Poem: Limestone Dreams

limestone

The limestone here seeps into your dreams,
Pebbles embedded in quartz-stricken seams,
You can fall into empty air where the peregrine flies,
And coppice your own thoughts until a new forest does rise

Then out of the enchantment of swarming gloom,
A bat creeps out of the netting and circles your room,
With omens and prophecies, relinquishing strange jewels,
Singing to you, oneirically, in inaudible mewls

But to her, you are as a thousand shards of a mirror,
A rookery of sounds – the netherest of nevers –
There is no spite – only a refreshment of feeling,
The parishioner plants kisses that are ripe for the stealing

These flowerbeds are not earthly, their colours betray
Tones that are not possible to see in the day,
Creeping slowly through them disguised as shimmering petals,
Green fingers of bracken – teeth of precious metals

With sapphire smiles, turquoise, magenta, and gold,
The most luxurious things to be so wretchedly old,
But the soil is their pardon, the only Bible they read
Is written in the language of wildflowers and weeds

With Green Men in pews, thoughts eroding to silver,
Nothing is as enigmatic as The Wye River,
And with weepers of autumn bringing their evensong chants,
I will reap of the kisses The Parishioner plants

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Poem: Reuben in Wonderland

wonderland.jpg

I.

All day, all day, I hear the blackbird’s song

Within the daffodils and clematis I sit among,

Swinging in the seat on my cabin’s porch,

My Imagination beckons, clutching a torch,

Perceived to be the hardened rays of the sun:

“O leave this handsome refuge – come out, Reuben! –

And follow me over mountains, clumped with pine,

And delight in nature’s jewellery – by faeries’ designed –

Who take life as their canvas, and decadently smother

Everything that lives with all varieties of color,

Until exhausted, they retreat into the cup of a bluebell,

Which rings a peal too pure for human lips to tell;

But perhaps you can follow – follow me – let us sing! –

Put an end to paralysis, and take off on wings,

To enchanted forests – where wildflowers whisper –

In petally idioglossia – O, mistier and mistier!

A language of color sending the listener mad –

And if you should hear it, you should be glad,

For madness is liberation – and liberty – life! –

It’s the stairway to heaven – the pulse-freeing knife,

That lets the orderly drip out in all directions –

Yes, perhaps, violence, wars, and insurrections,

But also improbabilities by logic disallowed,

Let’s lift up those skirts – take off those shrouds –

And sail on clouds of wood anemone, up into space,

Where one can have orgies, yet still remain chaste!

Where blackbirds don’t sing, but utter melodic truths,

And happiness is restored by the same pain it removes!

Yes, consider the birds – they know it all –

Ducklings cascading down Patagonian waterfall,

Partridges – parakeets – larks rising and descending –

Don’t you know your fantasies are never-ending?

Imagination is infinite – life is infinite imagination –

Free-will playing games with pre-destination,

Thought after thought, like linked beads in a necklace,

I’ve told you before: Imagination is endless!

So, come Reuben – follow me – fall into the sky –

You do not need wings to be this impossibly high,

Only a mind most buoyant – eviscerated of dross –

Like that Tsarina of the Sky – The Albatross!

Always sailing in the sky – even sleeping on the wing,

And when its life ends as it did begin

The sky will be its egg with infinite shell,

Hatched out from reality – this miscreate hell –

Into a greater bourn – an incomprehensible splendour –

Like all the works of The Renaissance put in a blender!

With color fertilizing color, cross-breeding realities,

Quantum head-fuckery and surrealist modalities,

Pinwheeling through Elysium in multi-dimensional motions –

(And, if you sail into the sun, you’ll be needing more lotion!) –

Until you settle on a planet, emerald evergreen,

More splendid than anything you’ve ever seen,

And among strange rushes, into stranger water,

I’ll dip in my feet and wonder if Chaucer

Whilst hunched over, writing, At Richard II’s court,

Would take the laws of the universe as his fanciful sport?

But we have ‘The Book of the Duchess’‘The Canterbury Tales’ no less,

To see how keenly this man of tenderness

Could extrapolate from human nature things holy and sublime –

And interweave them with fart jokes without missing a rhyme!

Ah, like me! Like me! A maker of melody!

Who can weep over a poem, or a good cup of tea,

With a bandolier of bad puns, I can span the void,

Whilst ensuring fart putty is still well-employed!

Put a whoopee cushion under God’s Arse – the angels will harp –

Stifling their titters when they hear that world-creating ‘PARP!’

