integration

Mahal

I
am some kind of centre
echo vacuum where sound cyclones
an eye behind black glass
a girl on her birthday, shaking
as the animals charge from their cages
a boy swaying in the treetop
summer wind, raincloud chic
a wave in a clear medium
a smile full of smiles

I bring
the giant's gold down from the cloud castle
so naive, sold on magic
carrying my riches in a satchel
appleseed and honest water
heart and brain pierced by an icicle
calling for my sister,
dead and buried in the belly of a wolf

I bring the sky
in between my toes,
under my fingernails, in my hair
all by accident, I never know where I go
a grinning face in a crazed mirror
shards of the shattered air
a jigsaw for a fevered brain
a dance of numbers, archetypes
around a hole in reality

I bring the sky and the earth
with me to the palace door
orange sun on the becalmed sea,
a road between the darkness and the light
unfinished, mapped and wished for
in the mad dreams of an emperor
sick with love, eating death
in small bites, like a handful of rice
no lover, no kingdom, no freedom
he loves her, always will, forever

I bring the sky and the earth together

The Unnameable Generation

I don’t know if I belong to Generation X or Generation Why, I don’t know retro-chic from ironic meta-retro, and I change too often to be branded and settled into a nice groove, another chilled statistic for the detached demographers who are so concerned with what life symbolizes that they don’t ask what it IS.

If you’re looking for the old symbols, the old man with the hidden lamp, the ever-cycling sun, the girl pouring spirals on herself from a water-jug, the dying prince, the lovers and the egg of the universe, you’re fading into a past that exists only in memory: we’ve changed the symbols, mutated them, thrown them into the kaleidoscope and snowed the fragments of the new on to an unsuspecting culture.
 
There is no wise old man with his lamp of wisdom; there are our own unanswerable questions, the spark of flame as we light the end of a spliff, the nonsense we speak to each other at 3 a.m. when we no longer know what is happening. Our sun does not cycle and return; it is one of billions of equal suns that we have seen streaking past impossibly from where we stand on the decks of starships. The girl pouring water on her hair is trying to sell you shampoo. The dying prince is an actor; we know he does not die. We know he lives in Beverley Hills with his wife and pays people to protect him from harm. As lovers we are not doomed to the eternal return of the marriage bed and shared grave; we are learning new ways to love each other that do not send echoes of debt and Karma backwards and forwards in time. The universe is not an egg; we do not know what the universe is. We have measured it in every way imaginable, and we have no idea what it is, except that it is definitely not an egg; physicists are quite adamant on this point.

We are here to wake up to who we are, AS who we are. We choose to learn our lessons as warriors, lovers, artists, rebels, monks, jokers, healers, priests, players, actors, runners, singers; we bring our knowledge of ourselves and of truth and love into all the worlds after this one; we have nothing to fear in any world, for all we can learn is to be who we are.

No one can tell us how to choose to be ourselves. No symbol or message or idea can be followed by us to its proposed source, because we are no symbol, we are no message, we are no idea. We are not corrupted by irony because we are not something that can be defined or represented or referred to. We are not old or new; we don’t know the answers to our most important questions; we don’t know where we came from or where we are going. We belong to the realm of the unknown, a mystery in our existence and our actions, always utterly free in every moment: in THIS moment, which we never leave.

As individuals our minds, our pathways through the funfair of this world, are made of combinations of character, story and symbol so complex and unique that no path of one person to their understanding of any thing will bring any other person to the same understanding . In us there are billions of different worlds that somehow interact and play through time. All we have to guide us is the remembrance of who we are. We are not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, we committed no sin and we are confined to no punishment. We have the right to demand to live in a world in which we can be awake, in which we are not told that to love as we want to love is forbidden. We are not mistaken; we are NOT asleep. We choose our world, and no one has a good reason to tell us we are wrong.

