The Ash Blanket

Last night
In dim light
Of half closed fridge
My pale skin
Shone
Like snow on fire
And the blunt desire
To bruise
And break
These filial bonds
Of flesh and bones
Rose, untainted
Like waves on sea
Like a dream disguised as a memory

I was sleeping
Under the cold warmth
Of the ash blanket
Till people appeared
By my bedside
Beings sulphurous
Silhouettes of silver smoke
Which spoke:
‘Come to us
You child of gravity
There is a world beyond the world
Shaped by chaos and clarity
A latticework of lyrics
A synagogue sans any saint
A cosmos acclaimed by cynics
A painting without the paint’
And I alive in tenuous thoughts
Of nevermore and forever
Could only see and be
A shadow of a reflection
Unborn thus free
And so those excelsior people
With ghost hands bore me away
Astride the light they had saved
Back from their leftover days

What I saw thence I cannot say
There is nothing to remember
Between the first dawn of January
And the last night of December
But there are those half dreamt moments
When I seem to know
The truth breathed upon me:
That Soul is what the light don’t show

But last night
In dim light
Of half closed fridge
My pale skin
Shone
Like snow on fire…

The Painted Panther

She was a painted panther
Black skin and velvet dye
Her eyes had all the answers
But her lips knew when to lie
Her home was a silver wasteland
A piece of moon was her throne at night
She spoke only in shadows
And heard only the sound of light
Her shape was god and movement
And her name was without a face
People worshipped her from far
Like a pilgrim without a place
And before long we all will be dreaming
Her dreams on the final bed
Where all eyes turn inward ever after
And no more any word is said
Because she was a painted panther
Black skin and velvet dye
Her eyes had all the answers
But her lips knew when to lie

Akin

Let me go
And I shall be
Something akin
To a memory
My flesh it burns
My bones they weigh
The nights are tough
And it’s hard these days
For my soul it wanes
Like wax neath flame
And I know the pain
To always feel the same
Thus there is no way
Where I can sow
A seed of pearl
For a sea to grow
So I shall pass
Through the veil of sand
Alone with eternity
Hand in hand…

Marmalade

Pieces of sunlight on my shirt
Golden flakes caught unawares in snow
I wear the world
As a witness upon my eyebrow

Pendulum thoughts, mine,
Rising to always fall, falling to ever rise
A deaf dance; this one legged tango
Should I mourn
The forgotten remembrance
Of irony bound in common things
Like water buried in a coconut or born in one who knows what it means to be a child
Without being none
I, myself, was born skinless
In a seed of wild fern
Wordless they named me; those voices in my head,
Till I spoke and my friends began to fade
One after another
Like orange in marmalade

The wind upon the canvas do not dry the paint
Nor a fire miles away
Help me find my feet
Of all the pain in the world; it’s the loss that alone tastes sweet
With syrup on my bruise
And sugar on my wound
I limp away
From weeping windows and waking walls
For I heard my cupboard say the other day
Wear less and be more
Was that a dream, a dream
Like Dali high on sour cream?
I wish only to know
Can my hand reach out to my heart and squeeze
The last drops of Carpe Diem to please
My soul; that cotton candy wrapped in light and luck
Made In Bed after a night of soft….

Dear Diary
I am exhausted
Ginsberg and Sexton, Whitman and Poe
Conrad, Tolstoy, Orwell and Thoreau
I read about them all
Copperfield and Twist
And Einstein’s Relativity and Marie Antoinette’s false feast
Should I sleep now
Will the night ask me no more
Questions and answers
Legends and lores

There is a spider on the bed
(Yes, it’s a thought in my head)
Should I scream or be quiet
(There is nothing to be said)
So twinkle twinkle little star
There are bottles in the hotel bar
And many miles to drink before I sleep
Till the laughter stops and it soothes to weep…

Testimonies

Image by Jean Wemmerlin @unsplash


They put him in an empty chair
As blank as his eyes
The studied wooden smile
Peeled slivers
Red and dripping
From hands that stayed cold
Upon the switch.


Ghosts of strangers
Pale and long
Scratched at the glass
Like cats for milk
They craved his gaze;
Shuffling hair, straightening neckties
So theirs could be the faces
He last sees.


While gloved fingers thrust
Rubber in his mouth
So death could swallow his scream
And not escape to haunt those
Who broke the stainless nip
Upon some pages
In a file, soon to be laid upon a pile
That stated his particulars
And the supposed crime
He agreed to
Everytime.


He sat like a king upon a throne
The helmet far too small
For his frame
He let it sit
As a visor
Of some knight from a game
How was he to know
This was no story being told
That his hands were being tied
So he could not hold
Any secrets in his hide
Which may spill
Once the deed was done
And justice restored
Just for fun.


The pale hand moved
Lights flickered and wailed
Tiny feet gasped to run
But fluttered and failed
The puppeteer has left
This marionette alone
Never to move again
On its own.