Yes, the world is made from farting – Rabelais could tell you,

With God’s Sperm still soaking in the dampness of mildew!”

II.

Ah, my Imagination’s Wonderlust – will these couplets never cease!

Can we not slow them with treacle – nor clog them with grease?

 But no – like a Queen Termite in perpetual birth,

My Imagination mixes whimsy with sorrow and mirth,

And like a swallow on hearing sweet summer’s spell,

I travel African coasts, o’er Mediterranean hell,

And count myself an explorer, great adventurers among,

Just because I listened to a lone blackbird’s song

 

Poem: The Ballad of the River Usk

styx_by_aniaem-d4ex5ev.jpg

I.

Wild demons are abroad tonight,

Feasting upon the absence of light,

Lurching, and twisting, and pulling wry faces,

Seizing the energy your fear displaces

II.

On a night such as this, I sail down the river

To seek forgiveness from an unholy forgiver;

The River Usk, a Styx and a Lethe became,

To the underworld I descended, with only the flame

III.

Of the amber-spun moon flaming over my head,

A sky-burning candle, guiding my quest,

The water is like oil – a riverine road –

An aqueous voyage to the land of the dead

IV.

Sailing onwards, even the darkness grows darker,

A thick fog of nothingness stifles my eyes,

Yet still through that darkness, I see the outline of ruins,

Palaces that crumbled before they e’er could rise

V.

Yet rise yet he does from that oily darkness,

Algae drips from him, reeking of death,

His visage is the very imagery of starkness,

Rotten teeth in his mouth – no eyes in his head

VI.

An eye is handed to him by a faithful assistant,

An orb of pure vision that sees more than I,

He howls and he brays as it burns into his socket,

He moans, he trembles, he screams, and he sighs

VII.

And issues a hiss of ungodly utterance:

“What does this mortal want with me?”

But before I can tremblingly answer, he says:

“You need not tell me – The Eyeball – it sees!”

VIII.

And what did it see, this eyeball omniscient?

What embryo of agony did it spy in my soul?

What did it see, so morbidly efficient –

Making it pulse, twitch, writhe and roll?

IX.

Could it see all my sins – my scarified errors –

Or was it an omen of disfigured prophecy?

Could it witness the fruition of all my terrors?

O, whatever, O ever, could that terrible eye see?

X.

But The Demon King just laughed at the scream of my tension,

Each of his laughs like a murder of crows,

An otherworldly laugh of unknown intension,

A tumour that hurts the more that it grows

XI.

I shivered in the face of these loveless decibels,

I thirsted for mercy – anticipating none –

I heard the ringing of bells from unholy churches,

I felt as though my good deeds had all been undone

XII.

Undone, undone, and spun into evil,

The purity of my love distorted to hate,

Yet still I loved on – loved on in that darkness,

Beating my heart ‘gainst a barbed-wire gate

XIII.

“What will you do if these gates burst asunder?

What will you do?” the Demon mocked with glee,

“What will you do with that heart-forging thunder?”

And once more The Demon King laughed at me

XIV.

And I had no idea what I would do,

No idea what I would do if my love were set free,

If all of my dreams were liberated from hell,

And returned, like swallows, back to me

XV.

I cried, and I wept, and sobbed in a frenzy,

Clawing at my skin, as if to escape,

Anything to be liberated from this eternal tension,

Eternally falling in a mouth grossly agape

XVI.

But then the Demon’s grin turned into a grimace,

His bones from his body began to break out,

A rupture of entrails – thus I morbidly singeth –

Oh, his agonizing bones – they came out – they came out!

XVII.

He screamed in agony – blood from him erupting

Blood coursing from his eyes in rivers of pain,

And from that squalid darkness corrupting,

Emerged a bright light – a lucent white flame

XVIII.

That filled the caverns of Hades with almighty wonder,

Devils and demons all dream-makers became,

The oily River Usk turned a magical color,

And the joy in my heart sang freely again

XIX.

But whether Love could triumph in hell’s temporary oblivion,

That my tale cannot foresee;

Heaven is a mysterious and scary abysm;

And my Dreams are their own private agonies

XX.

So, I’ll stay here, and linger a while in the forest,

Stay here and sing with the birds in the trees,

Stay here, straining to hear the winds whisper

If ever my love is meant to be.

