night to devour my sight
For the light to strike my spirit
When I am sighing
And, desperately trying
To remember the way the breezes used to feel
When I was still alive and real
My desert may give me the sudden illusion
I know what is going on
When the vortex of my mind
Aligns with the sky
It will realize
The universe doesn’t need me
Has no reason to feed me
Doesn’t know where to lead me
There are no roads to transverse here
In this desperate desert made of fear
Where I have tried to hide
Where I have sighed and cried
Where dreams have died and dried
Before the introduction of the sun
I already, now
Have come to know how
To hold down a demon
To take the wind out of the sky
To let the sky travel
To let it unravel
To weave it into a map
With the edge of the border left open
So, the gods can come and go
I know how to play the odds
I know how to follow the gods
I know how to speak to the 400 stars,
The 500 stars,
The 600 stars,
And, I think that one of them may even
Someday, answer me
May let me see
May set me free
May tell me why I am here
And, let me know how the battle is going
I have become fascinated by my own,
Anatomically accurate inefficiency and boredom,
My ability to write inarticulate poetry,
To paint hieroglyphics in excruciating colors,
And, to believe in things unproven by science.
Fire has pretty much devastated earth,
The end of the Age of Pisces is upon us,
And, materialism has been conquered,
Matter has been transformed,
Particles outlived and overthrown,
Force fields overgrown.
Now, there is nothing left to do.
I’ve gone about as far as I can,
But, I still have to stay up,
Because, sooner or later, the fireworks will begin.
So, what are you going to do,
Between now and then?
Let’s face it, fellow poets,
Words are a pretty poor substitute for life.
At least with a martini, you can dance.
The End of December
There is a tornado warning in the air.
A strong wind has come up from the south,
Although I don’t know why it bothered,
Because all the leaves have already blown away.
Uranus is exactly square to Pluto,
And, there is bad ju-ju in the stars.
It almost feels as though some foolish person,
Forgot to seek permission from Chango,
Before cutting down a tree.
But, who would do such a foolish thing?
I am beginning to have serious doubts about myself.
I am questioning my beliefs and my choices.
And then, I wonder if it is possible for me to be anything else,
Anything other than what I am?
The world pressures me, impresses me,
Stresses me and, streches me,
Distorts me and, distresses me,
But, I don’t seem to change.
I no longer believe anyone.
I have forgotten how to sleep,
And so, I can no longer escape into dreams.
I am pretty sure my lover has gone insane,
And, he knows all of my secrets.
Sooner or later we will all be sacrificial victims,
To the gods of struggle,
Of destruction, of betrayal,
Distrust and dust,
Of our own ideas of romance or beauty.
Darkness can be very deep,
A long, downhill slope,
Into the arms of a serial killer.
Nobody is getting out of this alive.
The End of January
Let me have my illusions.
I don’t have anything else.
I am a romantic,
And, that’s all that I would be.
I am dressed up like a candy apple,
Like a bubble wizard,
Like a gazelle,
With a cute, pink smile,
And, everybody says they love me.
I am dressed up like a mermaid.
Not a Coney Island, Mermaid-Parade mermaid,
A real mermaid,
Cold blooded, with green scales on my eyelids,
With seaweed under my fingernails,
With flashing starfish in my hair,
A stabbing trident in my hand.
I know the mysteries of the deep,
I know who eats who,
But, I am also the masked, Venetian Carnival Queen,
Who keeps her mouth closed with a index finger,
And, mimics “Shush.”
I won’t tell a soul.
You just wait and see.
All the mysteries of the dark and the deep,
Are safe and silent inside of me.
No one else wants to know anyway.
I am dressed up like a Goat-Fish,
Like Capricorn and Aquarius,
But, without the Fertility of Rain.
I am bleeding out of the winter sky,
Before the world is ready.
No one can see who I really am.
My seeds have been planted everywhere,
But, none of them are growing.
All that matters now,
Is what has already been set in motion.
Nothing new under the sun.
You know, if you start a vibration,
You have to pay attention because,
You might set off some butterfly,
In Hong Kong.
And, nobody knows what will set off a wandlung,
That incomprehensible event which changes everything,
Ushers in an ice age, ends the reign of the dinosaurs,
Starts the human brain.
Ends the race.
I wouldn’t want to set off something like that.
I am just living my life,
Trying to avoid the waves of advancing history,
Which are crashing into society.
The costumes are not helping.
The End of February
The afternoon is cold, and the moon is on the rise,
As transparent as my fingers and as empty as my eyes.
I am so far away the wind can no longer hear my words,
My breath is barely separate from the shadows of the birds.
I am self-contained.
I am inside of myself,
Inside of my shell,
Inside of this gloom in this room.
It is Tuesday afternoon,
And, I am pretty sure I will be alright,
If I can just hang on,
Until the dogwood starts to bloom.
Oh, but what if she does not bloom?
