October 19, 2016

mixing metaphors

pour me another fine cup of petrol to drink
pass me the matches so i can burn,
rather than think again
of all the things that wither and sink,
or flutter away like ash in the wind,
like water swirling down a drain,
the way love leaks out of a marriage,
like air seeping from a tire
so you have to push the old bike home
instead of gliding there,
like everything that eats your care
and leaves you empty and older,
frail and cold as frost on thin glass,
and lost in a leafless wood
where the heart must forage
like a hungry deer
on thorny winter weeds and canes...
i feel it shrink inside my chest
until it rattles there against my ribs,
like a cast-off shell,
like dice in a cup before the cast,
like seeds that wait for rain.


my heart---
keeps timeless time,
and tuneless tune,
is a belled fool
fishing in a pool
beneath the moon
as green as cheese,
is a bell, is a cup,
struck and un-struck.

my heart---
leaps like a fish,
falls like a star,
as above, so below,
a stellium
shining in a puddle,
is the echo in a shell,
a voice in a well,
a city afire,
a wilderness of briars,
a prophet, a liar,
a beggar maid.

my heart---
is a compass rose,
is brave,
is afraid,
mislaid, waylaid,
forsworn, forbidden,
a map with singed edges,
a whetstone,
a treasure.

my heart---
is dim,
is bright,
walks a line of light,
straight as an arrow
targeted true,
true blue enough
as it sings and thrums,
seeks and finds.

my heart---
is smoke and mirrors,
bones in the desert,
a signpost, a monument,
a midden.
it takes no prisoners,
no heed,
and pays no mind.

my heart---
is a buried thing,
planted deep and hidden,
a seed, a pip, a kernel,
keeping time til spring,
a watch, a clock,
fragile as eggs,
rock hard, a gem,
metal and marrow and meaning,
mortal, eternal,
a red paradox.

my heart---
is haunted rooms,
a humming stone,
brimful of cinders,
and sweating gold,
alchemical furnace,
memory box,
garden and grave,
mistress and slave.

my heart---
walks on coals,
swallows swords,
is a sideshow,  a freakshow,
a cooch tent, an acrobat,
a lion tamer, a muddled mystic,
a four chamber circus
daily drumming up
continued custom.

my heart---
drives an endless red river,
an ouroboros of life,
pumps twin bellows
of breath,
and daily delivers
its pythoness poems,
pity and pith
coiled about
a pentacled codling,
which i must eat,
moths and all,
for the knowing,
for the loving,
for the living.

midwifing the future

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