Glass hands closed in faith
Mirror lips moved in prayer
For the balance restored
True and fair
Unaware as ever
These fixers of frames
That many men in this lifetime
Can carry one name

Raiment

Image by Francesca Zama @unsplash

Naked pictures painted on the world map, a global ache this systematic subjugation, arraigned with signatures and rubber stamps and blue and black ink with red smeared hands from…

Ants committing suicide for sugar cubes, mountains sundered for a grain of sand, weighing a ton by common belief of a wishful world running in a race without an end around a toilet flush
I hear music in the smoking firmament, the guttural snort and fart of the engine like Mozart’s Requiem for Modern Times; graveyards filled with scraps, dusty medals pinned upon pigeon chests, chest with springs and cogs inside, all mechanisms of a meager mind,

Breathed upon by gunpowder gods never crucified, but kept alive, unchained unlike Prometheus or castrated unlike Cronus, with 9mm eyes watching over the supposed universe,
Lives televised, a miniscule mime renting life per hour, human carcass threaded, talking puppets mimicking everyday shambles with double exclamation and undying opinions; graffiti upon bathroom walls, the enlightenment of our age; our Bible, our Koran, our Commandments, our Veda,

An ocean of umbilical madness, Medusas of mind, writhing in the depths of drowned time, left helpless at the bottom, garbage cans, lobster traps, Ahab’s ambition, little mermaid’s fin, all part of the abyss, woven tales of Atlantis

Beggars upon sidewalk, watching the neon lights blink at the mannequins dressed and fed better than them, breathing in glass case while the Caesar supine on steps as flat piece of bread looks on: Et tu, Et tu, until a coin clatters in the bowl and Rome falls, democracy dissolved under the acid rain of paint thinner,

Red sky running, blind horse racing against the rider till the tollbooth where hands on hips the old man walks the zebra crossing, unmindful of the airplanes lined at the red light, waiting one and all to fly away, without passengers or Blackbox, to a land where runways end

Phantoms fasting upon a fingernail, the sound of anarchy, electric guitar with strings of lightning, rainbow flooding the floor, and the people waving, a mingled marsh undecipherable, a canvas coated with paint, avant-garde asylum overflowing with stone heads

Rows of velvet cushion upon glass, red carpet laid upon mud, hyenas laughing in the hallway in high heels and mothball tuxedos from pawn shop, faceless fornication behind the screen, lips locked together in war, breathes dying with alcohol,

And outside the Ghost of Christmas Past selling mint in the rain, poets pass him and politicians, all made of papers full of question marks and Venn diagram that depicts everything said and done, the saying it has the bigger circle and the deeds it had none,

The Van Gogh World waking, rivers of gas flowing under matchstick houses waiting for madmen, toothpick buildings dancing for children playing whack-a-mole, Las Vegas without lights like teeth of a key; all cards of the fleeting reality playing pinochle with constant uncertainty,

Dismal days these, age of enlightenment, recoilless Renaissance, people paying people to understand people paying people, round around the circumference of Drachma with Copernicus we fly, we fly, taking one day kryptonian crash course, and pretend to die with cries towards the sky; O father thou art in heaven, look down now and weep, for seven days you worked, and on the eighth it all went to dust, you knew it and yet you left it so, now weeds gather in your garden, and even Lucifer stays away and pray free from this drama; Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama

Seismic Soul

To speak
Without being heard
With words like wind
Asleep in windchimes,
To be far away, breathing in a distant past dyed sepia and smelling of crushed leaves:
The aroma of time dried through the ages,
To taste a fruit away from the tongue
And let it linger in a seedless ecstasy
On each pair of lips
In every burnished breath between the lungs
To weave sunlight
In the skin of dewdrops
And bare a rainbow upon the floor
Brought home to a full circle
To smile at the madness of it all
And mean it in the mirror of mind
Grassroots enveloping
Memories I cannot find
Now leads me to believe
That life with all its thorns and petals
Is more in the act of living
Than waiting for it to settle

The Man Asleep


Life, look out
This man asleep
Is walking a dream
His pulse, afraid of inimical things, dance
At the incoherent din of the cattle bell,
For he knows only the time of tommorow
Prophesied by blind sages
Sages left by the world to marinate in old age
And he carries it; the cattle bell, it’s dead weight, it’s rue weight, like a talisman
Through the thick fog of promises
To the other side, where the light, yet unseen, seems to shine differently
For the sages who have looked on the winter
From far, would know something of the snow
Or so he hoped, with his face coddled within the blinkers
And crowned with a horseshoe

Life, look out
The man asleep
Knows not that he is sleeping
And so as waves he worship the shore
Unaware that he stands with men
Too afraid to blink at the sea
And soon he too would be watching the waters
Shiver with each breath of the seagull
Till his own wings wither and rot away
Leaving him; this epileptic Icarus
A common man among the common men
Left to watch each sunrise
And every sunset
From the shade of a dry sacamore
The hinterland of heart
That burned in winter
Knows both fire and ice is the same;
Perhaps, in the slow dance of the dying fire
He seeks the heat some more
Perhaps, his dreams are dreams of a dream
He dreamt he has dreamt before…