archetypes

Doors In The Dead Cities

In between the river and the roads,
day or night, you can see sparkles -
ocean slowly pulsing into tidal river,
transfusion for diseased city, and
in between the movies and the ads
sparkles invade your mind -
split seconds of nothingness -
splinters of dead air and dead cold
whispers of a million words on bookshelves,
a billion chords on compact discs,
a billion beating locust wings,
desert roads in the mind, green blurs
on mountain horizon: trees, fields,
steaming volcanic lakes, whales and herons,
landscapes internal forever -
and lost at the moment you die?
at the moment you die,
lost forever?

You find portals beacuse you need to:
the museum behind the fake technicolour castle
with the prayer wheels and jade knives,
scraps of ancient bibles and screeds,
where they play chants through hidden speakers
between the glowing display cases,
and between floors you count a few empty shops
stuck in the haze of winter and old cloud -
between shops and between hours
you find a space you recognize
where someone sits who died before history,
shaved head bowed before a newer moon,
still pool beneath willow bridge, sandals
placed carefully beside shawl, pen, ink -
knowing something that you once knew.

Between pulses that tell us were are alive,
between instants of stimulus and response,
between droplets of this endless rain -
words, notes, snow, kisses -
flashes of something familiar from long ago.
Between work days and sofa evenings,
in between years of shifting identities -
frozen windscreen wipers sweeping
centuries off eyesight of lifetimes -
strobe flashes and advertising lasers,
glitters caught on river water and
apartment block window fronts,
cranes dancing in winter wind
like weather poles and wind chimes
beside glass-still pool of mind -
in a pure instant between instants
you are bowed down before a memory
that you do not know is a memory.

As if in a dream, there are those
who try to remind us -
in between meals and games and
in between all the sparkles -
rituals built into the chaos:
of sitting before a wooden tray for tea
of kneeling before icons and cruciforms
of sitting with someone strange -
someone of still pools and dead blossoms
someone of dead screens and dying rivers
someone in between the moments
of attention to this or that lifetime -
intersecting universes, colliding realities -
someone we find in the place where we are -
someone who is a memory
that you do not know is a memory.

Like cats' eyes peeping out from the dark -
in between our madness, our fits
of distraction, racing uphill,
looking out over frozen ochre city,
wide harbour, lumpen island and white boats
and sunlight thin and red and distant -
in between making love among the trees,
underneath fallen roots, luminous
emerald moss, tiny sprinkled mushrooms -
in between desperate hours of stillness
heart pounding as nothing happens,
guts wrenching as nothing is transformed
into other forms of nothing -
and all the forms of the mind,
demonic, angelic, ridiculous and tender,
pour into this moment as a billion sparkles
and leave you as empty as an hourglass,
timed out and clear, in between epochs,
waiting for someone's hand.

Between images of yourself
caught on windows, mirrors, pupils -
an old, tired theme of searching,
so sad and desperate and surrendered -
and yet the one last desperate hope
is that in between these ghosts
and false gods, false selves and wraiths,
you might glimpse the doorway -
to the frozen land through the back of the wardrobe
to the unreal city below the lake's bottom
to the magical land on the other side of the mirror
to someone strange waiting patiently outside time,
as if enclosed in a pale moon heaven
that you do not know is a memory.

Anima Redux

i found her underwater and woke her
and black eyes opened and she smiled

we entered the nexus of all our lifetimes
and walked away from that shore together

the shore of unreal waters pouring
over the edge of our minds

years together in dark rooms
just to find the strength to walk away

years of desperate embrace and tears
and fighting off a surprising madness

the changing world and the mind immortal
the dying world and the mind immortal

in the end she is just a girl
who writes beautifully about disorder

who thinks beautifully about imperfection
who never wanted to be an archetype

and I'm just a boy who knows nothing
driven by a billion-year-old memory

if we flare up and burn out in this darkness
if we become lost among star cinders

if we forget who we once were
if I lose my awareness in the sparkles

let us not be remembered or misunderstood
let all of this be lost in time

let nobody think they knew me
let nobody try to preserve anything

let our story never be told -
the girl and the boy walking from the shore

and into dreams and into labyrinths
and into love and into loss

I found her underwater because I was swimming
I was looking for a black-eyed goddess

and I only understand now, and only barely,
what really drives me through this life

and I still don't know, maybe never will,
what else there is to do.