Dark Night of the Soul

shrieking under folds of blackness,
hands clawing at the fabric of an unlit tent.
veins swelling in a vacuum, empty eye sockets wide.
the midnight of his memory full of monsters.
what we know as horror: the crossing of death into life,
the corpse walking with a blind smile,
the puppets jerking at their strings.
his mother's bloody grin, holding her own head by the hair,
and he ran out the door into the apocalypse they promised him:
the destiny of the destroyed atom, and a trillion ghosts
left to roam a nightmare planet in unfinished visions.

slicing himself for the feeling of bright sharpness, the reality.
sky on a frozen winter's day, the cloud diamondcutter.
the clarity when he first loved her, when he first recognised her
and became a river running to her. the deathly fear
when he lay awake in the living night-time, presences
crowding in his awareness, afraid to turn over.
when he took the elevator to the basement of his mind
and found the mutilated man, madness shining in his remaining eye.
the boy in the abandoned house who swallowed a living scorpion -
tongue numb with venom, his skin turned black and livid -
but inside he became a storm of daisies, summer light and wind.
someone who would love the demons and angels alike -
an alchemist, at war with the dead physics of his universe.

strange notes from the other side of a drugged mind:
"what the FUCK happens when we die?" and the feeling
of crossing into an unknown land. his only journey:
miles of roads lined with bodies and flowers, tiger paws,
daggers, vertigo footage from cameras falling off cliffs.
or, like faded newsreel, spotted and flickering, set to the sound
of muttering, whispering voices, old showtunes:
the body's last words,
spoken on a sunlit evening stretching into neverness.

Anathema

so he woke through the night
head caught in some dream of beauty
her limbs orange against the dusty brick wall, eyes calm.
He spilled himself out on to the floor in love of her,
the image that promised herself to him, unconditionally.
He saw in her eyes a light from his childhood
that had caught him like a moth.
His hand smelled of salt and sweat. The morning was too near.

His soul was split in two halves like an avocado
served in a polite restaurant
the hard stone removed
the meat green and soft, not human at all -
an avocado,
unjustifiable

he lay in bed for hours feeding his store of dreams
great granary bins of the unreal, stories
he could live out for lifetimes
so much fascination, the boy the hero,
the familiar landscapes
a million voices calling him to push open the door
and enter the labyrinth of mirrors.
His God had told him
that he was a story being told.
He would have laughed if his heart had not spoken, as never before:
- TRUTH -

 - I am a chain on an angel
 - I am a party without invitations
 - I am a frenzy of reception
 - I am the maker of the need for freedom

There was no reason to do
or not to do
anything at all

there were only voices in an endless morning
drifting into the silence like distant railway sounds
under a crystal grey sky
fog wreathing the churches and the fields on the way out of the city
bodies stepping on and off the trains and exchanging faces at the stiles
conversations like the fluid steps of a waltz
fighting against the dissolution
of that slow dawn

The Knight at the Nexus of Memory

Everything smelled perfect and everything
tasted sweet in my grandmother’s house -
Star Wars on rewind in the VCR,
my uncle's chess computer blinking in thought,
the grey afternoon light, gentle minutes
settling around me like mystical tissue.

In the cotton silence of her attic,
there was nothing of me except a body,
tingles in the stomach, an ache in the mind
for the world above the skylight
and its spaceships and alien cities, alien houses
for alien boys with no place in this world -

or rolling on the side lawn with my uncle,
trying to trip him, getting breathless and heavy,
falling into laughter with my cheek pressed
to the soft grass. He didn't know I was hiding
inside myself, scared and small with no powers,
no lightsaber, no invulnerable smile.

My little superheroes were a virus in my mind.
For every day of warm rain and every good friend
there was the knight at the nexus of memory,
the dancing samurai, luminous blade cutting images and words -
the vampire, the unseen bodhisattva dynamo
powered by prayer wheels and playstations

and always hoping for a simpler life.
No one knew he was there, and so
no one saw him leave, sad and empty: old killer
in a land of reincarnating immortals.
Everything he shaped is coming loose,
useless dreams I don't need to remember.

