Jumping In and Out of the Mirror

Against myself I bump heads
while pulling the drifting continents together with rope
If I let go
they float apart in mirrors
staving, pleased with my image of suffering, into my hands …
She told me her sister had been murdered, but it was a lie
pulling me up like an anchor
to believe her suffering could also be mine
I just want – like a baserunner in game seven – to get home
sprinting at reflective hoops, quicksilver hurdles
and a peyote woman of my own choosing
like coyote
Retracing my steps through the multiplicious crossroads
on a round planet
in one dimension
after another.

 


King Hussein and the Blind Man

We recycled all the alphabet into illiterate soup
so I can't go back
over Jordan
through three feet of stacked news
and read the subdued headlines
(of a week or so ago)
but I do remember King Hussein
carrying his dusty nation into the age of Aquarius
making peace with his hands, inscrutably
dealing high stakes poker,
I wonder who cried, if anyone
looking at that photo
but if you've been there:
if you've had your shoes x-rayed
had every page of every book flipped
if you've gotten the correct stamps and photos with great difficulty
and know the river's real width, depth, breadth, volume . . .

Underneath
same page
I remember a picture
of a quiet middle-aged blind man
retired switchboard jockey maybe from Baltimore
and the story
of a new operation procedure
some science stuff
that gave him that TV moment
of taking off the blindfold
and seeing for the first time
in his life.

He may not have it easy from now on
I wouldn't know,
Sight is such an anxious gift
and, well, 
any kind 
of peace
is a miracle.


The Name of God

“’God’ is an ambiguous word in our language because it appears to refer to something that is known. But the transcendent is unknowable and unknown. God is transcendent, finally, of anything like the name ‘God’.” Joseph Campbell

Oh to drop the name
drop the name, drop the name
Oh to drop the name

Kissing up
Kissing up
to God
to get in good
so God
will remember
your name
when it's time.

Fall on your knees
Fall on your knees
on the bathroom rug
before the porcelain altar
Fall on your knees
in a crowded ballroom
That's the "grand geste"
pretend to pray, who's to know?
go on fool
thyself

Brahman
Aten
Mother Earth
Jehovah
Krishna
Allah
Baha

Stand in the corner
Face the walls and rock
like a mourner
recite the name
drop the name
oh the name
the geste
attention
to the real name of God

Vishnu
Waheguru
Ahura Mazda
Satan
The Light
Father
Raven

Feel the power in the name
Feel it in your socks
Feel the sweat, the juice
of something coming
something is about to happen

Lord
Pangu
Shiva
Wakan Tanka
Zeus
Christ
MamiWata

Bow down
Bow down
Bend thy head
in praise
in shame
in submission
in admission
in contrition
of the power
the power

Hari
Yahweh
Odin
Vajrasattva
Wicca
Arya Tara
Jupiter

the name
the power
in the name
God.

 


Moving Still

one house
with one chair
ingenious invention
to keep legs at 90°
it is my house
my chair, my view
my rest, my energy
down through the legs all
to the center of the earth
through to California
the up and at ‘em
gyroscope

 


On Review

You die
then you get a year to reflect
then a review session
-- What? --
I wish I hadn't always wanted the latest fashion
that seems such a waste now
and smoking
though there was pleasure
all that buying, burning
lighting, discarding butts
quite a pastime
maybe I could have done better, been better
without maybe

all I left were my kids
and they barely knew me
they threw out my love letters and souvenirs

so it's all senseless then you die?
on review, I don't know.