Lost We

be with me now. in voice. broken overruled. help to lift me skywards, lady. arms like music box dancer, poised like ballerina. pink and blue gauze ballgown, costume jewel tiara, lipstick smile and pale skin. music to dance to until we die. on a desk in my sister's bedroom one morning, thin summer light through single glazed window. brass window fasteners twisted to open, dusty windows never cleaned, cracked from tennis ball impacts. how we leaned out and looked over the gardens and the hedges to somewhere distant. our enclosed world. bookshelves and drawers and wardrobes crammed full of memory. accumulated possessions of 15 years emptied one day. our home, full of sunshine and voices, full of waking nightmares. we walked the carpets in the small hours trailing dreams from our fingertips. our skin and our smell we left in the corners untouched by cleaning. I am a small child lost in a red crystal. I am a man waiting for a small child to descend from the overworld. I am a boy lost in his own cold bones outside an empty dark school waiting for a man to come and bring him home. I am an old man trying to remember his father's face. lost moments strung together on a tattered string. lady, be with me now. let me live in the song you lift to the sky. your arms and eyes darken and you teach me about the sea. one day I said that I would learn how to swim. that I would swim the broken sea of my parents' dreams. let this story fall from me now. I am of the sky and the waves and the stars, if you will bless it to be so.

--

lost we reach for words. lost we. only for moments crushed. how blurred horizon breeds cloud ghosts, blurred vision like rainwater window, songs for sliding down. how in panicked sparks sunlight cuts into the mind. naming evanescences in amnesiac time, in time of perfect garden, age of gold, names given again for new beginnings. meaning emerging from chaos birthsack. love from eyes. horizon of sisters and brothers and lost toys, lost books, lost living brightness. friends poised invisible under weeping willow, unable to cross the water. lady wreathed in smoke stepping through puddles that do not touch her skin. soaked earth yielding fruit and footprints, lunar memories, a future death plummeting back through time.

--

touched by voices and listened to by light, we transmigrate. these are your windows and doors, winter-chilly and smudged with tears and hope. doors in the dark, doors in the day, doors along an endless corridor of what may be. that window you flew out of in your mind every night. rising through tortured cloud giants. purple starfield and streetlight glow. naked temples flattened and opened like unpeeled tesseracts into streets and houses and staircases. mother and father embracing underneath the black gates like forgiven titans. sister and brother hand in hand under petrified glittering forest, canopy of silk and birdflight, music of absolution. memories of other planets, washed down through new mind as over waterfall in tiny urban park. where as a child you stand and sing, lady. where you stand and sing us all to wake again.

Sofia

...don't even say a word.
    ...play sad music and sit in silence
        ...stark and stunned
daydreams like escaped moons
so easy to follow into the outer dark
thoughts bound in order
celestial harmony of divided spheres mediated by corpus callosum
I am disjointed now and
    > struggling <
    >> for expression <<    OF:
(+) <= clues I find / or maybe not clues / but delusions
a cross or a host or a
(religion abandoned us and left us helpless
    before the contents of our own minds
        (let me be moved by those
            who the Lord hath awakened
SOFIA // AEON
and once
    THIS
        (this focus and this fire)
        >> or being : this one : Flower <<
        endless and unendurable agony
    - star death
    - golden wreaths
    - pulses in metal heart
    - lost in expressions of time
I was supposed to embrace it all / link it and find it
as one unified / an understanding made singular and named
    BUT
        this turns out to be
        I M P O S S I B L E
(i am sorry /                (this one is moved /
i am so small /                by One greater /
i thought i was more /            the impossible work /
than i am )                is already accomplished )
        ET LUX PERPETUA

I'm diving now, wrestling with my own gift
(and it is a gift)
at the first of the doors in the deep
there is St. Sofia / the ragged blind woman
a girl who once loved me / and so forever
in paradisum deducant te angeli / her arrows
her wings / her dark eyes / I kneel
in the dark garden / to kiss her shadow's feet
of all my loved-ones / she is my guardian

