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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.

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