// Here Is the Flood //

Here is the flood. Here is everything in me I cannot name, I cannot hold on to any longer, I cannot identify and you will not recognize as me. Here are the ways my mind is deficient. Here are the things I worry about and all the things I wish were different about me but they never will be. Here is the pain, the colour of amber glowing fireflies underneath pines, here is my fear of death, it is written in Braille although I can read. Here is my fear of speaking and not speaking the colour of the faces of those who are holding back the same things I am, and this is the way it feels to judge, the colour of chains. This is how it feels to be judged.

Here is my mouth covered with black tape, here is my mouth wet with hunger, anger, love, greed, hope. Here is the way I pray, it is the colour of midnight, it is the sounding of a word of a God they do not want me to know about, because I am made of it, the colour of love matches exactly the colour of rejection. Reflection and deflection mix, we are without lenses, we use the wrong colour eyes. This is the body, my prayer comes alive when we touch in dreams. Here is worship, it tastes like the rain coming down and filling small and large puddles, lakes inside of stones in my mouth, in my shoes, here is all the poetry I’ve read. It is so much better than what I have done that it liberates and punishes me in equal measure.

Here is the struggle I struggle with, wanting like mad to touch the sky. Wishing like a child when I’m no longer allowed. Crawling like a wounded animal. Chanting like a witch or a monk or a hollow bird. Prisoners. Keys. Book shelving and brittle lace sleeves.

Here are the things about me I do not yet understand. Here are the ways I hide. Here are the ways I want to love you enough that you will never have to die, but I need to learn to love you enough that you can. Here are all the things I’ve learned. Here are all the things I’ve not learned and I should have. By now. Here is the yellowing of my anguish. Here are the tear stains, I’ll trade you anything, but it is too late. Here is the silence of the passing of time.  Let’s take a drink.

Here are the ways I am not enough. Here are the ways I’ll let you forget everything for a while. Here are the things I’d like you never to know. I think somehow it is better you do know, I hope that’s okay. Am I a burden? Am I a siren? Am I your muse and will you always think I deserve to be? I hate that this matters to me, but I also think it’s sweet. Tragedy and comedy, any given day of the week.

This shouldn’t be so long, I shouldn’t have kept you but sometimes your kindness is so endless I forget who is keeping who around. I love you for that.  I hope our changing doesn’t change us but how can anything about the truth be helped. We can tie the hands but not ever stop giving. This should not be so . . . I should not ask this of you. To look at me. To be seen. To be still. But here is the truth I keep in a small locket underneath my tongue, and I’m sorry before you even come close to it because I don’t know who I am, I don’t know the colour of this thing. Please understand: I’m showing you things I’ve not yet seen. It is not fair. If I were to kneel in front of you, bow my head down at your feet, would you know exactly who you are. Would you recognize this as strength and would you be strong enough to lead a leader, to comfort a comforter, to protect the protector, to mother and father the mother and father.

Would we understand eachother if there were no sound. What is God but the pain between us understood. Where is this coming from, I don’t know. I have only just now noticed my insides, life is becoming an x-ray, a screen, a transfer, though it seems I’m falling into my own hands, these words could be everything, they could be nothing, they could be mindgames, they could be spiritual text to last for all time as soon as they disappear, I would love to fall apart next to you, finally, completely, and have you bear witness, and have you collect me piece by piece by piece.

Are you still glad you came? Are you still because you can see me and it’s beautiful or because you are steadying yourself to run. I’ve lost my instinct, I’ve lost my ability to collect and interpret the signs, intuition (it turns out) is just free fall, I’ve given up all the ground I thought I’d won but now I see it was never really there to begin with. How is it that we make terrain out of pride, arrogance, cruelty, and then stake a claim. Smoke made of walls. How is it that people can live their whole lives and never know their own names. What is your favorite colour and by that I mean what do you see when you are in full orgasm. What do you crave, what turns your mouth to fire, your belly to claws, what about the way I move makes you want to cry.

This is the flood, I carry it in constant. I am swallowing it over and over and over hoping to spare the world from drowning in a disastrous sea of whatever this is I’m made of, the flood of the human things I would rather you couldn’t see.

What will kill us all is held inside, held back, forced down, it churns with the force of a thousand tidal waves, crashing, crashing, crashing upon the inner shores, only to recycle itself and return again. We walk around afraid of the flood. Pointing out there, out there, out there I see it coming in the red clouds, in the blackgray sky, in the thunder as it rolls up the ground like carpet, in the faces of the ones I cannot understand. In the other. But the other is the flood in me. All the human things you cannot see, one day this will end in paradise. One day you will see them all in me.

.

.

// Love Is On the Drinking Cup //

It is not enough, is it, even if I could turn these wallshadows

into fruit, even if my body were the dark burst of blackberries between your tongue

and your enemy’s teeth, stain the bed sheets with your

lips.

Even if the way I touch you riddles the sunlight across the window; little flashes burn through the fog around your cheeks

the way we feed each other on this thin selection of time,

is this your breath I pull across my mouth, is this the rib I borrowed from the birds you hold in your hands (one is sorrow, one is freedom).