What if she decides to be like other dogs,
To bark instead of blossom?
What if she becomes a snake?
What if she decides to never-more,
Be host to the beautiful, four heart flowers?
Then, never, would ever, this room contain another bloom,
And, my shell would lose all of its protective powers.
I am a creature, tied to the future.
I survive by looking ahead.
Tomorrow is always yet to come,
And, yesterday is long-gone, dead.
Sometimes hope is around the corner,
Somewhere up the staircase,
Somewhere under the bed,
Somewhere over my head.
But, sometimes the dogwood lets it go,
And, it falls to the ground instead.
The End ofMarch
Holi is over.
I have let my hair,
Go loose, like a goose, in the wind.
Now, it is a tangled mess,
And, a good expression of myself,
With no idea of where it wants to go.
The End ofApril
Wash me rains.
I run to you.
Give me a blessing,
A kiss or two.
I close my eyes,
I let you run.
These days are gray.
I seek the sun.
I am undone.
I am covered in clouds.
The End ofMay
Confetti in the air.
But, nothing has gotten any better.
The End ofJune
The wild beach leaves me stranded,
With memories of sandbars and rising tides,
Coquinas, escaping, faster than my hands can dig.
How delightful it would be to share my summer dreams.
But, there no one, it seems ….
The End ofJuly
It is to fry.
It is time to eat blueberry, pie-in-the-sky.
It is time to wonder why,
I even try.
The End ofAugust
Oh, robust, genuine, hearty laughter.
Is that what I’m really after?
The End ofSeptember
Or, just forget the whole thing?
The End ofOctober
Come on kids,
Let’s play some scrabble.
Clean the chair and, brush my hair,
And, make believe you really care.
Get in the car and go somewhere.
Is it better here, or over there?
The End of November
Bartender! Oh, bartender.
I’m not here to make any trouble.
All I want is a vodka martini,
And, this time, make mine a double!
Mankind without direction
Without coherence or connection
Dust and disintegrating borders
Landscapes without definition
Surrounded by psychopaths
Smothered by mutants running wild
With radioactive smiles
Countdown in foreign tongues with red eyes
All of the fantastic children of demons
Sibarites with no one to please but themselves
Lost in the wilderness
Cut off from the molten rivers of glass and brass and blood
What little is left to do but gnaw on driftwood
And, break our teeth?
Mine will not be a shallow grave, a perpetual dream, as red as rain. The world dances by. Everyone else seems to know where they are going. The past descends into the earth, into objects, into ourselves, into my gravitational center, to become a black hole and, I am surrounded by the future. I am the center of time’s centrifugal force. I am a wormhole into myself.
The stars, half of what they used to be, are all wrong, wrapped up in shadows, eaten by angular moonshine and mazes. The wind blows wild without direction. The earth no longer supports the sky. I have made no difference and, the world goes on. Tomorrow, perhaps, I will become a lazy cloud. I will hold two young birds safe in my hand until they grow long, green feathers and learn to speak in tongues and reveal the future to wizards and seers. Dust devils will try to break through but will be devoured by the seeds which nourish the minds of dragons, the souls of serpents and the wings of angels. I shall wait on the brink and wink at the ravens while they rearrange the world, laughing because they can or because they must. Who knows how much damage has already been done? Yet, a wild, red flower has bloomed in the sunrise and I am ready to be on my way. Surrounded by branches, I will take one as a walking stick. I will take one as a companion, one as a scepter and another as a wand. I will take one as a weapon, one as a lightning rod, one as a compass and another as a church. And the stars, which are only half of what they used to be, will be grateful I am on the move and they are no longer in the way.
There is a madness in the air, more disturbing than the Rite of Spring. The forest is full of thistles and thorns and, the ravens are reciting the history of the world. The clowns are satisfied with my confusion, my delusion, my emptiness, the lines on my hand. My tongue is numbed by bitter toxins, brewed in the belly of a hornet king, eyes closed by lightning, silence of a heart beat no longer mine, in someone else’s dream, a sand painting blown away by the late afternoon breeze, waiting for stars, half of what they used to be.
Battle after battle, until, no one left alive to sing with the snakes. We are the horrible ones, you and I, and, everyone else, even the innocent who don’t know yet of what they are capable. Dark days and dark ways, dark blood, predators who kill without the need to feed. Lightning contained within a rain drop. Tangled up in my own hair.
A fragmented soul, lost, only knowing the stars are somewhere up ahead, half hidden, half of what they used to be, lost their way, lost the ability to guide, lost in a pinwheel of satellites, lost as the pale, fallen rose petals, the tattered, brown, jasmine flowers of yesterday, the desiccated dragonfly’s wings, lost as clouds of coral pollops in the patterns of the sea, lost in the green, pollen sky, lost in the fractals of my imagination, in the unbearably fragile earth, in the breath of the dying underworld and forgotten memories.