With a psychedelic sun in our eyes why flinch at any fulminance why fear the dark by governing time why detach shadow from light or singe the transparency of words into the mirrors of other minds why fear death when we’re the fuse and can see with the light of reason the stars girandole and brocade the galactic chrysanthemum blaze with rising tail and falling leaves with candle clusters of celestial fire and the grand finale of the eye to be the light into which it dies
I grow old I grow old I will depart with my shadow untold I will walk in the footsteps Of a black moon Does erasure censure The meaning of a venture Does anyone’s demise Do more than exorcise Body from light I will depart But will fragmentation impart More than closure Or do we return To resume this correspondence With a new moon
Like Albert I was a goalkeeper. Like Albert I stood alone And proud in my solitude. Like him I considered suicide The only important question, And like Albert I saved, nonetheless. Like Albert I chose love, I was flexible and forgiving. I saved, regardless of absurdity, Fighting against ignorance. Like Albert I felt responsible, Like him I caught the moon And punted it back into space. Like Albert I held out a sphere And showed what’s possible When you turn the earth over And see paradise on the other side.
There were sunrises in which he felt the divine And without knowing it crashed into the sublime. On those days and in his own way He would have forgiven all of them their debt, Handed back the lease to their land And driven back to the office emptyhanded, Giving notice by the smile on his face That beyond money he had touched grace.
I was anointed with motor oil in 1959 The baptism was in a Detroit factory With a foreman and a priest And some people from the same factory They poured motor oil on my forehead Saying something about man god and war To this day I grin when I hear an engine To this day my gears are oiled and aligned But who knows after so many miles If those drops of motor oil Which sanctified my ride through life Cleansed me of original sin Or stained me all the more for being human
Sudden death walks through a wall And like a flash, it illuminates eternity. It’s on the other end Of every phone call we receive. When we first hear its voice The shock leaves us speechless. I’ve also known it To knock wildly on any door, Crying out for help In solving a riddle already solved. Don’t hate sudden death, It divulges the mercy of a temporal god Who spares us from prolonged suffering. Without sudden death Who’d know humility from hubris? Because it exists It is our only hope for a sane future.
They remind me of cottage country Of Andrew Wyeth the group of seven Of the Allman Brothers and barbecues Of being sun high and sleeping late They are sovereigns of the garden They are old lovers and friends When Adirondacks face water They’re engulfed by the scene But can catch a sail and even dream Relaxed by nature they invite Contemplation to be at ease On a beach they sink into sand And seem to settle all demands They can grow old together And keep company in any weather Sometimes you’ll see a solitary chair Where the moon comes to rest On the dock of its own tears
False friends fight to the alphabet’s end Brothers muffled on roadsides Soon to be cognate in ice Parsed by the grammar of days Fate covers them in common ash They’re familial only as information They listen for the drones and moan They’re muted by a shared gun And then washed away by time They’ve broken the bread of flesh Into language and starve Laying waste to the present tense A battlefield of Cyrillic characters Mangled like twisted smoldering alloys Wars begun in shared languages End in babel and begin again