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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Gates (Raw)

I'm guiding a flying whale four days out to sea by his dorsal fin. His body's encrusted with art, the snout an abalone frown. Grunts smelling of dead seals and cedarwood; the underbelly a map of oil wells, dead pirates, and red sores blinking where the last of the coelocanths home. Fade to white, queer hours throwing in religious blues. We’re descending to I never see the sea.


Antarctica’s balmy and totally out of time. While my statisticians count bricks in the cliffs of Extremist Point, questions are asked about the penguin husks and seals dashed on the rocks. So dead in a way I know this has to be the safest place on earth. Evidence suggests a Mongol hoard departed. Emily and I assume the roles of Edwardian caretakers who swim the continent surveying mountains of marble and castles made of cliffs. Higher than the sky did not exist. One war camel remains, says 5 billion warriors are returning to stay. My statisticians will be outnumbered. One day we must swim forever's never longer than a solar day. Antarctica, you will be interesting.


Most have a construct for their sexual errata. Virgin formations that didn’t work out. Venereal retractions, an antechamber you can’t escape with seizures unauthorized and boarding gates in the foreplay. All is one white Rubix cube inside another, loaded with dials and knobs and tracks, the tiles tight as Incan temples. In this one, Old Master Venuses are alive on the floor, shining calves glazed like doughnuts or a heap of autumn squash. They smoke and bloom like a pileup of exotic cars, tits covered in advertising decals, infrared satellite maps, neon erogenous zones, a cathedral of flesh in a shower of sparkling oil. Crystal frogs leap from soft rock to porcelain basin in the pink profuding Amazon. Reflecting pools fill with the urine of cherubim where the lily pads drift, part cabinet of curiosity, part purple orgy of starfish, urchin, and anemone. I can't consummate, but I know I ejaculate chocolate.


People on pedestals are sprayed with semen and the mobs below dance in the rain of the sex. On the altar of a jungle pyramid, a monster-man sits on skin wheels that once were his legs, a chair of flesh for thronging mouths, head moving slowly as a parade balloon. From his waist, the organ strikes like a chinese yo-yo blasting gallons of come, recoiling, flaring, recoiling, soaking the women on pedestals who dance in the rain of his sex. Ha ha ha, he shouts, I give you LIFE! waving to the crowd, turning slowly to drench the women on pedestals who dance in the rain of his sex. In the city below, the men are chased by tigers on terraced rice slopes, playing dead, eaten alive. It is clear that God has shined upon this city.


Nagano, 1985: The dream drips at the edges, ink down the page. I’m in the hot springs with Edie Brickell and Vince  Lombardi conducting my very own talk show. Snow and the dragonflies circle the ferns—a million shades of $50 bills. Nocturnal earthquakes make a raging temple of the sea. We are seen by millions each evening against a very fake skyline. But shockingly little graphic violence ensues. So the city cancels us and looms anew, bright as sneakers propelling human life through cloud. The moon is not our spotlight now. Up above the airbus flies like a white toy. What I am is whatever you say. Tonight, a very special guest is coming into time.


This is Oxygen Island. And my eyes collide so hard with everything around. At the back of the forest—cliffs under wallpaper, acts of evolution in the leaves. Time traveled through me like ocean through baleen. A full moon moved a dancing tornado of light on the waves. On top of the hill, a tree scrimshawed with hieroglyphs spun on its trunk.  Wind through its codes filled the music with air, turned like a music box drum, standing upright, spinning, spinning. Under my kimono, tattoos clashed. And all maps began drifting toward mystery.


Closing time at the Italian market. The sign says SKATES FOR SALE, meaning rays—phantom fish—but inside there are pyramids of tomato sauce Imported Today. Late summer shadows are all I remember, artichokes in oil. A shadowy corner with workers waiting to leave. No skates in the case. Put away for the night. It smells like petty crime and silence now. Outside in the shadows, an alarm is sounding out.


Through storefront windows the succulents phosphoresce,
security asleep beneath the thieves.

Shoes are being idolized, elevators filling with cologne.

Like aquariums blue with television fluid all walls turn to H2
and oaks aglow upon the lawns guide us to the golden orange of our body moonlighting as our child.

Midnight cake is drowning in a bath of milk.
Shoes are being idolized.

I know this air.

Spring is coming, the hyacinth, the impatiens.


One night I get out of my car. It rains. Umbrellas bloom.

In the closets, empty clothes, cedarwood—bananas, waffle cones. The swimming pool a sink of shampoo. Astroturf gets bloody when a wild pig in racing stripes appears in the garden, clusters of war ribbons dripping from his side.

By moonlight his eyes shine like black snakes twinkling in the sun.

The beat is dropping like a shuttle out of space and someone shouts The splash is on!

The pig dives deep in the mire, all turbo desire. I can see him lathered even now, one tusk still sticking upright like a bowsprit under ice.

When the sky falls I thank god I’m a pantheist.


A salamander's in shock on the glass in my leaves, his tail’s each patient flick clocking the spread of the trees. With swipes of emerald, lemon, and black, his pendulum paints up my darkness and tells the future with a quick mimic of the hours that have passed me by before. A still beat builds in my gut’s wet crock, measuring the discord of hungers hungering for harmony—a cosmic alignment of sleep, flesh, and food. He quickens the frantic sway, a mock smile affixed to his lips, as if to say the time he keeps really is a lit wick waiting to ignite anticipations. Or is it a grimace wound by his tail, its stock of teeth hemmed by a bitter lip, confused beyond hope of understanding the barrier’s trick of sealing me from what it has revealed? From a red velvet chair before the hyaline lock, every organ awaits another's ease, just moments away--ticking seconds off the bells that never chime when I ready to tock.