 

Poem: The Vial of The Night

black

I drink from the vial of the night,

Strange sips, in the groove of some

Unearthly tango, a maddening shambles

That divests me of sense’s good rhythm

 *

And in ancient Rome, at the death of some

Great dictator, you grabbed my hand with

Great excitement, to pull me into that flowing,

Serpentine procession

 *

But I had not changed my position:

I was still numb, numbless, purling out

In all directions for want of love – an

Ever-encroaching shore that licks the

Land, as statesmen thirst for war

And if I was on that sepulchre,

All my lovers, and those that loved me,

Would take turns kissing me,

And I would be apotheosized by their kisses –

Raised up and poured like a sandy equation

Into the vial of the night

 

Poem: Photographs and Melodies

phonograph

Do you remember the good old days?

When everything was embalmed in marmalade,

Wrapped in William Morris Wallpaper, and the world

Was barely held together – continental drift swaying

On the end of its tether?

*

Scott Joplin cartwheels down Tin Pan Alley,

Reducing time to rags – and every time you

Think he’s finished playing, that ol’ circular

Melody comes cycling back again, like the

Clock-work of infinity being re-jiggered back

Into motion after a long dead summer of

Tired crickets jumping out of their own hollow

Bodies

*

Then back home, a broken phonograph

Explodes into memories – a memorial of

Photographs from happier-sadder times –

Where happiness meant more,

Where sadness meant more –

And the melodies from that phonograph

Kept those melodies knocking at your door,

Like bailiffs of dementia hoping to confiscate

Whatever you are most desperate to keep

Yet long for more and more

II.

Will our faces ever look the same again?

Will we ever smile the same way again?

Or will every smile we’ve smiled since then

Be but a commentary on the loss of perfection?

III.

I do not think so –

Just as memories beget more memories,

So are the echoes of melodies often more

Redolent than the memories from which

They’ve sprung – as a corpse can be heavier

Than the gallows from which it’s hung

*

Everybody loves a good haunting –

Sometimes a heart needs to reminded

Of what it has loved, so it can love more

Fully in the present, and bow down in awe

On hearing the approach of

The Love That Is Still Yet To Come

*

 

Poem: Writing Into Darkness

gustavedore_raven000

Music, baroque, I hear the notes

Tie themselves into lucid knots –

Labyrinths of spectacle, ravelling all things

In sequential spirals – I am

Not tied in – but enchained –

Where others dance and court,

 I am only Inwoven in ever

Denser layers of suffocating self – my

Petals too populous – my thorns, frothing

Foaming – orgiastic brambles, celebrating,

Denigrating riotousness

 *

I dance alone.

I sing alone.

*

My notes have nothing to harmonize with

Except themselves; what I sung before being

Destroyed, effaced, by what I sing next – arrows

Fired after arrows – notes attacking notes – melodies

Savaging melodies as combatant serpents, rattling and

Shaking in metamorphosis of self-murder

*

I sit in the abyss, and my scroll keeps on purling,

Tapering into darkness.

There is nothing here except:

My Quill,

My Ink,

My Scroll,

And the Words I write

 *

The Scroll is made from skin – my Skin;

The Ink is dredged up from the unfinishable

Darkness where I lagoon. The

Words are just passengers – faery-like thoughts –

Phantasms that pass through my mind like sightseers

At theme parks – what spectacle is

Today unfurling in The Land of Poet? Is the Ferris

Wheel still up and running? Or must we go elsewhere

To be nauseated by circularity?

 *

So, I carry on writing into darkness.

I don’t know if anyone will ever receive

These messages. I don’t know if there is

Anything beyond this darkness.

 *

How many different kinds of darkness are there?

How many gods are there in The Pantheon of Night?

Is Light just another form of Darkness?

Is a light-bulb just an immature form of Darkness

That has not yet learned to conceal itself?

*

III.

I learned to conceal myself long ago.

When the day is done, and the shifting tides

Of Darkness shimmer around themselves, I roll

Myself up in my Scroll, and sleep.

*

And, as I sleep, I dream – I dream of light –

I dream of Darkness no longer being afraid

To show itself – I dream of no longer Dancing

Alone.

*

I dream of landscapes, of friendships, of cities,

Of pullulating possibilities – that the knots of

Infinity are no longer just chains, encumbrances,

But beautiful pieces of embroidery in which I am

A purposeful, important stitch.

*

IV.

Then I awake.

Nothing has changed.

 *

I furl out my Scroll,

Dip my Quill into Darkness,

And hope, against the face of

All possible alternatives, that, maybe

One day, someone will finally be able

To read my handwriting.