It is always you, you inside me as I

write what hangs from the trees in dreams. Who am I to hope for anything when the world is on fire. Who will they send for us if we do not emerge again. Love is on the drinking cup, love is on the fountain top, love is the bottom of roses gummed to shoes.

Take me with you into the familiar warmth, take me back to the way it was before, when I told the truth and you would believe me.  You

wanted to believe

me.

Now it’s only the green mornings they tell me I should smile upon; they keep telling me not to blink, throwing hurricanes against my eyes, and raise my useful hands

up to the sky

(but it is hard because she’s falling

as I am falling, and we

can’t seem to touch)

and I’m so tired, there’s never much good in telling a thing when you are very tired. It feels so smooth and good to slide my fingers across these keys like a child digging in the dirt with spoons.

I remember digging: bending silver spoons in the soiled mouth of the mud. Fresh dirt upon the worms upon the smell of springtime, that was fragrance, that was mood.

The ivory scent of lilies-of-the-valley running along a chain linked fence, blacktop seething the coming summer rain.

Everybody wants to be so heavy, so full of metal skyline and mysterious things. What is that worth to you? Where is it getting you to summon up the truth?

The hair on your head still itches.

The gums you hold together in your jaw still bleed.

.

.

 

// These Are the Lines We Crossed //

Hairpins in the gaps between

my teeth,

developing nightfog turns my

hunger pains translucent and you

bite everything out of me which is clean,

let the dust collect upon the palms

upturned. These are the lines we

crossed.

And will you not be coming around any longer,

and will it be that even as my bones fade in and out of

shadow and light,

your fingers still curl around the bloodstains

in my feverthoughts

of the little things we killed

and left broken of flesh

dangling from the ache in our mouths

laid down at one another’s feet.

.

.

 

// At the Center of the Blood //

You are dying

in the palms of my hands,

they clutch the throat while

singing.

 

And as I hold you there I am

dying in the center of your heart.

At the center of the blood

of this collective single heart a whisper:

what is coming has gone,

what is born is undone,

what you reach for reaches

beyond.

 

This life is feeding itself to death,

death into life.

What hurts us is the feeding,

what hurts most

is the way the heart

keeps beating.

 

.

.

// How You Are //

It’s so beautiful to see you out there trying with the cracks in your forehead and the whispering feather lines just beginning to form around the corners of your mouth. The days are a quiet crystal snow falling upon us, we are buried soft, cold, slow. But somehow you keep that light in your smile and your chest.

Don’t let them frighten you, heaven is the most ordinary of things. A slate gray sky and nothing to prove any longer. No more reason to rage against the falling out of time.

I wish I could sleep. I haven’t slept in ages, I just sift through blackened hallways of the night which calls to me in fire, in butterfly wings made of excitable circles.

Enough about my crumbling. Tell me how you are. Tell me what hurts. Tell me everything. What does it feel like inside that porcelain skin? Isn’t this mad rain the soak of the end of time? Wouldn’t that be lovely and a relief?

Please forgive me. Something in the rise of your face takes me back to infancy, to helplessness and greed, to a love so innocent that the feeding only makes it hungry.

This woman in me, she is the tilting sand in the hourglass, a ring of wax candles, weeping and singing for the clouds which cover the moon. Her veins are a river of planets, deep angel blue.

This is yours, wear it inside out, hold it close as God and then set it free. This is a season which has come for letting go.

Thank you for being here. I’m so glad you came, this garden is only iron wire and rust without your stories. I think you are beautiful and it is okay to be awkward for your entire life. No one else’s eyes bend like yours, but I bet you hear that all the time. I think you are beautiful even with my eyes closed.

Now maybe try to get some sleep.

.

.

// Bend In The Eyes //

The words you chose could have come

straight off the skin of my

tongue.

There is no sound when the heart begins

to destroy itself.

It is silent and it is still as ice

when the calendar clicks

and I

realize you are gone.

.

.

// Who Are You To Do This //

How could you
let me watch this warm immaculate sun sliding its heavenly white up through dark trees
and how could you let this beauty invade itself inside my burning flesh.
How could you let me gaze up into the misty galaxies
and see everything I ever begged for as a child
come
true.
Who are you to walk through the eye of the needle and pierce my blood.
How could you let this happen, the way the fear unlocks the chains threaded through my teeth, the memories of hunger which used to snake themselves around my neck.
How could you let this ecstasy happen in plain view, out in the open meadows, in the open wounds, under the gaping cloudless indiscriminate sky, this sadistic magic, this reckless radiance, this cruel rising sun they raise up from the graveyards of the stolen mind.
The way you turn away from me is the way I am trying to learn again how to move. Downtown trains speed by in slow motion like nightmares and the tricks up my sleeve have all been forcibly removed. Who are you to be so goddamn gentle, who are you to touch my disturbance so smooth.
Where were you when I needed the sound of your madness.
Why must I sit among the red rose gardens scratching my nerves with her thorns; why would you deliver me to these black sins crawling,
just to loosen the reins I had on life,
on death,
on the blurred images repeating themselves in the mirrors down the hall.
I have written so many words and mishandled so many more than you ever cared to read.
Who are you and why have they let you in?
You see how I try to pin the butterflies to the ivory ocean waves in my hair
and all they want is to be allowed to fly.
Why do I do this thing where I try to keep what keeps me from falling apart. Should we not all run wildly toward the things which unravel us and instead give our undying gratitude to the ones who rob us blind.
Take these knives and thrust us apart at the seams. Who are you to keep the scars and the stars intact.
Is it not the seams which collect us into anguish, is it not the way our tired eyes close over our afternoon shadows which cause our disfigured lovers to look like an iron oasis of doorframes in the floor boards.
When I was strong you were desolate. When I was torn you were standing on top of a windy hill singing and pulling the swollen rain down along the rabid fires in the midst.
When I needed you you were not there.
So how could you let the sun
rise again.
How could you slope this miraculous new dawn across my face
and leave me alone
with the bloodstains on my knees.