Bombshells. Big fake sky. Mathematically alive, I’m all prosthetics in the human sand. Caesar’s turned arena to marina, the sky to a magenta photochrome. Eyes are beating down like 60,000 suns, round as my theater where senators caress the circumference of their girth and servants sussurate behind the sinning sculpture; slavering concubines, glabrous pudendas. I memorized passcodes while serving as their footstools. I convinced few. I questioned nothing. My morality was an abscess on the genitals of Empire. And here’s my Coliseum, engineered with the philosophy of billiard tables—pegged with coral totems and salt mounds, weird mangroves imprisoning Christians and Gauls, tiny tsunamis stirred by the jeers, and gavials hauled in for the end. See the hyped axe, the leopard's diamond jaw, the scorpion bouquet. There’s nothing you can’t become through someone else. 

I won’t be broken with a thousand blows. But thumbs keep pointing my way down. Jesus please, make gladiators gladiolas.


So many silver linings can only mean one thing. The sky began to ring around itself. Like an I-V bag hanging low, a cloud with purple-lightning veins, this jellied biomass, drizzling intestines like a man-o-war, swept over me like a raging surgery. In the ditch I saw up the throat of its spotlight, into the blue sky behind it all.


A sheet of glass thinner than apartment walls, the spritz of mist upon Colocosia, white as wine come Carolina mornings.


The Skye's never rufted by Cloudes, but Its blue Dome is rubbed by Hillsides white with Milke Pondes, Lilie Fields growing by the favoure of our Lord. The Air is stille. Nothing at all woulde move upon thefe Slopes if not for the Breezes stirred by little Winges pafted on the backs of iridefcent Blowflies that bafk like Mother of Pearle in the rays of the Sunne. I am the only Manne, drifting in the deepeft, brighteft fumes of Sleepe, Lungs suffocating under the silent Fire. Still I cannot go unmoved when a little ruftling, magnified by the Silence, comes from the Distance to shatter my Repofe. 

Hearte gagges--I'm not alone. Poifon Arrows race, Handes grope as the Sunne burns, losing maffive, invifible Partes of itfelf! The ruftling ripples the Milke, quakes Flowers in a Traile from Stemme to Petal so I underftand that Something beneathe them muft be skulking the Grounde to caufe their unreft in suche wife, and when the Leaves beginne to flutter near My Arm I rife. Something large and dark creeps through openings in the Leaves, silente as the Atmofphere and slowe as the Air and appearing to move on many Leggs. I part the Plantes, tearing the white with a Gashe of green.  

A terrific Spider of pure blacke, two feet long and trailing a monkey's Tail on its Abdomen paufes to see the Sunne revealed and covered againe as the Leaves move backe into place and a Screame echoes in Paradife.


In a stained glass bathroom, the toilet Listerine refuses my sacrifice, coughing one great loaf onto the sink, another into the bathtub; and in its mouth, the building’s Ebola fesses up a splinter pile, a tuna steak, still beating, and an eight-legged shadow of black yarn waiting in its web of whirlpools to eat my soul.


Late at night, past imperial fountains to the house, I take Miss X, kill her (hanging by doorknob), and link the murder to suicide. Leaving again, I CANNOT be seen, but an old supervisor passes in the light you find come summer campuses or the Verona of Shakespeare. Back to the fountains--apex of the universe and an excellent alibi. Firework light, soft water, synchronized swimmers, deep as the polar bear pool at the zoo. Astronomers to the side, Starr Jones doing gymnastics, young lovers in love, Boucher’s Venus herself in full bloom. 

Suddenly Colombo shows up! I answer questions with reasonable suggestions, but I'm the center of it all, hiding in half light, and sleeping on lawns, the world aught but one panopticon where prison is the Babel tower lit up purple in the distance--this electric ziggurat veined with tracer lights and ambuli. One wrong move and Colombo has one more thing. I cannot answer.


Aneurysms of jazz from the big top arising. Featureless sounds of the passing parade. I’m tied to luxurious chairs. Hotel bible in midair catches light through the drapery wave—filtered doves, dust motes in the halo blade. Featureless sounds. The passing parade. A face unfolds in a Chinese fan upon a passing float outside. Seasonal breezes smelling of fish marketeers. Iron bridge over iron bridge. Camellias. Electricity. The movie stars of India billboarding windowside. Suddenly, I see BOB come out of the walls. As he arranges beetles on the wall, I see my sisters shrink in the terrarium, transform to white lions. Iron bridge over iron bridge. Hotel bible in midair. I’m tied to luxurious chairs. My sisters move in time with BOB’s beetle-chess game. Animal marionettes. Featureless sounds. The passing parade.


Sex terrorists take over downtown commando square, its screens filled with mandatory daily torture films. In one, a woman's brain is scrubbed with a toothbrush; in another, Wes Craven is buried under 100,000 tons of jello and the invisible Archvillains commentate how his every bone is slowly crushed, his organs suffused til nothing but gelatin. We are being replaced it is clear--the bones of other beings made "our own". I say Fuck This but the sex terrorists find me, put me up at the slave market in a back alley of disappearing stairs. Women pick and choose like a dodgeball game til finally I arrive in a knickknack shop and fall into the remarkable labia of Justine Joli. Some horror ends swell.