 *

Then the Darkness will be Loved.

And I will not dance alone.

 

Poem: The Overture

theatre

To stand on a rock

And sing out your song

Is a wagtail’s genius

 *

But, my own song has no

Rock to stand on – it cartwheels

Over temporal states – slithers over

The internet’s pages, pirouetting hearts,

Clubs, diamonds, Saxons – into and out

Of nostrils, and other people’s mouths:

The song sung by everyone –

A silent melody uniting every tongue

*

I heard all those tongues, and begged them

To kiss me; but I did not want them all to

Kiss me – I wanted them to resolve themselves

Into a perfect tongue, and seal themselves like a

Letter, inside your mouth

 *

I cannot tell you what this letter revealed,

As I was the one who wrote it

*

II.

My overture began at unhappiness’s

Gates – my song soaring out, melodically

Narrating dissociative crimes

Singing of –

Life reduced to art,

Art raised up to life

 *

The overture introduced all the

Main themes of my life –

In dissonant harmonies – either

Microtonally claustrophobic – or

Oceans of octaves apart – no

Reassuring perfect cadence – no

Harmonic middle ground

III.

I sat in the audience – waiting

For the overture to conclude, and

For the opera proper to begin

 *

But, every time there was a lull,

And it sounded like the next movement

Was going to appear, the conductor would

Convulse, and the overture would reprise;

Those jarring, eerie, disquieting

Themes, in perpetual resurrection

*

People in the audience would complain

Or try to go – but the instrumentalists were

Protected by bullet-proof glass, and

The usherettes would not permit anybody

To exit the theatre, until the performance

Had ended

*

People would grow old, sick,

And die – many would starve,

Fatally malnourished, as there’s

Only so long you can live off Cornettos

And popcorn, before your will begins to

Give out –

Matrimonial alliances were forged –

Children were born – but still the overture

Kept on repeating, population levels cresting

And falling

*

IV.

Listening to this sempiternal

Circulation of themes, I began to

Realize all was not as it seemed:

There were subtle transpositions –

Barely audible fugues – harmonic

Modulations, soft and subdued,

Intimating the minutiae of progress,

*

Had the overture really ended

Years ago? Was I now just living

On borrowed variations, slowly creeping

Into something different?

 *

V.

So, whilst I did receive your letter,

I could not read it – because it just

Kept feeding out from a printer millions

Of miles of pages, repeating nothing but

“Dear Reuben,

Dear Reuben,

Dear Reuben,”

 

Poem: The Arpeggio

piano

In the certain rising of an

Arpeggio, can you hear the

Steady ascent of a sephirotic

Ladder

Climbing up to Heaven?

*

Relativity cuts this ascent into

Nebulosity – and so the ladder falls,

Crippled into curvature – a soft snake-

Charmery of deceit, going round and

Round, and round

*

‘Tantra’ means ‘Continuity’ – and

Yet, in my life, all I can feel is the

Continuity of silence and isolation.

When I walk down the street, I see

No interfamilial homo sapien I can

Greet in fellowship – only a humanized

Mockery of deformity that reminds me

How singular, how insular,

I am

*

What have I to do with these homogenized

Creatures? I would like to pretend to be a

‘Man of the People’ – but, I am about as

Demotic as an iceberg – an ill-giving thorn

Designed to protect,

And not delight

*

All through the night, I lay

On a bed, inflamed by the moon;

I felt my cavities as one with the lunar

Surface, far-off, yet still influencing

The world

*

I pray for all. But do I

Ever pray for the end of this

Loneliness?

*

No.

*

It is hard to pray for something

One is almost pathologically unable

To imagine. Loneliness is my best

Friend – it has never left me, nor

Let me leave it. Except for those strange,

Brief moments, when fires broke out of

A sudden in the winter’s cold

*

And it is always winter here –

Summer is but a solar flare –

A single hair from a flaming

Maiden, who has long since burnt

To death

II.

Yesterday, I sat in a church,

Entranced by stained glass that

Bespoke vivid visions of a silent

Past. To think of you sat beside

Me, gazing up in admiration of

What you saw; what you wrested

From these windows with your

Uncanny imagination – that thought

Alone was able to win a smile,

Triumphant, against the lingering

Gravity of the day

*

For an artist to be without their

Muse, is like a populous planet

To be without the sun that nourishes

It: no creation can form –

Only dust upon lifeless dust

III.

