Waiting for Revelation

In a white cloak you must stare at an empty star.
On a dry rock you must wet your lips
and dream of leathery grass,
smelling the dew -
but there is no dew on this blue night:

Wormwood’s ghostly eyes intensify
and I’m oh so thirsty again,
as the suited men grin,
drooling prophecy with their rolling tongues.

Naked and cold,
you must stare at an empty star.


The Stars Lose Their Lustre

In my mind
our two galaxies collide
as the moon frost
sparkles up the crystals in your hair.
I want you to know that I thought of you as the sounds
in my head reached splendid cacophony,
geared only by the silence or their orbits:

The engine that moves the stars a little,
the sky that murmurs and slows a little in the cold
but for the ocean of blackness beyond.
I can hear them crying for intensity they’ll never again find -

Once the fires burn down
our eyes lose their lustre,
standing on the snowy precipice
where the holes of life are not so thick
in your calloused skin and mine:

I know we’ll never see a match again,
but let me hold you anyway…



Buildings crash under the hot sun
while miles away the Red Sea boils with blood.
A rusty beast emerges out of the sea of crumbling stone,
but God stares on with indifference.

They descend upon Israel like savages
with bombs on their chests,
leaping like dogs who have tasted blood
into the hazy square:

A beam of light is shot from the heavens.


Unto the Dry Air

When the copper ran out for the mould
it must have looked like I was trying to fly
but I was digging my grave
with the clang of a shovel
like a drum before every stupid war,
like waking engulfed in the timeless ritual of sound.

I watched the melting metal in my hand saying
Look at me now
Look at me now that the statue has thawed.
What am I but another fool to fill
the steps of men who laughed on the path to the sun
with bodies of steel?

Sinking down in the rain street drain,
I laugh like a dog crawling back to the womb.


Blood and Water

"I am innocent of this man's blood; you will see"

And so I was. Or I thought I was. I have been recalled to Rome. I believed coming back here would mean the world would have a fulcrum again. Here at the centre of the world I look and I look but there is no centre here. This garden of stone is nothing but a fa├žade for the chaos that runs beneath the outer shells of normalcy. There is water under the stone. I heard it said before he could make water come from the stone. There is water everywhere here under the stones and arches and I feel it weighing down on me, heavier, heavier.

Dry lands produce reckless religions. Their traditions killed them. I am innocent of their blood. There is no water here. There is no Taheb here you foolish Samaritans, no Moses, no saviour to end your petty squabbles. Just me, just me residing over men whose religions I will never understand. There is no Taheb anywhere who will come to save your souls. Damn your procession you Samaritans, marching as though he were only a few moons away, as though you could crush the empire with your faith in a God whose face you’ve never seen. He looked at me as they cloaked him again and he is still conscious after all of that while the Roman who did it is snickering surely he has not washed his hands of the blood, but there is no spite like there should be, no broken silence - something else that men aren’t supposed to see is gushing beyond the shells of his eyes.

They were all thirsty, every one of them but they crowded toward me and I had no choice, I kept telling myself there’s no choice the men in the crowds had to be signalled or they’ll be the death of me for giving them water. For building an aqueduct they hate me, and they shout obscenities at me as they’re getting closer and louder and everything is closing in so I signal them. And the closer ones are beaten and a few are bleeding while the others are scattering and a few more attacking my men but their clubs are stronger than their skulls and I am safe again. I am safe from their savage intensity. I held his arm out toward the crowd but logic wouldn’t sway them it was all about tradition and their traditions were the Pharisees bickering among them; I heard the temple fall when he died and I felled the temple and he took that whip like a lamb to the slaughter but they wouldn’t listen to reason so I washed my hands of his blood and I was innocent again.

But Rome has no centre. I can feel it. I can feel it seeping forever into my bones.