Steep hill and the '36 Cadillac Jonckheere is sloping backward at the speed of glass, 
rainwater leveling in the floor. A tiny, shiny robot camera, like a flying VCR, approaches me and films the scene, then sails away back to the high school where I belong.


Thrace to star, China to port. Fizzing seas on pinewood planks. I'm dressed in Versace, smelling of cedarwood, vapid, who cares? My earth is a Faberge egg, presented to whom I am sailing to find.


The snow fell slowly on our gingerbread town, sprinkled the steps of the courthouse and turned to sugar. Wild deer would bat an eyelash through winter trees swelling with the shadows. As the molten ice of evening grows, your fingers close the exits of perspective.


Three weeks of sky confused by its own hemorrhage and the warplanes dance again, revealing stories of pride and love in their opera of engine drones. Spelling symbols with their swandives. Cast on curved walls and watched from odd angles. As the moon appears from nothing in a theater of seas: robin's egg, sapphire, and midnight. What do you dream from your silos? Tides of ice polishing the moon dry? The wind’s creation of an appaloosa in the sky?


A leopard makes his cameo by chasing banana-skinned pythons into the vines. Wild ribbons of pink. Nouveau fire. I split a taxi with Athena through the ghetto around the arena. In her hand is a birthmark shaped like Gondwana. At the top of an escalator I found a jewelbox of broccoli and began to learn why it was red.


The octopus-lifting branches left his stage in midriver, sparkling like a gigolo and revving those three hearts.


I get to know the inner sanctum of Russian fashion, can’t express the clarity of the storefront glass. This was high-end mall theater: czar-time Nuryevs and extremely prim sluts enacting The History of Emotion in beautiful shoes. Film flutters. Flappers, dandies, empty racks, cashier and pipeline. Heiresses wretch ecstasy among the hedge fund studs. Strange fabrics gather dust. The satyr stabs the satyr hater. Designer clothes molder in time.


Backcountry Victorian jewelhouse. I can’t tell a dress from a curtain 30-feet high. I can't tell the birdcage from the theater stage.


Magnitude sky.

The passing cloud and the clear sky and the white light and the passing cloud.

I’ve had my awed reactions in the chain.

There’s always something new.

But I’m running out of fundamentals.


Cream cheese-cool marine air moving seafood, cotton candy, lawnmower fumes and cherry milkshakes under the mannequin moon.

The oceans must be planes of glass colliding on horizons about to disappear.

Ford Taurus, aluminum siding, palm tree, detritus, the
paparazzi—disappear. The way the moon always goes home.

It is said I resist. But I don’t.


Robin is weeping in a beautiful bathroom in the middle of the desert. She tells her handmaiden why love has eluded her. I can almost hear it clearly through the missing bricks in the wall.


Blue diamonds of the hypersky. Simulated dream Dakotas. The masks of Atlantis surface on the sea.


The people form a serpent, lined up to await their portrait
carved in the soft cubes that tile the mecca of our desire,
an airport that will cradle and regard its children, safe from the shark fins taxiing outside.


Another beach. This time a marble shore. The dog wears a Modigliani mask. The Vikings follow home the birds. My father wallpapers the cliffs.


Hot-buttered monsoon and the commerce goes red as cherry and habaneros stroked up on reclining leather moons. Desired heat is set. Black steel. Honey peel. O 
paradise console: Diamond-studded beef, dashboard frescoes, silk-infused airbags, touch-screen dopamine,
divine nutrition for lace tongues and tailfins. We’re customizing the whole convoy tonight. Top speed: Angel breast and luxury pharmaceuticals.


Crystalline tyrannosaur skull lit up with Christmas lights under the grapevines on top of the hill.


On a drawbridge that led to a sloop in a river braided with fish, Kate Upton and Blackbeard did the whole Kama Sutra.


We helicopter over sugarfields. The morning sun reflects 
a thousand sweet diamonds. On a bridge overlooking the thousands of interstates leading to a newer home
I see myself and take a subway to the tarantula queen. Celebrated in white lace on a carousel of tarantellas dispensing death with a wave and a smile and the math of those who have loved a long long time.


There's a mall-turned-museum where an artist commemorates the closing time of her own genius beside a fountain that is running to the edge.

The intractable language of Empire ossifies over airwaves by ice come Thanksgiving morning.

In a loft on the horn of the prefrontal cortex, two superstars are making love like it's 1979.


I fell asleep among my toys, the nanny naked on the floor. 
Waves peeling like the pages of a book ate the moon. Rolls of fabric drooled from the windows. The cavalry opened my sliding glass door. All of their camels went shh shh shhBut I think they were spies working for spies working for me and I’ve lost all account. Waves kept crashing down. Something is happening the Major cried. Evacuation is futile. The situation is terminal.

I fell asleep among my toys. Among my wet stuffed animals.


Warehouse district. One thick and frosted window reminds the shattered of what was. Suddenly there’s an islet of rainforest in the intersection. Pull your hand from the humus and it’s full of worms painted like collectible snakes—boomslang, boa, king. The forest catches fire instantaneously and I’m some height above the city with skyscrapers and temptations on a carnival contraption shaped like a Conestoga that refuses to stop. The window pops and ants pour forth. Millions of them take the town like boiling syrup. Off in the haze, among the oil derricks and pyramids, the leaning tower of Pisa is collapsing into the air.