O Kali Ma, Holy Guardian Angel, androgyne Uriel, silly little girl,
let me pass through your golden gates and safely on to the underworld.
I love you and I am yours, and cannot survive
in my own mind's wild labyrinth, unless you give me passage
and bless me with a kiss that marks me for all to see.
Now I lay me down to sleep / and pray the Lord my soul to keep
guard me, Jesus, through the night / and wake me with the morning light
and if I die before I wake / I pray the Lord my soul to take
------------------------------------------------------------>
Birth                            Death
<------------------------------------------------------------
I pray the Lord my soul to take
into that great tunnel
from my window to yours
(two universes become one
((+))
my lady, grant me thy grace.
my lady, open thy door for me.
my lady, kiss me and bless my journey.
my lady, in sleeping and waking keep me safe.

lady, I remember
you had rings on your fingers
and bells on your toes
and so you had music
wherever you go

through the first door into bluey ocean darkness -
and behind me the dead girl dances -
torn dress and dread hair weightlessly writhing -
haloed in the illumination of the upper world.
we blow kisses. she is so cute.
all around me the supernatural dark. the pressure.
the foot of the Lord on my neck and nothing
for me but twenty years' journey and a broken sword.
a long and a hard life, sinking
towards far smooth sands, peaceful and inviolate.
the creatures of the deep tear themselves apart
from within, if they rise, exploding
into the sun and the air like saints
destroyed by the solar divine -
and we of the light and the surface
journey only once into the realm of iron and ice.

        (+)

the lady tells me:
    / open your eyes now
    / to your inner ocean
    / realm of ice and iron
    /
she means:
    / overlay, map
    / two universes become one
    / reunited twins
    /
she means: begin the great work

the insane king: Lorcan? Stalin? Shah Jehan?
his great temple's dark twin
reflection of a broken heart
a war between chambers and vessels
MAHAL: what I said then and what I say now:
>> I bring the sky and the earth together <<

fall we will, but rise we must
and thus become one with all that rises
    L E V I A T H A N
we are panicking in the world of surfaces
counting and checking and cataloguing and linking
driven by our obsession with the light and the dark
and the realm of ice and iron stirs beneath us
a blue blanket over a bloated, empty belly
and a terrible child stirring in a terrible womb
the terror of the blind guardian and the blank page
the mythical beast rising through words and waves
and I am a mariner / a fisherman / a swimmer / an island
is drowning something we do or something that is done to us?
it rises anyway / regardless of names / or purposes
ancient illuminator / we the pages of his text
and the world and its words        / mind
and the world and its blood        / body
and the world and its soul        / spirit
are one, One, ONE

            (+)

Thy will, not mine, be done.

The broken worlds she showed me

they were dragging the swamp that day // was I alive or dead? the representation of a life // motionless in an important dimension // so she wakened in my mind a figure of power // the cold white man who walks alone in the killing fields // corpse with fangs // and from that moment on // from the last sunrise to the first stars // I was divided eternally / and night was my day // desiring salvation, my addiction was disintegration // blazing torches and abomination in the faces of the simple folk // an old house on fire, windows bleeding light into the night // the spirit rages to be free of the flesh and the flesh solidifies to a prison for what it doesn't understand // the cold man becomes two men // one desires redemption and creates hell around himself // the other thirsts for damnation and unknowingly walks the paths of heaven // he preys on them and plays with them // their blood on white lace and pale skin // whose hero could he be // and what way into the heartwoods could he show // and yet we follow him // hypnotized by his dance and his cancer // mistaking the disintegration of his tissues for transfiguration // i thought he would come for me at night when my family was asleep and I walked barefoot in the garden, my soul singing for release // surely, if he existed, he would hear me // and if he does not exist, another will come // surely, i thought in my pain, there must be someone who hears me // someone who sees me // someone who knows me // someone who will remember me // surely //

in my mind       the cold man       the dead man       breaking the lake ice       reaching beneath the water       we are anglers in the lake of darkness       as Nero was       such dark treasures we discover       returning to the world with dark gifts       the cold man only takes and cannot give       he drains and does not replenish       he destroys but cannot create       Shiva Nataraja unable to wake       old one-eye head first over the abyss       he met the girl who could have saved him and he hurt her       because she allows herself to be hurt       the dark dead girl who creates       the one who sleeps and dreams       whose death is as merciful and the dead man's is final       the corpse who stirs in her slumber       her hair writhing like eels and weeds on the lake bottom       a perfect animated doll       burnished hair glowing from ash to gold to copper to blood

