Do I speak of dirty things?
That is not the worst that could happen.
It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow,
that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters.
On love fed in melting snow, doubt flowing / out of me in crisis, I speak / in absolutes but am I speaking the / truth? ‘Don’t go into every / bond,’ I tell my Self, ‘expecting bondage, / sometimes “attractive” is just an / adjective…’ Since lust is an affair which / ends with a burning bed, let’s not / pretend this is what it isn’t, we are / only here because someone else //
was before, fugitive saints and nothing / more, the flesh of apples our taste / for blood strips to its core, faith in what makes / others blush rusting off what makes / us ‘Us’ if we stay too long in one place, / dripping from inside with golden / touches laid like dust without shame, lay in / one embrace names we never should / have given, ritualistic liars / offering up soft-spoken truth //
on the pillows of beds which feel like shrines / otherwise made-up to look like / altars, habitually getting ‘It,’ / dropping keys to mysteries no / one would have faulted us for taking with / us had we taken off without / even saying ‘So long,’ phantoms in whom / absent hearts manifest hard once / a stranger’s trust scatters darkness, loners / accustomed to loving the hard //
way, hugging the highway, rages painted / in sunset pave morning faces / with renewed blanknesses, tearing canvas / from narratives framed by escape / artists wakes the enchanted audience / with another chance testing us / more than them, tempting to corruption the / credibility of the off- / white walls who cannot wash themselves of these / filthy sights, walls who witness in //
silence what appalling things we do no / testimony can recall, the / devil’s own cross illumined by the toss / of fluorescent halos down / hotel halls, sentinel scars posted at / the road and twisted hard into / a fork like a neon vice given voice / when an angel who fell into / someone else’s hell says with just one look, / ‘I’m picking up on your getting //
busy signal, pulse like a phone off the / hook,’ sometimes tornadoes take us / with them, with demons only fools reason, / it’s not my mind saying, ‘Love me / in my wounds, love me in that place from which / I cannot be removed…’ Who am / I to question you with motives like these, / my own enemy asking is / it by alchemy or chemistry that, / whenever a serpent swallows //
another serpent, it then becomes a / dragon and we all know love will / have a short season? An eye-roll teaches / me what secret thing by now I / should already know, ‘Control them without / dominating them, the side of / you that reacts before you have time to //
think, and that within you which tastes / before it drinks love’s nourishment…’ And then, / a famine of cotton sweating / ephemeral pools, cauterizing my / wounds with the fire of his love, when / every man whose call I answer is / a sinner whose appalling thoughts / can do no better than what my mouth can, / gravity abandons him, but / his knees bend, at the sound of a prayer in //
fervent reverse, heaven throwing / down buckets of stars to ransom the drowned / Universe, to purchase release / from this curse, this is what quiets the world, / innocence lost like a glove pulled / off in the wilderness finds itself in / a tent without certainty, then / scissors in sunlight to work into the / thin versions of purity we / rehearse scorching parts we work to cut out //
but scald into proud narratives / harsh words which scold just as much as they hurt, / my heart is in my mouth, words are / stones, nature is textual, so to go / against it now makes me much more / animal than a man who is far less / educated, let alone at / all educable, see: all things are that / were once becoming and yet shall / be—yes, I’ve imagined for my Self an //
eternity different from / the life others imagined for me, a / tale oft-repeated by those who / exist on the fringes of their weak-willed / societies, those outsiders / whose defiance confines them to margins / & boundaries since antiquity— / the story of Androcles & the Lion— / I feel very much that I am / he (the beast) from whom a thorn cannot be //
plucked, but by a man worthy, my / stomach sounds like it’s speaking to me through / a vocoder when I try to / swallow the sound of you ignoring what / old sorrow my pen’s putting down, / burying low in blankets of blankest / uninterest the same sort of / sickness our souls burrow into bodies / to avoid the task of having / to name its insidious death aloud, //
as if this perjury will spare / us the scourge of a world’s indifference / to this murder of day-lit love / our night-work hurries, kisses of sun burn / into eyes blindness which blurs from / sight all trace of what once might have been called / our mortal life, to cure us of / its memory travel a path with your / fingertips feather-light touches / of moss gloss over with forests of foul- //
weather forced on us by instinct, / needs understood on another level / more basic than speech, pull back the / veil and the veins, refinement undoes my / resistance, your love taught me this / alchemy, your wand stirring from within / its mist-filled belly this bawdy //
alembic the civilized whimper of / a storm which had lost its temper, / a quiet transformation brimming with / mystic riots of such fire, such / quickly-lit and compassionate anger, / metamorphosis of ego / into consciousness palming me with warm / eyes, coming undone finding this / last one, this final conquest, this end of / our daze, restless pilgrim for whom //
we fought legions of seasoned, relentless / incubi and succubi, do / not deny him the sighing emptiness / of his own soul, no, this victim’s / strictest adherence to his libido / sacrifices to wisdom what / her infamous torpedo glance which could / sink the Lusitania feeds on, / his thirst for Sodom’s forbidden & carnal / knowledge, wanting its salt’s bitter //
sting, everything important always / begins from something trivial, / sin packing it like a piece of uncut / alabaster, volatile as / a splinter of amber, a body shaped / by spiritual workouts works / out of us more proof than we need of god’s / existence, that even in the / hideous, shrouded in ugliness, his / touch persists, beauty infinite //
