Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Heart Conditions: And Now, A Poetic Interlude...
I watched a butterfly emerge from its dusty confines
improbably moist and glistening in the noonday sun
unfolding its wings and glancing about tentatively,
while a sense of fearful wonder fills an anxious awakening.
Everything untried beckons,
Every hesitation is heightened,
Every fear registers on the new and untried self.
Free from the safely familiar sarcophagus that served so well;
at once crucible and prison, Mother and Defiler.
What remains is courage
to feel, to know, to risk everything on an instinct;
on a barely audible voice exhorting, “fly!”
To find the majesty in life which exists just beyond
suffering and unfolding, apprehension and longing, in what is
A Blues Fire (In Memoriam For James Hillman)
I had the Blues, but I couldn’t sing them
My heart, sodden with tears, could hardly keep a beat.
All I could do was open my mouth and simply moan, moan, moan.
Navy tears streamed down my face like Muddy Waters.
I had the Blues but they wouldn’t sing me, either
‘Cause I was flat, broke, and short-necked, and sounded kind of hollow
Like a bad guitar. Sometimes the Blues screamed me.
A middle class white man must vibrate at the wrong frequency.
I had the Blues but I couldn’t use them; I didn’t understand…
One night they woke me up and for no good reason, made the moon silver and wet
Of course, I thought they shouldn’t…
But she smiled down all the brighter for it. I wouldn’t have guessed that on a bet.
I had the Blues—they made strange, livid sounds when they called to me
Spinning me in wholly new directions; they turned me upside down.
Barely whispered notes wafted to my ears, while my feet walked across lapis skies.
Across an unseen threshold to a rich Blue world flush with azure sighs.
The Blues knew me here; they called me by name and bid me sit
In an electric-blue chair while Vishnu, with kingfisher blue hair, opened his mouth
Revealing the indigo universe and my one aquamarine stone, placed just so in the net.
Sapphire tears rolled down my face like Ethel Waters’.
The Blues honored me here; they made me a Monk like Thelonious,
Shaved my head to a shiny smooth oval that gave off a glow like a Robin’s egg.
They wrapped me in flaxen robes; they placed in my hand forget-me-nots
And gave me a big blue pencil with which I could rewrite my life.
The Blues had me, they always did have, and I know that now.
All I had was a fear of the dark.
I am undeniably, interminably, terribly…average.
I have the average color of eyes
And an average nose,
Average skin , which I conceal inside my average clothes.
I have average speech, which emanates
From an average face that everyone recalls
But can’t quite articulate.
I have average ears
And average toes,
When hurt, I mustn’t cry out (as every average person knows).
My hair is cut to avoid being blunt and assigns with tradition,
Streaked gray and thinning with just the average sedition
For a man of my years.
I am average in height and average in weight,
Even my sexual orientation is exclusively straight.
My intellect is not a white-hot star in the cosmic sphere,
My average heart doesn’t soar with a steamy sense of poetic fate
But is instead filled with an normal amount of dread,
The currency of the soul the average call fear.
But oh! In my restless dreams at night
When ambitious hope takes fancied flight,
I am not in the least average, but rather a stalwart sage;
The best of mortals and gods combined,
Infused by magic in a magical age.
When I awake I realize I’ve (on average) mined
The same old dreamscape countless average
Others have dreamed countless other times.
In waking or in sleeping, the desire doubtless remains,
“I want to be more than average,” is this average man’s refrain.
It's Getting Hot
It’s very hard to tell anymore, the difference
Between crazy and insane.
Between dictatorship and democracy.
Between leadership and oedipal histrionics.
Between Republicans and Democrats.
Between war and peace.
When did the leaving of one’s senses become de riguer?
When did the dulling of one’s compassion,
Of one’s generosity,
Of one’s politeness become, so much, the rage?
(I guess having all your belongings tossed outside the gate
And loosing the keys to paradise—even though you knew better—
Would make anyone a little resentful…)
Of course polite politics probably has never been a reality;
Neither the existence of the kind, thoughtful and compassionate masses.
A mere fiction employed to make our present even more difficult to bear,
Like tales told of a golden age ruled by goddesses, peace, and prosperity.
Politics have always been the arena for the “civilized” application s of rage.
Rulers have never been benevolent,
Masses of humans have never been humane, or
Willing to feel vulnerable in order to witness a greater truth.
And so, once again, a piece of the planet is going up in smoke…
Am I just crazy, or is it getting hot in here?