Down a crooked wooden spine, the coast of horses lay in bloom. Articulate icebergs flowering from the stones of a dead sea. No more hooves of shattered china buried in the sand, tractors turned to copper in the fields of foals, curveballs aimed with apples at the last standing tree. Apologies in mind flake like aging oyster shells. Just take the smile from a walnut’s crack, grapes thick as curls in a Roman woman’s hair, and leave their purple bags to hold the thimbles of the angelfish. 

If you want to fail, don’t say a word. It is the season of epiphanies. And sobered boats are apt to capsize in these sudden storms. Under rough waters you insist are quite placid.


It’s a beautiful zoo complete with helicopter tours of Madagascar, hikes along the tsunami zone of collapsing icebergs, rapid runs, and ceremonial biplane flights. Down the staircase cliffs by the great white sharks I enter headquarters. 

But things turn ugly when I mention the high-density chicken-coop curio cabinets, which hold all manner of tiny fucked-up animals—wild horses who ran too fast, lion cubs with inverted spines, down syndrome frogs. Why is the leopard exhibit is so damn baroque? I demand, and anger the zookeeper.

After the skip, the Amazon dams all break. The zookeeper reminds me how my father’s love of animals outstripped his ability to care for them. I offer new cages but soon I just set em all free. The Amazon is an orgy of wild beasts, and I feed my father and the zookeeper and you to the hippopotami.


Incan antechamber—urinal and shoe display stand side by side within the theater. Back issues of the Journal of Immortality and Phrenology Today lay on the table. Goldfish thrash in coffee mugs. As the blue glass of the city crumbles into itself, Robin appears in a courtesan costume singing sea chanties, heart whining like a wrecked guitar as the champagne licks its pyramid of crystal.

Suddenly pale-blue g strings blew from the racks. My mother knew I was in love. It was true--I had worse credit than a pathological plagiarist. I walked among the toilets toward the altar where I took my prize--a cannister of tadpole foam to share in the streets.


Pi etched into statues’ face a perfect field. I play chess with trees in a courtyard made for sultans, 40-second films projected on adobe walls as the heels clack their way up the emerald. Tropical foliage, iron scrollwork, gaslight and moons. A one-story glass palace stretches out on the lawn like a luxurious worm, hungry as hell as the noise begins—half-broken pigs moving through the halls, led by their butchers and squealing to the roast.


There's a snake so long neither head nor tail is visible. Crawling slowly on the beach. It dawns the snake can't harm me no matter what I do. Beat it, stab, caress--it's so long neither head nor tail could wrap its energy around me quick enough to kill. The skin is shining mud, but the spots, once the black of backwater tides, are windows now--portals not much bigger than an airplane's. Then comes a lump in his continuance. Something is happening. Feet frozen, looking away makes it appear--a capybara staring out, eyes that make you say It wasn’t me.


Come quickly to the musclebound heroes with the kodachrome scream, eyes scanning like schools of savage red fish for sharks appearing in our mist. Twin vapor trails spin the sky. High above, a stealth dot of jet lets loose its Fat Man, the gravitational pull sending up red flames. When the mofo lands, human detritus slops and settles like churning magma. Heads of state roll at the crossroads of battleaxes passing in midair, one atom’s breadth from sparking up annihilation on their flight toward the simultaneous decapitation of Ronald Duck and the Wicked Bitch. The axes brace in crossbones style. Concrete isn’t real enough to soften our fall. The sunset is medical green. The blood spills a radiant script. The rainbow exists in the lightning.


At the summit of a lightning-green hill, the wind paints pictures in the grass revealing me now as a bear, now an adulterer, a Founding Father, a truck driver, a tree, a molecule. The wind has no particular picture in mind.


The field trip kids kept finding little coins with weird icons all over the rainforest as the 747s appeared in the pyramids of Baltimore. Blood, soil, grass around: eternal resurrection proving here and everywhere the splendid futile. It’s 95° in the a.m. Bats and butterflies and glass above.

Up in the nebula, Egyptian hands have pulled the lever that opens the astral: aqua novae, grapelight, peach dust, stained-glass giraffes. Or so it looks when tragedy is waiting like a face empty as the sawfish eyes. And all those kids half your size keep racing through a time when the world was twice as large.


She keeps her secrets like assassins worth their weight, sees me as a hawk a mouse. Here she comes, descending the stairs on an ostrich, half-naked, seductive, and nuts. Low, unbroken notes bend upward through each octave before shattering to screams, before she gives the diorama of her womb where the future can be seen. 

In the back of a trailer I clean the armor she leaves at night, ash-white as the sky at sea, made of lavender and mollusk shells, there beside the porchstep oil drums with a mask from which I interpret her face, waiting to hear my name escape like a sparrow from its home. Only the rooster blows its bugle to the summer air.


Here he comes, conducting amusement park trains streaming into the house  with his gifts piled high in the cars—a portrait of Baudelaire, hats by Kikirara Shoten, pillows by Seraph and Splendor, tin boxes with artichokes and adverbs and football cards, miniature supercars, models of eroded chateaux, a nest of mud and gold with Faberge eggs, cigars lined up like friendly soldiers in a box, LSD, the effects of which won’t be felt for a decade, locks of Helen’s pubic hair, and a figure-8 catwalk at the end of the caboose down which an elephant stripteases, then trunks out a pack of trading cards. I got 

The Chicken and Francis Bacon 
Elegabalus' First Time 
Christy Turlington Gets a Face Tattoo 
Blackbeard's 14 Wives 
Mozart Confronting His Creditors 
The Discovery of Slavery.

