When I sing to you I am alone these days and can't believe it, as if the stars --while gazing up at them--just shut off. Astonished: I search out the one light, brightest light in the night sky, but find I cannot find it without weaker lights to guide me like red tail-lights on a car up ahead after midnight when I'm sleepy, that illustrate how the highway curves, curving to a hook, and maybe save my life and it means nothing to me because nothing has happened, not the faintest glint of drama. (Raining gently, the tarmac turns slick, moistened to life with renewed residues; I can sense it with my hands on the wheel, the drops--not too heavy-- drumming off-time rhythms on the metal roof, the metal surface like a skin tense and sweating and the road empty now, there are so many exits . . .) Where is my family, both hearth and constellated trail of flicker I have always followed to your word? There, but mastered by fear of dark compulsions and loathing atrocities committed in your name, they hit the dimmer switch and extinguish themselves whenever I sing your praises. . . Who can blame them? (I can't help but blame them.) And anyway they are far from me (farthest when they come to visit)-- I should be self-reliant, in my armchair like Emerson reading by a single lamp; I should not need them, finding in you myself, little firebug needing no outlet, my soft light blinking as I oxidize my aimless flight to love, to the good, even my glowing chemistry unnecessary now in the ultimate light of day. But what good would that do me? With you, in you, perhaps others do not matter, but this isn't heaven, and I cannot make a circle all on my own-- Photon, luciferin, meteor: as I burn myself to pieces, I only pray let my sparking tail remain a moment longer than our physics might allow, some indication, however brief, that there continues (amen) a path to follow.
Mongrel Death Blues
What's that behind my back? What's that gnawing behind my back? It sounds like a dog crunching bones for marrow. Bones here so old, the sun's dried up the marrow. What kind of dog splinters bone like that? Don't turn around, I hear it getting louder. Don't turn, don't turn, its growl is getting louder. Oh, don't you growl at me, nappy rabid dog. My joints may be cracking, but my bones ain't buried yet. I said, my skeleton is talking, but my bones ain't buried yet. Hear my belly growling? I'm hungrier than I've ever been. Are you baring pearly whites? I can almost smell your mongrel breath. Yes, your pearlies, they are snapping, and I can smell your stinking breath. I'd turn around and pet you, but I've given up on pets. I am reaching for a stone. I swear my aim is sharp. I swear my arm is strong. It's growing dark, but I won't miss. It's darker now, but I won't miss. O shine down moonlight, my whole life has led to this.