But, still, there is life –

Still there is that ineluctable

Call to prayer, that rouses life

In the boniest of bones, making

Queen Bees out of dull Worker

Drones

*

How can I feel joy in life

That only offers more tortures

Based on repetitions and elaborations

Of the same old historic patterns?

*

Can’t there be some sudden break?

Some drastic fissure? That sunders

Unhappiness from the weight of the

Past, so that to the isles of gaiety,

We can surely sail?

*

A collision of two worlds –

That’s what I dreamed of

At first, it was just a blip –

A comma punctuating the blank

Page of Heaven –but soon enough,

It was upon us; I was amazed at

How still everything remained –

There was no rising heat – no

Apocalyptic tremors. Even when the

Planet was so close, you could make

Out its individual continents and

Houses, still, nothing seemed to

Change

*

And no one else could see it

Only me

Only me

IV.

And so, I l climbed inside

That arpeggio, and found

A forbidden home for myself

In the isolated harmonies carved

Out by its root, third, fifth, and

Octave – these notes played

Violently above me like the

Mechanical threshings of a

Great big threshing machine –

And I bore deeper into those

Unused harmonies, knowing they

Were the only places I would not

Get hurt

*

But then I became sick of

Not being hurt – I got sick

Of staying stuck in these isolated

Pockets – these infinitesimal sanctuaries

Of non-arpeggiation

*

But the threshing machine

Offered me no place to go –

The gaps between the notes

Played on that hurtling repetition

Of Arpeggio were just too fleeting to

Allow an exit

*

I thought, if I stayed here long

Enough, that I could tighten my

Reflexes, so that even the smallest

Window of opportunity could be

Exploited by my martial prowess

*

The Arpeggio never stopped –

Its notes drummed into me day

And night – the hands above played

It with tireless, arthritic abandon,

And I could only tell the times of the

Seasons, by the way the intervals

Revolved around themselves

V.

In autumn, the Arpeggio

Would still carry on playing;

But the keys on the harpsichord

Would become cold and scratched,

And the whole surface of the instrument

Would begin to fleck off its

Colour, until it was repainted again

In spring.

VI.

But then, one day, the Arpeggio

Suddenly stopped. This was

Unprecedented. Just how could

An Arpeggio stop?

Isn’t the Arpeggio

God?

*

But God is also The Anti-Arpeggio –

And isn’t the anti-Arpeggio what I

Had been all along?

*

So, in the interval of his

Un-falsifiable intervals,

I escaped through the gaps

Of the now rusted and placid

Threshing machine, and found

Myself a spot of freedom

In the absence of glory and

Sound

*

Truly, the keyboardist

Returned to his instrument –

But I was no longer the one

Being instrumentalized – I was

No longer the victim of a sonata

That has no beginning or end

VII.

And the Arpeggio resumed playing,

With myself being threshed by it,

Every part of me reaped to be an

Unspoken melody’s fodder

*

Because the Arpeggio cannot

Be hidden from – it is the Lord of

Both Sound and Silence

And if you can find something that

Annihilates both of them, then maybe

This poem will finally end with

Me asking once again:

“In the certain rising of an

Arpeggio, can you hear the

Steady ascent of a sephirotic

Ladder

Climbing up to Heaven?”

Poem: The Heart Unmasked (Seven Hells/Heavens in Seven Parts)

 

blake

PART ONE – INFERNO

How can I do it?

How can I be the poet, who

Epitomizes the pain of this age, to

Everyone’s satisfaction? I feel the

Constant sheddings of impermanence –

Those fleeting moments of joy, all

Too quickly overwhelmed by that tide

Of despair; by that pain and despair, so real,

And so intense, that you thirst for it, and howl

For it, sigh for it, and scream for it – beseeching

All the embers to burn you up, in that

Loving madness of pain. I tried to

Take off my mask; to show you

My naked face – but my Plutonian Overlords

Only cram it on more tightly, affixing and

Oppressing me with identities, I

Wish I didn’t have to invent – Oh!

Great Phantom Gods of Pain! Please

Help me in my aim, to bespeak the pain

Of a generation – not for fame – but so

That in the pools of these wildish words,

Their myriad sufferings might be diffused;

Perfused with the kinship of suffering, that

Transcends any skeletons or bones.

This is why I want to take off my mask –

To show you the agonies of my mind – my skull

Scarified – the crumbling condominium

Of my heart, that both harrower and

Harrowing have pried: for my heart,

Like Heaven, is a mansion with many

Rooms: some vile, some atrocious,

Some bloody, and melodious – some

Filled with the purest of nightly whites,

That few have the courage to ingress.