All mine, if he can have one taste of the strawberry shortcake growing in my icebox.


Hip deep before the cave in gel-black water and perfect rocks, the mushrooms bloom, the dripping gold, the aqua sky, the purple fish, the gemstones and jellies call from inside. I am about to be still. Part of the cornucopia. A galleon off the coast doesn’t see. An entrance like the Luray Caverns with an immediate escalator leading to rooms of moist earth, subterranean forest and sand, liver and mist, all-amber chambers where insects and humans trap in the trees, and stained-glass floors illuminated by the lava boiling below.


My love is the amphibious pose I never saw struck in better cities at sunset on a hotel wall. This parallel city buzzes by exquisite black trains, its relief like a glacier in full sun. Our machinehood sped by whips, the sap of ladies gathered in the angles of shaded walls and beds of sand inside. The headboard is a switchboard, golden buttons arranged in patterns meant to conjure portholes. Press Imotek for milk. Press Osiris for Things, Press Pharoah for cruise ships that split the city on immediate canals. Someone says the hotel elevator holds deceit. Here, all prostitutes leave receipts. And the beetles can be trapped in bell jars if your timing flies.


Apaches crucified on the spokes of wagon wheels, canyonland dinocracies in the lemon squall at dawn. I crawl among the dunes to be erased in light. My shadow can be seen on the browning bodies of fall trees. The twisted funk of locomotives, blackbird grapeshot kicked from smokestacks. My ribs become the harp you play. My shadow can be seen on the browning bodies of fall trees. Travelling the country for a place where it can rest. By the seashore lays a stable that is full of panicked horses. Their salted milk nursed me out of Night. Now a giant oaken frigate has capsized on the sand, and a palace full of seashells aches with women’s hollow wombs. But the temple has an organ, and a stranger plays a tune. So carry my heart to the rotting barn that lays in the cloud of wasps. The marquis is waiting there with the horses drinking the sea. Point out the criminal on the glowing tile in the temple. Gather the treasure that waits in my winter. My shadow can be seen on the browning bodies of fall trees.


Veranda whiteout. Unfeeling zombies fill Shadow Island, and the innkeepers knowdown. Whitedeath mansion mill in the jungle light. The same place I once saw de Sade self-vivisected on the lawn. Niagras pouring down entryways. Copperlight mist. Fake twilight—the nights of old movies where blue filters imitated evening. Now is where I make love on the stairwell as lizards on the ceiling watch. Back again, blue this time. My body the machete.


In Room XVII, in the still hot center of Interminable boredom Lady Xmas comes in with new codes and animals, blue sapphires of her breast veins bulging, pure shine of her loaded calves buttering, topless in an ice room of sunflowers, chessboard for a face, stained glass eyes, sliding-glass mouth technicolored into the air

conditioning the smoke, bars of ice caging flames in her throat, transparent as glass or sneaker technology under the thunder of B2 bombers, innumerable arms able to tame a wasp, drinks Galliano straight from the vase, or fix a head scarf that stirs deep strange urges down, Lady Xmas comes in.


Some nights I dream that I am followed by a wolverine across a wasteland. It's very cold, and the snow like grains of sand, the moon so bright I can see the past in a plate of ice. My head is low. And his is roaming for a scent. I do not gain he does not close. We are like a bone the wind blows.

I could have made a terrible mistake.


Late night in the solar system. Obama comes to me, has heard I'm thinking of quitting my job again. It's more than just park rain and heavenly chicken at this point. We wander through a gumdrop galaxy of planets crevassed in an interstellar cloud bank that has melted through like hard candy in the mouth. The way a block of ice melts under a hot water stream. Here and again, lime Saturn, pink Venus, canary Jupiter--stardust and tissue paper wrapping them like boustiers of multicolored breasts, the whole universe a pill exploding drugs and love and unforseen health problems blowing in from PsR 1257 12A. It is through a cave in the sky, still smeared in dark matter, that we drop from the clouds and reenter the rain. He said nothing, but the point is made. Back again at the fountains, Boucher’s Venus in full bloom.


An alternative 1983: Michelle calls wanting answers to multiplication problems. I step into the curvature of night and press the moon for more info. Under the apple trees of my childhood, the sky fills with stars, each played by its own cicada. The frogs lend vibrato and the answers to me.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Maha pralaya

All the labor of this man is for his mouth; therefore his soul cannot be satisfied. --Ecclesiastes

Does He not Himself provide me with the accusations I use against Him? –Lautreaumont

And perhaps, at midday, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists! —Melville


Burst ten frillion ways to continue
never lacking direction to an end
teeming with political bacteria
fulminating extraneous intricacy
everthirsting at the neverending fountain
spouted somewhere deep
from this ridiculous amount of space.

Pretty for no reason. Savage all the same.

To speak honestly
as only a creation can
Just look at me.
The work is unrefined, a challenge
so great in breadth and passion
I have let gone
the conception of perfection
and take relief
in crude devotion.

Maybe there are limits
beyond which even Your beautiful idea
lies barricaded from the light
that cannot shine
through Your own angry density.

Maybe all creators
have a shape
already made for them.

If You have not forsaken us
I find it hard to gather why
as I am that imperfection
everyone seeks to avoid.

Are You—also imperfect
having made me, proof of error—
broken by frustration
I can’t perform as was designed
too committed to surrender
Your ape to the fire?

I know that to admit
is tantamount to saying
You are not what we claim.

I share a slender notion
of what that is.