Torrent II

the old man clung to the boat
as twenty foot waves tossed him about
while I listened to the leaves swash over the sidewalk walking,
twist friction -
the October moon can’t even hide the sounds they’re making now

the orange-grey-sky glides ahead
look up there’s a star that’s looking down
but not many ‘cause they’re all busy with dying-living
but I see dying differently now -

the natural approximation of biological function is shimmer dancing
for a short silver line in the fourth dimension
like flares erupting from the sun
(the moon glares down and retreats again),

wave functions are mind madness,
the neurons watching their synapses snap
like our thoughts were too heavy to hold
but they cling to their ones and zeros for another hour,
(wood capsized sinking fast)

the dice roll on while the leaves crash all about me
and the ocean’s a quarter mile away like it didn’t even exist
but I can hear it wash on Water Street anyway,
receding, rising, receding, rising,
I said I can hear it wash on Water Street.



no she cant take it being alive
the child nagging at her side
the sneezes the superficial pretence
the tense pretence
rest your shoulders they look like they’re ready to launch a rocket
and I would if the bus would stop moving

above the Orion nebula gleams like a dead animal’s dead eyes
don’t make that orange the way that everyone dies
sliding like oil in a puddle
it’s too pretty I can’t take it
but she rested the book in her lap
look at me
you confound me

seats waste of amber
but above lies the river of smoky cloud
'gift of the eyes' she says and it was and I was it all was
want to take her to the woods where she is safety
and breathing the aurora.

HIS claws grip my lines
in the boxed buildings they fumble their toys
keys jingling keyboards clipping
muse only a splash of dust away
but stretched too far to touch the burning waves
the bus stops near the bar

tethered I see first everything that moves
(fingers spread and shivering in the frost)
shining like strings of glass



In that half dream,
each time he looked the river flowed upstream
carrying him to where the moon makes the white paste,
where the whining birds,
though it be too dark to see,
circle like angels
with dumb eyes and scraggily wings



‘Where to now?’ shouts the fire
on the edge of the island where the curly grass burns.

There will be no jumping from this platform, you rats,
you puppets of passion,
scurrying about your business as the flame-shadows
tower over your desperate bodies
looking for one more thrill ‘fore the damned thing runs out of gas
and night comes on again.

She gave Orion one more cold look before closing the blinds.


A Reading

Shine on me, shadow moon. Shine on me stage lights, the cloudy light of a crowded room and half a thousand eyes that glimmer on this shell to understand the purple flesh, the physics of this passion, the passion of this physics coursing through me like the plague.

Shine on me, shadow moon.


An Anomaly

There was something rustling in the grass -
‘twas my mind condensed into a goblet of dew!
And how it did appear above the ragged hills
like a galaxy watching the liver green trees hide
their skeletons in the indigo -

Travel the night on the creeping chrome pebbles.
Travel the night on the slippery silk of sun light
as it inches ever closer to the morning and it whimpers,
the dark,
he whimpers and wants just one more hour to perfect the black abyss of the ocean.
One more ripple,
one more ripple and the whole thing might come undone -

He trampled through the dewy leaves
(synapses fire, spinal fluids blaze)
as though the earth turned for the last time;
(the sun barrelled toward him)
for in him was the immediacy of every empty corner of the sea
(barrelling outward) -
He moved on, barefoot.


Windy Garden

In his vision:
The plants rest in a rocking cradle,
but the haggard hand is all blood clots
that aimlessly whips it around.

The plant threw out its seeds
and said to the wind:
‘Look what I’ve created,
a billion years is nothing when these songs are sung by hands
as ethereal and wrinkled as this grass!’

But the old man was not impressed
by this small eternity.
With pen in hand,
awkward like refuse, he wrote tonelessly:
“You are nought but a mountain of mud!”

On a mountain of mud,
a field of green dances and sways –
as one leaf falls into the shaky updraft,
one man, with the bony wind still in his lungs,
is writing feverishly in scribbles
and worthless sighs.



A witch head in each of their arms,
the morning’s meal still churning happily
in the acid soup of their stomachs,
their pride marches them to the authorities –
but they leave their machetes at home.

A silver fork in each of their hands,
the evening’s meal still churning happily
in the dull soup of their stomachs,
apathy clicks the remote -
let the authorities worry about it.