whether or not we permit it, even, / and especially, in moments / when we sin, what desire births heaven wills, / satyrs play with their parts the same / song creation’s violence triumphs when / rain labours to bathe in pain a / plaintive nymph who drops her calf in a field / of violets, tell the serpents / to bring him honey, their blameless venom, / once dripped onto the tongue of an //
enemy song it turns poetry to / prophecy, sweet necessity / invests the first prophetess of the worst / oracle this old world’s moral / ambiguity invents, investing / with mysterious power new / questions to answers querents already / have, twisting into fetishes / deeds which test twin lights born from darkness, we / aren’t the sparks whose flight from divine //
justice started this, but are liars whose / sparse truth is pursued by those two / distant deities who stand apart and / shoot from afar, the aching heart’s / defiant ones the racing armies of / Apollo and Hermes turn to / a choir of ash, we slip through the keyhole / like an autumn breeze, offering / free for dreamers a kiss since it is an / impetrative omen which, though //
sought, becomes oblative when got in an / auspicious off-hand moment, such / is the power that spans the chasm of our / pride which divides us, fugitive / saints kicking up old ways whose eyes neither / speak plainly nor hide from sight but / signify what goes on inside the hearts //
and minds in which we confide our / secrets, sleeping (while not sleeping) with those / anonymous fuck-buddies-cum– / husbands we hope won’t all or always grasp / noetically the obscured / poetics of our old tortured souls, those / spiritually-weakened mortals / who subtract days from their existence when / they spend their weekends trysting with / tricksy demons who know opposites add //
to seven, awed captivation / watching over them with the rapt & ardent / attention of elementals / parsing from streams of fire the meaning of / their affliction, trembling tyrants / traveling aisles of our sighs they tour / in bouts of hot breath, sages less / certain of the knowledge we think we have, / this possession, any mention / is a transgression, to discuss magic //
is to work a dangerous sort / of vanity, waking oneironauts / taking our time walking off, gods / talking of our humanity and its / lost opportunity, bandits / traveling the world’s philosophies, thieves / blackening eye-white pages with / tears of ink flying with the fury of / fists, love’s thorny stewards who are / more than willing to do it, when we French, //
it’s all Greek to me, every / thing except the fact that, when we share the / same values, I know it’s what’s called / isopsephy, prophecy crawling out / from under the cadavers of / ancient letters to number our nascent / days we intend to spend laying / our new lovers, when Eden prunes from its / gardens every beast who speaks / the Adamic language yet refuses //
its produce, the volcanic feels / magnetic, drawing on what gets us off, / I stay only with me, even / when I take strangers into my Self and / through them find it, latent truth is / a patient teacher whose lessons transcend / his own prejudices, it’s not / what we see which desires, but the dreams with / whom we sleep, I speak of this moon- / lit sonata of wounded feet that walk //
across shards of broken hearts with / the softness of still water, the creeping / bacchanal haunt of the cocksure / classical which mocks the pure monastic / discipline of the poet, that / devotee of love’s cult who calls on the / devil without knowing it when / he should, angels’ trumpets are beautiful / aphrodisiacs which Muses / use to painlessly kill, ice absorbing //
a hint of red light, tinting blue / the eyes of the fiend who, through forests of / cloud, frequents our district, tripping / on thick roots which entwine our temple’s long- / fallen lintels, bent columns of / spent energy too frenetic for a / friendship with one’s exiled fathers, //
distant heretical ancestors who / flow through my heart with the blinking / frequency of recurring thought, pulsing / anathemic chants to fullest / force of chorus the way you hold in a / sneeze until it pops and wheezes / into tormented being a dormant / catastrophe, yet history / doesn’t repeat itself but does rhyme, in / writing it down, in the short-to- //
medium tedium of describing / him for my diary, how long / his influence over me has gone on, / defying the spines of books my / wrist thickens as I fill the blankness of / their spaces in no time, spilling / onto pages a continuum of / endless experiences I / savour and continue to have with him / with every foolish man whose //
famished misunderstanding of love I / devour, the hunger is never / far away, sheathed in shadows that hang on / me like bone does onto its last / gristle, insatiable, unsatisfied / with every encounter, sick / after, such is the trouble of a lost / soul after it faces its own / image, no sleep or fear even when I / am badly beaten here, lust’s most //
willing victims subjected by thirst to / unelected parliaments of / neurons determining for us feelings / that undermine our emotions, / going for broke against the illusion / of the power of our moods’ own / intentions, no accounting for their wounds / and the cruel influence of / unusual circumstances, we are / messengers waiting for death, who //
comes as a friend, waiting for him to bring / an end so that our suffering / means something, so that after all of this / pretending at miracles makes / them real, these sentiments of dust whose brief / existence we breathe into them / when we breed them, reaching beneath tendrils / of dusk which brush against his brows, / peeking like flowers under a crown back / up at us, resurrecting like //
Lazarus the pain of abdicating / to his interest whenever / our ashen and his ivory arms sway / in the way of each other, harm / stirring in the water of our silenced / weeping like an alligator, / two islands of men holding quietude / in highest regard as they fall / below the horizon of the modern / oppressing the eternal, we //
are them, every one, each bedfellow / a moment we follow until / dawn calls us to move on, without so much / as a facetious ‘Farewell,’ to / the cheap companions to whom we never / even said a ‘Hello,’ when we / convinced them to take us both home with them.
1Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Chastity”, in “First Part: Zarathustra’s Speeches” of Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None: Translated and with a Preface by Walter Kaufmann, published at New York by The Modern Library in 1995; page 55.