Look at what I aim to say.
Then look at what I am.

I say, of You
I am judge neither purer
nor more judicious
than the next to see the evidence.
In the end my sentence
will be never guilty
because killer and victim
all are the same 
when we run into You.

Beyond the forest the filth and the ocean

the silence of Your equilibrium
so fantastic it is laughter roar and cry
cancels out itself
as stars make of themselves
heavenly asterisks
to qualify the blank night sky.

Hence these fastidious records
of life I keep mostly private
to the faster efface
my memory off of the tomb--

these records say nothing.
But that’s not the point.

That I lived is the point.
That now it must be undone.

How do You make it

Trapped in the latest
tower of data
sooner eclipsed than evening tomorrow
by a tower greater, more meaningful
more efficient, or something...

hunger gone to the hours
skill to program
heart to machine
vitality to Philippines

thought to a database
dream to necessity
mind to superiors
soul to the vices that choked off
all thought I still was a soul, inconsistent

but, pathetically, conscientious
of my disappointing companions
and the daughter who looked at me
like some sweet baby gorilla
I knew would chew my face off
twenty years hence

I woke aware
of the great loneliness
contemplated for a moment
rendered irrelevant by the next
which made much energy
but never moved me

though I walked past the violets
that long since ceased to amaze
and took my elevator
of cocoa butter and hairspray
into the cerebrum of a delicate business
where language, preprogrammed
makes anathema king

until one day goodbye.

In this condition one goes
contented absent unconscious
forgetful distracted amazing and bled

tamed viper fangs dripping my god
into the dream that goes on.
In the absence of love
a man is this coin.
Beware the one unhappy to be copper.
Beware the man 
in search of God.
What must be wrong with him?

He is not happy. Yet he is not bright.
Probably a criminal, old or broken.

He only sees the odds against him
and hasn’t the wits to lie
or the charm to seduce
a way from confronting
whether life should be lived

as others are living
in his own deepest fantasy

and, if they are 
how he can bend
himself to normality 
and stop the cravings he craves.

As the beautiful debate their beauty
his ugliness leads the way
into the magic of mind, past
the limits of language
to some crooked antechamber
to wait for translucence
as dead as alive.

I close my eyes against the velvet experience.

Everything I’ve never known is softer
than my hands upon the pillow.

Despite the precedents
there are no crocuses.

The light and truth
that got away
were just the hummingbirds
about me.

To get me now, well
I am beyond the getting.

No saintly rapture
no CEO optimism
no love to spin
toward the promise the prophets
dreamed up in mountains deserted
when we were Your favorites
and You showed us things nightly.

Nothing but energy
avoiding disruption
of its wayward null purpose.

Still I assign You 
a name and a brain
and all of my messages
because there is no choice
but to be small.

I am many things, a man

but the absence of a man
as well. The matter to be left
when Your incredible shadow
comes to swallow mine
will fall to the ground
waiting for mushrooms.

I felt it, presaged, one morning
my body, a husk left 
by the great sucking starfish You embody
sucking me into eternity.
I remember I felt it, that shadow, a chill
looking down from an empty bridge
on an empty street
in a bitter winter

how I felt myself atomized
blowing ashes through enlightened fog
hung upon the river
lit up from within
by the faintest sun I ever saw.

I felt it. I feel it. 
I am still frozen there. I will always
be frozen there
looking down from an empty bridge
missing my friend, the craziest orchid
I took for my own

now gone with the sadness, full-flower
I was meant to experience. 

When I think of her I think of You
and hope that I am wrong.

I’ve slipped the noose of common sense.

I have looked over the cliff.
Have you looked over the cliff?

Past that point
God will learn who you are.

Do you want Him to know?

The clock’s in motion
and here I am

a man in the night
staring at the moonlight
through the tusks of a mastodon
spear in hand to the deafening sound.

The trembling ground
makes me wonder
if anything was ever stable.

Who is more vulnerable than this

Why does he believe his brain
will change what made his brain his brain?

Why does his heart evolve
to crush upon the hairy female
spawning with another
emotionless creep in the intimate blare?

Why would he seek more
meat than he can eat
or think too long
of how he ends

begin to find
how he began
and stand astounded
erected spines and streamlined minds
mean shit against the shit?

Why is this
Shouldn’t You absorb it?  
Or do You 
when the earth quakes 
like a lover’s body 
also feel the rapture?

second chances
thirds and fourths
can’t calm the hurricanes of aching
that make me fall asleep by noon
glued to newstales of ISIS, the election
frayed social fabric, desperate politicians
plus-sized magazines
the wacked-out machinations
of the System or of Earth
or a heart that is withholding
some sad secret I made bleed.

You make me sorry
I exist.

I would aspire to be holy
if I knew what knowing what
holiness was like.
I would end it here
if death did not relent
to new lives
perpetuating the perpetuation

kiss Your strawberries for years
write praise of streams
and naked cream-tan bodies
of supernovae and amphibians
rare as passing dreams

then awe destruction
fawn on earthquakes, supercells
find quantum revelation, burn something
to watch the fire, discover beauty
in the North Pacific Garbage Gyre
in our great gestation
of sterile new animals
if I knew no better:
Ears are for the limited
and prayers are to ourselves.

Forgive the plasticity
of my admiration.

It may be seen as cynical and decadent
typical of one who writes
near the death of his nation
his own planet his cooling star
to say Let’s love evil as good
until the sky is green
as the grass is rain.