Anima

The girl's two feet are shellfish
pink as lasers from seaburn
she is standing in the shallows
she is whatever I believe her to be

her skin is a pale Krishna-blue
shading to white at the cheekbones
her dress is a crash of rainbows
I am a question that she asks

sunfire behind flowers of cloud
waves running through her
green and pearling colours
crying onto a tilted shore

she stands, the girl is a revenant
she is a condensation of meaning
the sand is the skin of a bass drum
she walks among the beach-snakes

"Who am I?" skylight up above
trapdoor spilling void into the ocean
the blue becomes full of doors
the girl is finding out about sleep

she has found a place
face-to-face with everyone in shortwave
beneath the sea-surface of the universe
a veil that shifts with her breath

absorbed back into her own curves
moon-empty, stiffening with coral
I am a pillar of seeing
with a sea-girl inside my mind

Assimilating Crowley

I was in Knock in the West of Ireland, wandering through the prefabricated  chapels and the fruit machine souvenir shops, when I felt a strange call, and headed out towards the medical buildings...I found this squat, grey hospice, and walked past the windows...and there was someone behind the window, in the showers, who was frantically trying to get to me, to see me...it was Aleister Crowley.

I had to trick my way past the hospice wardens to get to see him by pretending I had other business there. Outside his cubicle was a life-size picture of him in full Masonic regalia, and beside it hung robes, sigils and flowers...it was magnificently camp, a parody of mysticism. He was squatting under the showers in depression or some kind of senility in this hopeless grey place, but he became very alert and sane when we talked. We laughed at the doctors together. He seemed happy to see me, or seemed to recognise me in some way, as if he'd been waiting for me, or someone like me, to come along.

He told me "A god is not bound to the Earth. A god is held by no strictures1." I told him he sounded like J.R.R. Tolkien, and he seemed amused. He told me that he was not responsible for a lot of his excesses of personality during his life. He seemed to really love me and want to communicate with me. Sometimes he looked old and haggard, and other times young and fat.

I told him I was born on his birthday - October 12th - and he looked at me extremely intently and with great urgency, trying to see if I was telling the truth, because he thought this was very important. His hands were gnarled, with long yellow nails. He put one of his fingers in my mouth, and it tasted bad, salty and sour.

Something odd happened when I woke up...I had the feeling, as I was rising out of the dream, that it had ended because my sister was too tired...it seemed that she had been 'channeling' Crowley for me, and couldn't maintain it...it was strange. When I was fully awake, I realized that he would always be there for me - that I could look inside any time and ask him a question, if I needed to.
 


 

1. I realize now that he was trying to tell me that a god cannot evolve.

Fist

when I found it safer to hate I
became an angler in the lake of darkness

yesterday ate green salad for purity and
white sugar for rotting; kissed this girl
and fucked her and loved her & she’s still here
(what can I do to her now?) &

forgot how to be surprised; forgot how to smile
& just shrieked like an old kettle
blowing to bits, steam killing in sweeps all
around: girl came and ate pain and held me in

sometime I

I was this stupid boy hanging like a
piglet from mama’s tits: Mama Mama
keep me here while you can because when
I’m gone I’m GONE: eat my own food &
scream out loud when I come & I’ll leave you
to smother yourself

the air tinkled with raindrops and seagulls
got dressed & the mirror warped me: told me
‘You are a beautiful man’. & I sickened
but PLEASE: I’ll find my halo and step in
& never be able to pretend again; only
be the same girl as yesterday, tomorrow

The Book of Dreams

I'm a friend killer; I stay the same
while you dream of union and forever,
crying until the next emptiness filler,
Spanish coffee beneath the rain mirror,
cherry blossom in your lying brain.

In mine: a figure in a shadow coat
on a strand that stretches out for miles
under a deep blue dusk; a bell's chimes
like droplets in the silence of his smile.
Music and seaspray, everything that floats.

I cut away my old face in a dream,
slicing carefully beneath the chin,
breathing wetly underneath the skin
of a film star. Then I looked within
in agony. I am not what I seem.

I will wear the ugliness today;
let my eyes turn black and let my mouth
split into a snarl. I'll cast you out
and stand alone and haloed. In my house
there are many mansions: here I'll stay.