// the dead man destroys
// the dead woman creates

you quickly realize that he cannot be killed       the more you fight him the stronger he becomes       the longer he walks the colder he grows       he is always there on the far shore       clad in ragged finery       wearing a savage smile       teeth stained red       patient as a priest       till the journey be ended       and memory drowned in night-time water       and you submit in exhaustion to his embrace //

no //

// that is not how the dead man is to be overcome.

his theatre is a world based on rules
-> the rules of dreams <-
he closes doors, never imagining that the can be reopened
living alone at the heart of your labyrinth
unchallenged and feared
he will consume all your loved-ones
and save you for last,
telling you as he drains your life
that you alone are his beloved.
he grants you the mercy of an end only
when all your life is in ruins
and you have betrayed every single thing you tried to love.

no //

// that is not how the dead man is to be overcome.

moonlight through a distant circle
at the bottom of a waterless well
on a mosaic of shining tiles
waiting as the clouds pass over
until the great lord sun shall come
and bless us to become ash
waiting for the disintegrating wind

who is it that you call your family
do they live near you on these streets
confined in boxes of their own
or in silent gardens and stone tombs
the sepulchres of the southern suburbs
temples of the dead man and his brides
where they lie waiting for the master
to take them across the river
and over to that voiceless, bitter shore

welcome the dead man's arrival
and prepare the hallways with gifts
ready a chair and candles
for the installation of his image
tell your friends to visit today
and bring incense and flowers
for the dead man's head and feet
because where he walks shall be blessed
and where his gaze falls
shall come the beloved emptiness

let your mothers and fathers hear
that their time has come to an end
that at last there shall be a new order
as the dead man calls to his own
and his lovers cross over with him -
he is the ferryman of the final river
and their memories shall be his payment

the dead man leads the dance of the dead -
his hands forming mudras, his face distorted -
glaring and grinning and yearning -
his eyes like glass beads in the sun -
the dance brings the dead rain that does not nourish
but scours the earth of its iniquities.
though he shall be named the giver, he will only take -
he takes away what is not God -
until there is nothing left but God -
and God is the dead man -
and so he takes until nothing else remains -
and he dances alone -
lonely -

the god of the vampires
the priest of the corpse ritual
the king of the city of bones
the golem of christ
anti-chaos, anti-order
the only dead thing
in a universe alive
with doubt and joy

The King of Broken Things

Weak evening sunlight from between hills across the reservoir. Ringed now with steel spikes painted green and glowing. Domain of cats and foxes, mice, car thieves, mind-crippled wouldbe saints and policemen looking for junkies and teenage couples. Where concrete and stone from an old wall lump together in one spot to make a broken throne. Overlooking a broken kingdom of remodelled schoolfields and replanted hedgerows and hidden estate grasslands and flatpack white houses and blood-golden roof slates. Behind the throne the cold reservoir water lapping at granite stones and a red-rusted jetty. Hours spent sitting there witnessed only by ancient lightning-charred pine and lost house cats.

Future hours would bring stories and memories. stories of eels in the dark water like strands of hydra hair to catch swimmers' feet. Memories of traveller kids diving off the jetty one afternoon in wetsuits and shorts. With the disappearance of the light the reservoir bottom also vanished and that great trench opened to the centre of the world. a moving core like a lost heart. Bats silently skimming and twisting overhead, only heard as movements of air. Voices at the edge of consciousness floating closer on a distant path over a high wall and growing loud then fading again. A path that led from one suburb to another through schoolgrounds deep and insane with shadows and trees and long grass. Memories of drinking there years ago, laughing and running and falling over, standing drunk at the reservoir's edge thinking nothing but NOW NOW NOW

