Ode to the Obvious
A road untraveled like a fever unmeasured,
the distance vaporizing in the heat of the moment;
the representations are no longer visible.
The world takes on a hue. Sub-somewhere,
sub-something, you’re down there where you belong.
The last pacifier consumed, the smoke from the ruins
coiling up into the darkening firmament,
where a skein-like wedge of silent birds
gracefully crosses all the space there will ever be
in all the time there ever was.
The heart has a rhythm and it’s not just a beat.
You’re locked in that body and they’ve
thrown away the key. Nothing left to do but wait
till the haze turns purple; to make a Moses-like gesture
with your liver-spotted hands in order to part the dusty
heirlooms and access the other shore—where right now
a glinting black Mercedes Benz hearse
is clanking up the ramp onto the ferry
and merging with an entire phalanx of images all
adumbrating some errant untold truth.
Journey to the End of the Mind
There in the park where I played as a kid
I saw them painting the brown grass green.
Just us early risers and the unfolding of the nascent day—
the clustered clarity of it all impinging trenchantly
on my slowly developing take of things
so early in the morning—
Entering into commerce I saw those who were unable
doing the best they could—
compromised by issues which they’ll never overcome
but loved nonetheless by someone somewhere—
and there was a twang in the rusty heartstrings.
Later in the darkness I saw something altogether
different—it looked like a searing flame but it was just
the flickering glow of a huge TV—the actualities
dawning, yawning; colored as they were with their
unsettling palette of tempered uncertainty.
Recollecting the future while anticipating the past
I set out to reconcile the paradoxes
only to arrive somewhere else entirely
and undergo the heavyweight realization that the
paradoxes have long since—maybe even always—
been wholly reconciled.
The Skin Inside
Out there past the last old windmill
and the last stagnant canal—
the no-man’s land of western Dithmarschen—
cabbage and horseradish in rows of staggering accuracy
stretching all the way out to the frigid
gray-brown waters of the North Sea—
hard-hatted Day-Glo-vested workers perched high
in the new steel pylons rigging cables to connect
off-shore wind parks with the ant-hills of civilization—
I’ve got one hand on the steering wheel,
the other on the dial cranking up King Tubby’s
“A Better Version” nice and loud while waiting
most likely in vain in some kind of cerebral limbo
for the old symbolism to morph into
an entirely new vernacular—an idiom of sheer imagery
in which the images themselves have
no significance whatsoever but struggle nonetheless
to articulate the meaning of meaning—
a hall of mirrors where purity reigns
and the algorithm of death can no longer find you—
and if it’s a truth to be realized that your body is not
your own, then it must be a delegated image of heaven,
while the skin inside has a luster all its own,
reflecting back the warm glow from within.
A Rising Up
A rising up, a stepping forward,
another doorway accommodating our passage.
We see the horizon edged with skeletal trees,
smell wood-smoke in the autumnal air.
No masters travelling the roads today,
no clouds carving their initials in the void.
We come to clarity as to a mirror;
someone always there looking back at us.