But truth cannot be stupid
nor can I be so delicate
in evolution to the higher human dream
that I ignore all evidence
we are the concubines of madness
awaiting ecstasy or a bruise

that we must be something to ourselves
because it’s clear we mean nothing to You.

How many names
have You gained through the years?
Jehovah Moloch Shiva Zeus Kali.

Ten thousand more 
because we’ve all lost count 
and can’t identify
the branches of infinity.

So many guesses cannot really say
what pretty litanies could be weaved
from all these reveries

or what I should say
to stop the beating

I don’t presume, encompass you with God
and cautiously still feel about You
like some coyote by the fire
curious and unconvinced
You will not leap to burn me.

Because You always
burn me.
Because I deserve it.
Because You made it so.

When I flagellate myself
it is You with the whip.

When I am stoned
it is You bleeding.

I have worshiped
every open flower
of the endless honeysuckle
without sensing
anything but what I awed—

the juvenile experience of truth
others have long since seen
ten frillion ways fragment
into the tropes and symbols
of the disappointed language
they now whisper

I can't whisper
even though I see now
no flower is itself
and what I awed 

now makes me groan.

It amazes me I got here
from my first life as a fly
trapped in rafflesia
using me to grow yet higher
into the goading sun.

It has been argued Surrender
to You is never defeat.
It’s never the powerless
who war against God.

But it’s all a question of aspects.
And I can’t say if I’m here to starve
or step in the sweet pool I drown.

Excuses come so easily
and senses
with delusions.

O the hours I spent
retarded on purpose
staring at broken clocks
awaiting lingerie from London
lobster from Portland
Austrian paintings
African hides
rugs from Iran
Borneo taxidermy
toys from Japan

til nothing was left
but a liability.

It’s so hard to be good in the garden.
It’s so hard to know what to do.

My head still looks, considers
but beauty is no longer
what it was—just a tint upon a thing
that changes by the angle.

Lies became unbelievable.
Truth became more true
which somehow made it easier
to absorb the lies
I knew lay everywhere

everything, so impossible
ugliness, so prevalent
my vision, so perverted
by perceptions and insights
saw me to perversion too.

I could wear any mask 
and never be transported.

Glam wet between your thighs
hot for palace disbelief
thick as June
and soft as dream

clit pressed against your lace
a pink and crimson jellyfish
flaring on the water
looking to be licked and opened
distinguished, sucked out
pressed in, rounded
like the horn of a golden continent
and nubbed with teeth
covered by the lips
spat on, redoubled, twirled
your layered meat held
and slapped

the thighs that hold it
tween their altar
bitten gently as a piece of fruit
you don’t want to squirt
upon my shirt
until I thought Fuck all
give me your milk-white ass
bulging in my hands beneath

you take my head and push me in
so deep the pressure
now rings out my fingers
forcing me to deepen, dive in
feel every jewel inside your mine
and you come so hard
I lick it like an animal
sucking off his arrows
look deeply at the thick black line
dividing mandibles you’ve shaved for me

and lick again, the trimmed-up hair
just against my nose
clit exposed, a flaming plume
the heavy sail of woman in her conquest
all land ready for a king.

Nothing’s more divine
than making one you love
Thank you.

I’m not stupid, see. I see
that you respect the man most tested
by love and torture and the ice
of war, deep rejection, tiny coffins
or the shock that all Your wonder
can only poison him.

Buddha had concubines before his Bodhi.
Jesus loved Mary
even if the rumors are untrue. 

Only one like this can face the gravity
waiting for the detonation.

I hate being
this highwire artist of virtue.
All loveliness. All desire. All that was
was never mine. Calls me like the siren
song I never heard.

Were I to purge myself
and satiate completely
perhaps the skies would clear.
But insecure, I can’t, I never could
and now I’m in so deep
that I go down
or come back

The whole experiment is compromised.

So accept I am a faking student
that behind the act I’m trying
to convince the Teacher
my understanding of a theorem
whose proof cannot be given.

Thus I nod when I see anything
like Yes it all makes sense:

This birth. That beheading.
The music I first heard
and the last insult too.

A friend. I mistook as Your agent.

Why would anything inexplicable
be inexplicable
in light of what I know?

Or what I knew
for a time
I wish to forget.

When you come back from the dead
everything will be the same.

Work. Food. Dishes. Car.
There’s some poor animal to feed.

The world has turned, of course
even to a light you may approve.

But what you’ve lived?

You stood before a great white cube
feeling for its secret
while wind and flame
made everything insane
until your heart surrendered
an entrance won’t be found.

When you come back from the dead
everything will be the same.

Work. Food. Dishes. Car.

You may describe what you remember
to a friend if he has time.

But what you’ve lived is something more
or less the end of it.

The stars will give a number
you will understand

and a child will lead you
through the gardens by the hand.

Everything will be like this.

Work. Food. Dishes.

Sometime in misty Grand Rapids
the past got exponentially arcane.

Your incredible shadow came to swallow mine.
Every sight held big-time sadness:

the beautiful green of springtime depression
grass pollen on expensive shoes
blackbirds bathing on a minivan hood.
Strange men to divorce again
before the year was done.

That day one moment
I felt a pleasant absence
like clear air
untouchable, without an explanation. 

The mist grew heavy on the bridge
and the buildings 

Behind the wall of knowing
I would not think or feel

a reptilian farrago
of heartbreak impulse
murder insecurity please.

I was not drunk
always. Or meditating
strictly speaking. Days
went by. I rushed them
like a traffic cop
on a power trip
at rush hour

unable to pretend tomorrow
was but today, a beauty
I would pollinate with pain.