A white case in each of their arms,
the morning’s meal pink on the chocolate earth
where brown bones of bodies writhed,
their shock takes them to the authorities -
but they were busy selling machetes.


With each soft creak from the pen we human ants breathe ever more closely to gods - how we worship ourselves by building monuments to nothing – how we anger ourselves to learn and love the meaningless meaning of the world – how like gods we tinker and tamper – how like ants we structure and order

as if the universe is an experiment of words that will never fall apart.



With each squat grunt from the pen we humans gain wisdom of stupidity. How stupid we are - how wise to know how stupid - how beautiful it is that we can spit on a flower as easy as we could write a pitiful poem about that flower - How beautiful it is that we can burn bodies in an oven, stab lungs till they gurgle, blood filled - How beautiful the dirt is, that dirt can cry and laugh and hate - that too is like a pitiful poem.



This desert has many tails
that slither like fragmented beasts.
I take its cactuses and make cactus juice -
My own mirage of reason,

but my cactus juice tastes like starry Stonehenge,
like stairways to places
of light
that never existed.

So would you please not fret
if the world is just a desert?


The Flagman

The screams last for hours on some nights.
A man comes tumbling out the screen door
with a bad cough fingering his lighter,
twisting and clutching it about with calloused hands
like it was something that offended him -
a few puffs
as smoke pours out his pointed nose
and his broad shoulders lower.

The next morning he’s wearing an orange vest,
standing in the street with a sign.
Stop. Slow, and switch.
The traffic murmurs by.
The sun must move so slowly holding that sign
for a living:
Stop. Slow, and switch.

Tonight his children will be playing in the back yard
making snow men with carrot noses
but never eyes or ears
while he’ll be slapping her around the kitchen counter
and clutching her like he might
clutch a sign,
or light a cigarette.


Moment of Inertia

Without a centre it pivots and goes.

A star explodes.
Its blurry sewage re-collects oblivion
but there’s no big bang as a boy is crashing
a rock at a window
while over a sandy beach
a pale moon rises
and a call of war runs through a copper wire.

An electron must be another universe
so random
so small
but this one has a fever now -

on a branch a bird is singing what a bird has always sung
and over an ocean the air is laughing and twisting hurricanes
while on a street corner a hobo
is trying to sell “god in a box” for 19.95
and a flower is growing
is growing through concrete
and one molecule touches another in a bottle
of water on somebody’s desk and pushes it away
while a woman is having sex with a woman
and two galaxies swirl half mad
and one third loving it
pulling their dusty stars at 4000 miles a minute
between each other
while an old man with a cane
is buying a pack of peas at a grocery store
and a girl on a swing is looking at the sky
and wishing she could be right there forever


You got a minute, love? I got a twenty.

This is not Paul on the road,
seeing light,
dreaming of a martyr.

This is not the girl whose
renaissance is carried with her in her handbag
with a hundred shades of lipstick
that never quite washes off-
crucifixes for a purpose unknown.

This is not man thrown from Eden
dreaming what everyone dreams
when they find the best shade
to pull over and fuck the opportunity.

This is not Paul on the fucking road.
This is not the girl at the corner
with the puffed eyes,
or with the oddly shaped jaw
wishing the street lights
or the headlights of the night
would glow a just a little more


maggots and apple pie

'I've seen it all already" she says with her bitter little mind,
so despite her screams,
I bury her in maggots.

You rotting bark of a bitch,
why don't your roots die already?
It's not like the dye looked that good on you anyway.



And the will said
let it go
let it flow
play with words and make them grow
for no reason but see the
seeds in the sandy night
barren and lush both equal
both brightly
shining Edens
dead things likes stars
whose blistered cores have become known
how far we are from knowing
who we are
but forcefully going
and moving
and fumbling the meaning across
fingertips splashing colours and icons
and talking to gods that don’t want our
bloody secrets anymore than we want to die
with a bang
or a whimper of a world
that sang
the diamonds of slowly dying so long
but always moving
and lying
that we know the reason this pen
lifts and scribbles crooked chrome letters

as if a couple words
or a couple creeds
could capture what it meant to be alive.