Let me take you on a tour through

My heart – in the basement I

 Keep my childhood, where emotional

Impressions were chaotic, and, like Jude The Obscure,

I felt consigned to a reality I was doomed to abhor; where misunderstanding

Was to be the lady-in-waiting, beleaguering my future

Hours. From thence, we arrive at the kitchen,

Where my teenage years were prepared; amidst

A melee of experimentation, I re-designed and

Destroyed myself daily, hoping to hit upon

The secret formula, that would most assuage my

Pain – years in which every stranger was a potential

Assailant, saviour, or oppressor; and girls were

Mythical creatures, by which only other men were

Allowed to be loved – so, up above, I clung

To my guitar, as a six-stringed refuge, in

A storm misbegotten, drowning myself

In music, and overindulging on breath mints,

That I hoped that would clear the air of repulsion,

That drove people so far away

From me. As we descend

Through the lower tiers of the hells

I quarried for myself out of the rocks

Of my misguided youth, we find my years

Of Cynicism, stung by seclusion,

Scientific endeavour, and literary speculation;

Of wandering down the dual carriageway at

3AM, blood all over my arms and thighs – (I

Didn’t realize the wounds were so serious, and

That we would later have to amputate her entire

Left side) – stuck statuesque in infernal

Discotheques, whilst the morons of my

Generation, danced in ignorance around me,

Clutching their tridents and chains – Like I said –

These were misguided days, in which I sincerely

Believed, if I learned enough, and accumulated

Sufficient knowledge, perhaps I would eventually

Be loved – Finally, somebody did love me,

Loved me so much, that they had to overdose

Themselves on painkillers, just to render themselves

Sensible to me – these were the years spent

In higher towers, in which the gilded furnishings

Barely concealed, the blood on the wainscoting, swifter

Demolition revealed – in these apartments

I sought after macabre joys – of secret parades

Wrought, in uterine blood – of victimization

Circling the carousals of my mind; end of the

World arguments, that left my nerves in a wreck,

And the stains of suicide, like an albatross

Round my neck – how much hope I invested in this pain!

In this dark trial of love, that oversexed me to a state

Of begrudging climax, taut with the torn ligaments of woe;

Of rare aphrodisiacs – trips to the doctors –

Of life-time imprisonment, in a life-long bed

With a girl whose compassion knew not

How to grow – when it was all done and

Finished, and my ill-gotten liberty perplexed me

To higher states – we turn now into the adjoining room –

The gallery in which are hung, all the hearts

I’ve broken since – constructive demolitions, housing

A stony memorial of guilt, for the death of an

Ill-hatched parrot, who never should have been

Caged next to me; besides a filing cabinet, cataloguing

My subsequent disappointments, filed

Alphanumerically.

  1. PARADISO

But, let’s not deceived by this –

I don’t want to be some lopsided

Reporter, a dualistic biographer of

Slaughter, who only highlights the trials

Of life – and not the incorruptible joys

They helped to fertilize. So we’ll ascend

From Hell for a moment, to pay homage to

My favourite chamber – the one thus yclept:

‘HOPE OF THINGS TO COME –

HOPE OF LOVERS NEXT’ –

In this chamber, you are the sole

Occupant, an ageless muse, resplendent in

The raiment of the moon;

In bridal veil, white gown, and sail, I beseech

The scions of Heaven to stitch you into my

Future – I know we have little temporal

Acquaintance – but around you, already, I dance:

You are the choreographer of my days –

The executioner of my nights –

The denuder of my face –

The purveyor of my delights – Already,

My heart has become your principal

Exhibition – The Archive of your every

Expression – in which I display all the

Trophies that celebrate, any time I spend

With you. If Hell is the past,

And a loveless present – then this is why

I rail against Time, longing for

It to stop in its tracks, to speed into

The future, or to sometimes double-back:

Those frozen moments, which I wish, immortalized,

I could paint myself into – when you cross over

The threshold, into the sacred suzerainty of my

Arms – Oh! How I wish I could preserve such moments

Forever – pickle them in a jar – mummify them

In my memories, that know no near,

No far: that, like some waxing candle,

I did not have to see your proximity, snuffed

Out before me. And so I dream,

Of some secret chamber, some tax-free

Haven, some forbidden penthouse of

Heaven, where I keep you in my arms,

World without end, in a loving embrace

We never suspend: an embrace that overcomes

All boundaries; liberates all beings from

Discontent; every wound is healed; every

Wrong is righted; every corruption is

Purified, all guilt elided, all love

Heightened, and elevated to a state

Of boundless magnitude, enwreathed with

A corona of eroticism’s angels, triumphing

The music, that can’t help but resonate

Betwixt our lonesome souls – don’t you see

The crux of my anglicized delusion? That

Separate, we are but tiers of Hell; but

Together we become the fabric of Heaven?