.

.

 

// The Trouble With Heaven //

I’m too much of a dreamer, so the story goes, but the truth is that what they call reality often turns my stomach in ways that are hard to describe. People want straight lines and I want the way pink stained glass bends images into cigarette smoke curling foreign tongues down your throat. As everyone else joins hands and I fall farther and farther away from the circle, I tuck myself inside a faith in the broken shards, the holes in the floors, all the crooked sides of my comical cosmic existence, and attempt to pour forth a drench of words that flood the earth until we all worship at the single altar of mad love instead of sadistic runaway greed.

What is the harm? What is this fear no one can seem to define, yet lives within all of us roaming freely, assembling crucifixions like clues on a board game. Is it blindness or hope that gathers us together, vulgarizes us, vilifies us, heals us, gently carries us toward a distant red sun that delivers us to the promised land of how brief we are, how inconvenient, how troubled, how beautiful.

Will they release or neglect me, these graphic phantom fantasies I press my head against in the quiet of night? Perhaps too many times already, the vacant songs of the things I’ve loved and lost could have remained my veins, my daily ritual black, but somehow I’m the dream coming true in spite of itself. Magic is a fragile flower welcoming the sweet assault of the rain. My obedience arouses you, something in your disarming movement touches me with invisible hands, holds my fickle attention. I want only for you to descend with me and escape, love is the danger of infinite folds, a sapphire ribbon of milk skin; resurrection is your hunger for my sacrificial bones.

Bodies on the pavement, serpents in the sky, and I am undone by the slightest trigger in your eyes. Grace is stillness swallowing hurricanes as an exotic universe creates and destroys itself just to please you. Your teeth against my pulsing wrist startles a flock tiny ancient birds: thin flutters thrusting violent wings in my chest, a dead world ecstatically disturbed. Your mouth on my breast is baptism, the way you collect me breaks us down by fire, fingertips for flames, the gravity between us absorbs the cries of a helpless world, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Sometimes, angel, pain is freedom and the prophets reach for heaven in reverse.

You tip my chin up to the sky, bend me just too far before letting go, I am aware my limits are merely physical. A matchstick glides backwards across the splintered catches in my mind. And as the clouds eclipse the windowless room we inhabit underground, deep beneath the time the gods play roulette with and wider than the desperate gaps between our staggered breathing, our union may be distorted but it is certain. Let the hoards of humanity speak, lifetimes of faces become one face and I’ve lost my lust for listening.

Lovers on the edge have the unfortunate habit of spilling dark secrets when their backs are naked against the wall, but I hold on to mine: silence is my only vision, a castle built upon the rugged journey of your voice as it calls me home, even after all this wasted time.

.

.

// Still Life //

I had been imagining a house
detached
coming off the hinges
of itself.
Inside where the people
are very beautiful
and they are
not speaking.
Their tongues have all been broken
by the jaws of much
too much
to say.
And there in quiet makeshift rooms,
the halls of footsteps grinding on stairs,
indecision,
medication,
fear of spiders and
wire hooks,
in the cold chambers of their slender shadow hearts,
black birds are singing human words
we would recognize as symbols.
Silent are these people
in their lovely cut out houses,
trapped together
falling apart.

.

.

// Looking Glass //

What would it take to touch the face
the one you hide away,
everything I cannot stand about the way you move
lives here on the dark side of my shoulder in
all the days which mark with red the end.

As the scrapes glide down the thin cell walls
of my fragile
mind, I am made to come apart
and yet

I am only washing my knees with
small tears at the feet of it.
Whatever this is,
believe me.

Wherever we need to go,
take me.
We have been there before (we have been everywhere
we just couldn’t see it was forever) and we

know the finger streets in the palms
of it
and it knows our gravel stone
hearts bleed well.

Whatever this is calls to me from the
holes in your eyes.
It contains and contaminates everything we
cannot bear to

speak about.
Please forgive my dying mouth but,
my love, this quiet is becoming so
loud.

This crimson world crawling upon my lungs
is crumbling, ashes to ashes
dust to dust and I
am afraid I do not know how

to count backwards from
I might
be losing you.

.

.