Stories of walking off the jetty at night and sinking into the abyss. How only one of pure heart could swim to the other side and only one of great courage could brave the clutch of eels and the ice clawing at the chest and the face. Stories of the old king and queen who ruled that place before it was broken, when the throne was whole and the land was whole and the reservoir was a lake fed by springs from hills unspoilt by apartment blocks and offices. When the school sent generations of sages from its gates each year in pulses that spread through the world. When the king and queen loved each other and loved their son and daughter and loved the land. And how in their way they also thought NOW, they thought NOW NOW, before the lightning blasted the old pine and before all the houses fell asleep and began to look the same, before there was a future the king and the queen were in love NOW NOW NOW

I pity the king frozen and sad deep in my mind, the queen pale and lost deep in my mind, the child hoped-for and afraid deep in my mind. The sun glinting from the far horizon and the night falling. Moths and weeds and the long walk along the water's edge - water ritual, stone ritual, ritual of memory. Stories of the child who inherited a broken world. What could he do but say to himself that he must save it. The broken thing, fixed. The broken bird, healed. The king and the queen, rescued. To sit by the shore once more and hold hands, old dry hands, old ashen robes, and smile at each other and at the restoration of the world. How the child would swim the dark water and brave the abyss and find the lost talisman. How the earth would slough off the crust of a hundred years and flow into nature again. the river and the hills and the sun and the sky and the trees and birds and cats and all of it wakened up and resurgent. There at the centre of the mind, sunken to the quick of it: the healer. Memories of loneliness. Solitude and birdsong in long bright mornings while his parents slept. Stories of solitude. How the one alone becomes the only one.

Hundreds of heavy mornings in the glass canyons and the choked cataracts of the kingdom. A million feet in military lockstep across the new millennium's bridges. For all of us a throne and for all of us a vista of numbers and letters, endless liquid crystal prayerwheels spun and shining all day long in the dead city. Chanting the names of gods unknown until now. The kind of gods that crawl out of the rubble of a shattered place, full of shadow and sadness and obsession. The king and the queen nothing now but memories of ancient statues of mythical characters, abstracted through endless layers of mind and lost to NOW.

Mother, father, this wind is so cold and we have been lost for ten thousand lifetimes. So many years since you were warm. So many years until that far green future when the kingdom will be healed. And here I am lost in the NOW as I always was. Chanting NOW NOW with my palms together and my eyelids wet with remembering how you used to smile and how once the coldest roads all led back to the same warm place. Crying please NOW, please come back NOW NOW, not in that dim past or that far future but oh please NOW NOW NOW let there be a beautiful end

Mama Kali

Mother, let's begin.
    Ramakrishna swooned at your feet
drowned in black wines, and you lapped
at his wounds
tenderly, like a cat with the runt of the litter
raw and trembling and wet and sightless
he was lost in spiritual darkness
a cave opening up and singing endless -
endless space, endless cold, endless heat
and endless unmarked time
    falling like Alice
into the mind-rock, the heart-chamber
the hollow earth

We've been waiting here for years
for you finally to give birth
we are brothers and sisters of primordial forest
snuggled lightless among roots and ferns
sometimes the air is sweet and thick with rain
sometimes the sky crumbles and burns
Mother,
    did you
        leave us behind?
Or did we simply go blind
and deaf and dumb, amnesiacs running
as if in a nightmare, and was it you
chasing us after all, was it you
carrying us when we slept?
What we thought were rivers and seas
or the arms of another,
was that really you all along, Mother?

(We're having trouble with father)
(he's been angry for thousands of years)
(and he refuses to forgive us our sins)
but Mother, we are who we are
we are as we were made
we won't lie any more
please love us as you made us

Mother, here are garlands and pinches of herbs
here are fruits and young leaves and seeds
here are incense sticks and sugar cubes
and oils and soaps and -
this is a picture of you, Mother, this is a statue -
- do you like them?
  - do you forgive us?
    - will you come home?