So, I will rail against Time – Time, the

Ender and initiator of all pleasures and

Pains – Time – The closer and can-opener

Of all embraces – Time, which

Brought you to me, and which I despair, may,

Too soon, carry you away – Oh! Don’t

Delay! What are you waiting for?

BRING ME MY HEAVEN! Do what you

Must to me first, but just BRING ME

MY HEAVEN! Shoot me with arrows like

St. Edmund – nail me to a cross – make

Me read dross – toast me like Joan of

Arc – torture me like a Buddhist captive in

The hands of a Communist oppressor – only:

BRING ME MY HEAVEN! Bring me days

Of unuttered release, where you untutored

Kisses, will be the only language I will ever

Speak – a Lover’s Binary Code: parted lips

For ‘YES’ – Closed lips for ‘NO’ – supple

Lips for ‘ONE’ – parched lips for ‘ZERO’ –

How can I ever entertain such hopes? How

Do I have the audacity, to compose such

Luscious heavens? I am but a tramp, half-crazed,

Caught up in the malaise of unhappy existences,

I struggle to daily transmutate. How can I be your

Role model? How can I provide you with hope; except

For within, the sacred environs, of two tender arms,

That speak with greater eloquence, than my tongue

Ever can? For all my experience and disillusionment,

I still feel an affrighted virgin – a mountain monk

Celibate; killing myself with nettle soup, and

Chanting scriptures, that will have to suffice, in

Place of an absent touch. Bug am I not always being

Touched? Does not the sky embrace me?

Do not the mountains readily enthrone me? And,

Is it not the autumn mist, with which my soul

Is seasonally kissed? I am a fool – I could

Never be the hero – I must be Mercutio or

King Lear – Dear, dear, dear! I am too

Much of a prankster, a fixer, a trickster – but

Does not the Trickster, too, cry out for love? Does not

The Fixer demand a bride, to lay the follies of his benighted

Cunning aside? Someone to exculpate him

From his virginal taint – to be loved as a

Man – not an unhappy saint?

III. INTERMEZZO

So, you have seen some of it now –

I have allowed myself to be unmasked –

(Though with too much stage make-up

For this revelation to last) –

I have taken you as a tourist, through my heart –

Through my private Heavens and Hells –

Do you feel you know me better? Can you

Feel me within yourself? Do you hate me

More, or love me less? Or do you admire

Me for finally attempting to express, what,

For too long, my dignity, has assayed to suppress?

Ah, fuck dignity! Dignity be gone! I will crumple

Myself at your feet, like a failing conflagration, and

Demand that you touch me – that just once

You burn your fingers, on these icy pinnacles of flame:

My body is a fire,

Only you can put out,

But still – it is not enough –

There is too much left – I want to

Give you more, to explore every drawer,

Every last compartment, snow-strewn escarpment,

Every sun-scarred ridge; every last follicle

Of skin stung by mosquito or midge; I feel

Responsible – I want to give you some little

Hope – some stainless technique of solace

You can use as a rope. If I must

Give you more, then let it be this:

Be a musician to the moment;

A singer to the stars, a poetizer

Of experience, a raving drunkard

In every bar – be an intimate lover, to each

And every last thing: to every insect, bird, rock, man,

Woman, fish, or tree – to everything that sings:

Whatever you experience – celebrate it –

You every peril, your every pain, your

Every amnesty, your every chain; your joy,

Your grief, your wakefulness, your sleep, your

Ecstasy, your agony, your clarity, your confusion, your

Disparity, between what you love, and what

You would like to be – your love, your romance –

Your mad shaman’s dance – with this royal perfusion,

You can transport us all to gold – this is your sacred

Tool-kit – The Paint-box of your

Soul.

IV.

But, if you return into the raging

Prison, that I call my heart, you will

Find your name, writ upon every cell,

Emblazoned on every myocardial fibre – every

Throbbing wall of this blood-pumping dell. I chant your name to

Pass the time, and, doing thus, I have never felt

More alive, you are very easy to love – to you?