How could I argue with the god who thought Ok?
is this:

Liar cheat failure
drunken addict pervert slob

a lonely original
gathering rainbows
in case a lonely original
comes looking for rainbows.

Or think otherwise than God
has made me

And the lady of rainbows passed on.

The backstory runs
as so many young
and lustful do I did
treasure my desires
in a whirlwind of rubies
full of Ferraris
burning toward fantastic futures.

At a train show under the fireworks
in a village north of here
I took a Ferris wheel to the moon
and thought I’d live forever.

I was no longer river. I was nothing but sea.
A bird trapped in an airport.

Pick your metaphor, your simile.
Symbolic of something so profound
the rationale’s a politician
boring you with slivers of the truth.

Perhaps I was excited—too excited—
to play philosopher
with riddles of existence.

To drink cognac and read de Sade
pretend I understood Spinoza,
Vivaldi blaring in my room
til I was seventeen

shut off from the world
and all but the strangest of men.

The past, so pointless
it can’t be undone.
I mention it only cuz the imagery amazes
me I got here and I'm vain. 
But percentages keep closing in 
damage done
leading on to damage done. 
I learned. I learned the opposite. 
I learned the middle. I learned nothing.
All those pretty memories of mist
and You still wonder from my history

Is this the day he learns?

Because my car made my credit crash
my kidneys quiver
from the pickling of their tissue
my heart throbs with each thrilling misstep

I stay wired to the candidates, the Caliphate
the bullshit that I know is bullshit
which I watch to understand
how twisted we can be
when we are lost, afraid
and poor and beaten
ensconced and happy, rich and careless.

O the talking points of dying
for a man or a world
are a web of accusations.
Whose deception 
deceived reality?

I see how far away You pore upon us
like a poet fingering Delete.

And prime the new Earth
of jellyfish plastic and sand.

This is no longer about what it was.
It has turned in
to something else.

My love is thin
polluted pain.
Qabbani and Ashbery
Quevedo. Verlaine.
Nothing works
to ebb the night.

There is no way to turn back time
or think so doing would better today.

A nebulous cloud
follows the incipient dead
and soon we walk blindly in a nebulous cloud
and soon I was walking
in nebulous clouds
seeking the edges of my life

grown bolder about rounding
that cape of hopeless ocean
finding shells I sometimes dreamed
wait on islands far away.

Simple desperation, the wolf
of weak and tender children
acutest pain of the screwed-beyond-belief.

Those are Your nights of oatmeal
cat food and liniments

when I lay down asking
Do I not have more to garden
than a memory of weeds?
Make the pain stop
and I’ll continue to wonder
if peace can be real.

Just let me sleep a little longer.
Until Alaric
comes knocking at the gate.

He’s here.

I have no idea how responsible I am
for the blueness of the ocean.
It’s zero. I’m sorry.
Apologies at some point have no depth.

The colonist with good intentions
the slaver with his deck of shit
the bystander who looked away
the trillionaire who had his way
the doctor who will clone his lover

consumer with his plastic bags
citizen who took the lies
killer with his mind of demons
all have mea culpas
extenuating from decisions they will

buttress onto hollow language
the wounded have no need for
and posterity despises
as it produces all-new wounds.

It does not matter
if what I’ve done had no effect
or is a straight-up act of cruelty.

Sometimes people, they disappear.

All they want is silence.

To lick their mortal wound alone.

What good is a vague
accusatory repentance/question
to a god one shade of black?

Little, I believe.
As little as the universe 
to a limited imperfect man
incapable of not questioning

if his consciousness, the biggest tooth
in an awesome jaw
is another quirk-of-replication
that deceives me for believing
my own awareness
is indicative of nothing but itself.

Or if its collapse
is my portal to the end of suffering.

See how I am all completely glass?
I cannot be myself again.
There is nothing left of what-was-me.

Bloodless I accept
no explanation can resolve
Your million mysteries
of origin, formation

the corpse
and the spring

the scent of the rose
the sound of the bellicose
the sight of the protest
the feel of the handshake

the zygote
the xenon
the yottabyte
the malfunction.

The boundary.

All elements all acts all sensations
if not illusion
immaterial to me.

No magic contains Your process.
No memory masters Your action.

I take a walk.
The tree that fell. I heard it not.
But there it lies.

However good something is
is how bad it will be.

As I wonder Did September happen?
I know December did.
I deduce what I can with these corrupt senses
and think to myself
What a particle am I!

Picture me as I am. An insect asleep
in the web of an absent spider
his call for clarity spoken to the dew.

Listen while you can. Soon 

only the loneliest librarian
will hear our whispers in the night.

It’s like the sun comes out
once you have settled for a cloudy day
this relief of speaking
the thunder hidden in us deep.

Words don’t need to last to matter
even as the thunder speaks again
another day beneath another cloud.

Everything is, as it is
exactly as it must be
no other way absurd.

The forest the filth and the ocean.
This birth that beheading.
The dead refugee and the thriving asshole.

Even the sparrows
eating chicken bones
on the sidewalk.

I know this.

Neither jaded nor blind nor even experienced
as any trilobite who knew
the tragic magic
You drag me through today
I know enlightenment

as an emotionless shrug
before a preposterous miracle.

I know You within me 
and am left with a feeling
unlike any other.

I must be the good in the world.
I must be something to myself
I must be

before my heart goes out

like a fire extinguished with cream.