Mother, there are skeletons with scythes
dancing in the valley where we buried daddy
when the blood-rage finally ate his heart
and babies are growing there among the weeds
and the skeletons are black-boned and giggly
and they lop! the babies' heads off
as they sprout through the spring soil
and shot into our graves like a bullet from a groin
we are your sown seeds and dad's death-harvest

Mother, what we wished for never came,
and it was you, it was you -
here are milk sweets, here is rice and wine -
the offerings rot in the bowls year after year
and you tell us that you never left?
Mother, have we been insane all our lives?
Mother, is this not the real world at all?

Mother, did you travel through my dreams?
Were you the virgin girl with painted fingers
who kissed me after the car wreck?
Were you my guide in the ancestral asylum
walking through tableaus of genetic ritual
with my small hand
            in yours
                    did we
say goodbye to daddy sweating before the pig ovens
did we fall deep into the black together?
Did you stand up in the shallows and brush
sand from a waterlogged dress,
and tell me that I had no name?

Mother, can we unravel time and bless
all past mistakes? Can you tell me why
you didn't name me?
when I've stood alone in a thousand dark gardens
and begged to be consumed by starfire
Didn't you hear me? Didn't you believe me?
Where have you BEEN?

Mother, they are laid out on the plain, 6 bodies deep
in blood lit by lightning from converging hurricanes
and in the dead armies I see your stamping feet
I see your arms stirring the clouds and your eyes insane
I hear you laugh and scream and your anklets ring
as you crush your children and drink blood and sing

this is the unstoppable black universe of you

and only I am left alive
and I am no-one
the war was death
and now the dance is death
but Mother, Mother, at last
you are here, at least
you are beautiful
 

The Process

Eventually, I always end up being the strange one.
From normal beginnings, I end up lost
in your forest of meanings and your many roads
without endings, the labyrinths of your lives

and always this creeping cold in the heart
the organs growing numb and the throat closing
over years of gaining and losing friends
years of making the same old journey

from normality and acceptance to alienation
I push you away, I freeze you out,
I tell you, and myself, that I don't need you
because of the creeping numbness in my mind

beginnings of warmth and ordinary eyes and arms
and hard work and sensuality and laughter
as I encompass you and dazzle you, I become
what you project, I reflect your dreams

and then creepingly it begins, something cold
that I never before thought was my fault -
I look at forests and want to live there,
by the water. I look at the stars and want to go there.

I look into the deep water and want to sink,
sucked into the blue-black water and forgotten.
I rage through my dreams to find a true self.
I do not want to leave you behind.

I find myself on my knees in the night-time
clutching my own chest, unable to name my pain.
I pray to be good. I pray that I won't let you down,
that I will fulfil my promises and not betray you.

I don't understand what demon is in me
but it must be what tormented Bunyan,
the rotting core, what he called sin,
that made him believe he was the worst of men.

It must be what tempted Jesus in the desert -
that we have the Devil in us. That from beautiful
beginnings we destine ourselves for a Fall.
It must be what mocked Buddha beneath the bodhi tree.

I have done something to my own mind
and I don't think it can be undone. I travel through it,
I speak of what I see there, and I bear witness
to the dark places and the terrible beings that live there -

terrible purposes that I see in all of us.
The ability to kill, to rape, to demean, to betray -
as much the Dark Lord as the Hero, we are -
as much the silken liar as the wise magician.

The knife in the grey darkness of the hallway,
the killing word born out of bitterness,
the devil-rage as after years of surface calm
we suddenly rampage and reduce a family to wreckage.

All because we don't see the seething darkness of NOW -
we don't see how immense are the forces inside us -
how each of us is potentially angelic and demonic -
how driven we are every day by unknown forces.

How a tiny wound left untended can rot a limb
or a whole body. How there are voices inside us
that can damn or save us, if we will listen.
How complicated and perilous it is just to sit quietly.

If I betray you, I am so sorry, you have to believe me -
I never want to hurt you, or anyone, ever.
If I hurt my children, I will almost want to die.
I have no prayer other than that this should not happen.

What is the force that we pray to, but the living universe -
the incredible energy that destroys and creates
and discards all us poor shells and mechanisms in time.
Is that my God? Do I live and breathe that contradiction?

I would have gone insane years ago
and I could go insane now, if not for this journey
in words and images and sounds, this travelogue
of a psychic landscape, this map of dreams.