I fancy I am not – but perhaps amongst these

Wildish words, some understanding will be got.

V.

But, I cannot leave it there – I

Promised not to end on a pessimistic

Note; to give you some mote of hope – but

How can I urge others to self-believe, when to

The potential of being loved myself, I so struggle

To toast?

So, maybe it could happen –

Maybe you could love me –

Maybe I don’t have to be typecast as Koko,

And find my courtesans eloping with

Less headless men? Maybe? Maybe!

A thousand Maybes! A torrent of Maybes! A

Pigswill of Hope, groping for something on which

This hollow heart can float; consumed by grotesque

Diners, and the squalid old man who lives in my

Moat. Oh, Hope do not desert me! Pray,

Courage, lend me your oar, so I can help

Myself and others, get to The Other

Shore, and make it in time for my

Wedding Day – Oh look! – They’ve

Just thrown the bouquet! And on each

Painful convolvulus is written,

A charitable omen of Hope.

VI.

So, for now, time is still stood still –

Your tenancy in my arms, brooks no

Eviction, we need no conviction, to know

That the united front, of every heart beat’s exeunt,

Is the only pulse we need for our days – Let’s leave

It there, in that shallowest of Heavens. I will

Take off my mask, one last time, and

Crested aloft on un-urgent rhyme, I will

Leave you the space,

To kiss unclothed face –

Finally seeing inside,

With Hope open wide,

I climb up on the rocks

And am killed by my bride.

And, on what wisdom, has our bread been leavened?

That separate, we are but tiers of Hell – but Together

The Fabric

Of Heaven.

VII.

If I must

Give you more, then let it be this:

Be a musician to the moment;

A singer to the stars, a poetizer

Of experience, a raving drunkard

In every bar – be an intimate lover, to each

And every last thing: to every insect, bird, rock, man,

Woman, fish, or tree – to everything that sings:

Whatever you experience – celebrate it –

You every peril, your every pain, your

Every amnesty, your every chain; your joy,

Your grief, your wakefulness, your sleep, your

Ecstasy, your agony, your clarity, your confusion, your

Disparity, between what you love, and what

You would like to be – your love, your romance –

Your mad shaman’s dance – with this royal perfusion,

You can transport us all to gold – this is your sacred

Tool-kit – The Paint-box of your

Soul.

 

Poem: In Defence of Poor Reuben Falstaff

Sir_John_Falstaff_-_Eduard_von_Grützner

That face,

That face that sets light on my wildest yearnings,

And turns my palest heavens

Into raging inferno’s of confusion

Will I ever be able to drown that face

With unnumbered kisses?

And weep out the truth

Into your dresses

That only poetry can surmise?

I am your thin Falstaff –

And you, my Prince Hal;

I will engross and entertain you for a time –

But eventually, womanhood will call;

You will be thronged in suitors

Rising on every side like weeds

Whilst I meekly cry:

“Abandon not poor Reuben!

Maniacal Reuben! Dangerous Reuben!

Changeable Reuben – Unexplainable Reuben!

Reuben of infinite goodwill!

Abandon truth – abandon folly

Abandon everything in the raging dominion

Of reality’s taintless estate –

But abandon not poor, Reuben Falstaff!”

But it will just be a painful soliloquy.

I think of watching your grow up,

And I feel a father’s pain

At watching a perfect flower

Bloom so far away from myself

I know I seem like

A fabulist clown

But do you not know

That those that laugh the most

Are those that suffer the most?

For every jape and joke

I am taxed in a tithe of tears

And after the farting of a whoopee cushion

A tragedy must unfold

So think not unkindly on poor Reuben Falstaff –

But ask:

What drove Jack to drink?

Was it foreknowledge of that unfriendly divorce

That was certain to undo him?

What drove Coleridge to opium?

Syd Barrett to LSD?

A thousand monks to self-flagellation?

And the serried dead

To rise from their graves

In search of greyer mausoleums?

I do not give answers anymore –

Only kisses and questions

But if you will tolerate

This emaciated madcap beside you

Perhaps your encroaching Queendom

Will not have to see me die

Oh, say not goodbye!

Every goodbye that falls from your lips

Is like a dagger to my senses

Creating scars that can only be soothed

By your belated return

So think not unkindly

On poor Reuben Falstaff

For whilst he might love

In the most deranged of ways

Still – he loves,

And in that mighty chest of pain

You can still find the daggers

Of your every,

Unfinished,

Goodbye