Every now and then I can feel the edge of it
memories of fever hallucinations when I was young
vast shapes crashing together in the air of the bedroom
hanging on to the reality of myself, barely

and then when I nearly died in my own mind,
sucked into a vortex, and cried out for my parents
to come into the bedroom, come into my life
and save me, reach in and pull me out of myself

wandering through Amsterdam streets with my friends,
sitting in a sunlit park as my mind tried to drown me
and I forgot who I was, forgot who they were,
remembered nothing except this strange story

of a boy who had journeyed to this time and place
and then been set free, set adrift and abandoned.
Behind the eye, a naked awareness, calm and fascinated
even as I fought panic and realized I was insane,

and that I might not be able to return.
My friends left me in the hostel and went drinking.
I slept and wandered in dreams again, where I was safe.
We all met again afterwards. I had remembered. I still do.

Nightmares of being committed to asylums.
Nightmares of killing a child, a lover.
Nightmares of forgetfulness, of loss and failure.
Through it all, a desperate poetry of redemption.

I didn't have to make this journey into the underworld.
I had a choice embodied by my parents - the one
a golem set at the entrance to Gehenna as a warning,
beautiful and cold and functional.

The other, a scared child lost in the wightwarrens.
I chose to go down in full awareness.
I thought that I was strong enough to handle anything.
Moriarty says that above all Christianity is the religion

that does not leave us helpless before the contents
of our own minds. And that is what I wanted -
to discover what darkness and light may be in me.
Now it rages below the surface and I can't ignore it.

I have a very narrow path to tread - not only that,
but I have set myself the task of recording the journey.
Very probably no one will ever follow. No one
will read the record of what I did to myself.

Still, I do what I have to do.

The Meadows

We beheld a city of hypnotic scents and rhythms
looping trails of lights like fireflies
swirling around spectacular buildings
air vibrating with thousands of voices
chattering like crickets
electrocuted tumbleweed on power lines
interiors washed with overlaid sound
cool-air-swept and timeless
deep pile carpets and mysterious dials
interfaces for minds obsessed with chance
randomly built from desert ground
randomly filled with purchased anticulture

ten days could have turned into a year
until fallen from unreal horses we wither
as the unarguable earth drains us
reminding us about scale and size and time
the labyrinth of dreams and canyons
and dreams of canyons
and deserts apparently beaten back
that reappear as dreamed deserts
crowding the psyches as lights and sounds
deserts in which soul water disappears
and Jerusalem and Babylon become one

the soulless mind craves shining things
the thrill of risk and reward in the glands
hormones racing through tired veins
the heat, the cold, the heavy blue silence
and the endless dark layers of music
the mind wants to be seduced over and over
led through stranger and brighter ways
labyrinths of the real to match
the endless unreal dreamscape of every night
and led by the mind we risk being truly lost
becoming one of the unreal, shining things
a mirror image of a vanished someone,
dark energy rushing through hardened arteries

and God hardened Pharaoh's heart
and the plagues were called down
and the seas were ripped back from the sand
blood in the rivers and corpses in beds
and no land of milk and honey, only
sun-hot rocks, prophecy and stricture,
holy cities raped by every soldier nation
and the invincible, eternal desert uber alles

Child King

The person at your heart is a child king
head held high, flying, singing
nonsense words to the tune of your memories

you are a person, you have a story
he sings over the rain and wind
(he's running, it's stormy, he loves it)

you are a person, you exist
in a desire-fulfilling world
a world where storms have a meaning

and that meaning, somehow,
through some kind of universal design,
has something to do with you.

The child king sings because he is not you
he is not anyone, in fact
he doesn't even know that he exists

he will never have babies or a job
his language is a song of fragments
his bare feet indifferent to grass or broken glass

every time you try to focus on his face
it has changed, he has gone, replaced
by a blue wind, a sheen of sun on oil,

strange things of that kind, themselves
gone in an instant.
His song disappears too -

there is nothing but a whispered word
that brings you into a forgotten room
memory upon memory, wasted afternoons

shuddering in a silence without him.
He is your heart and he is running away.
You hate him and you wish he would stay.