On either side of the river is the tree of life[,]
and the leaves of the tree are for the healing
of the nations.
          —Rev 22:21


Politely devastating, a church of fists
dollar-bills to shreds its bandages, pummels
its evidence against talking heads gawking
at what’s under my heart’s mummy wrappings, a

canopic exclusive for your intrusive
panoptic glances’ gawping audience, this
jar’s been opened without any regard for
the consequence of its curse’s warning and

since it’s been pried apart and tilted to tempt
the limn of your glimpse, lean in quick and don’t be
surprised if I spill, shit’s about to get real,
don’t blame me for capitalizing on how

I feel, propheting from busted lips ever
since I transitioned from being so eldritch
into full-blown madness, uninhibited
captain of this cargo ship of baggage with

no wheel to steer, I had foresight, was always
a seer, always thought of it as lucrative,
of losing my sanity as a move for
my career, yet I will never get used to

the way you all stare, and I still remember
how it was, where it was at back then, how near
to something real I could almost touch when I
had next-to-nothing, the pulse quickened back when

I wasn’t rich, before I inherited
my dad’s big dick and his tendency to be
a dick-head, I was already fucking weird,
a piece-of-shit, but over-educated,

before his well-hidden fortune’s tight-lipped and
iron-fisted trustees Kamikazeed deep
shrapnel injections of Canada Dollars
and anachronistic cents, plenty cast like

plenary malcontent into the hell-mouth-
crucible-melting-pot-empty-gut of
my hungry accounts, those dank Dunkelkammer
vaults my Wunderkind fascination with scars,

with pleasing Fascist men, bled hard, the kick-start
of black-booted numbers alchemizing my
net-worth with cryptic figures rising off-the-
charts, before their so-be-its’ fiats’ steely

          increments spilled the unwieldy zeroes of
          his ghost’s post-dated emoluments into
          my pen, I fed on death as if it were just


yet another of Her Majesty’s pity-
benefits giving me not-quite-adequate
legislated life, that getting-to-live (while
barely-existing, only ever nearly-

subsisting) on-the-dole of delegated
digits, subsistence at the quick-fix only-
implicit mercy of discourteous cheques,
collecting derelict deposits, that “help”

misdirected at my “well-being” (so-called)
for being seen as being so “unwell,” cash
spat-out by the system in Her Name, cheating
me with hard-won stigma beating-out austere

rhythms, and to think, I had his, well,
partially, even now most don’t get it, most
idiots (oblivious to linguistic
nuances, giving etymology short

shrift) who convince themselves of the fiction they
cultivate in their heads (filling those empty
spaces with the myth) that I will somehow, by some
deus ex machina miraculous shit

suddenly have an interest in them (which
I never have, nor ever will exhibit—
though I’ve slummed among society’s bottom-
feeders, I’ve never been one-of-them), dirtbags

who holler at me, ‘John!’ ignorant of the
aching difference, that in their ancient tongue,
their original Hebrew from which they each
descend like prodigal sons (making off with

the name of The Father, which runs fugitive
from their mouths), John and Jonathan have themselves
two different origins, two different
meanings, are two different people, in fact,

that I am too different from them to give
a shit that they think they know me (or even
perhaps did), never answering to it, I
remember when I wasn’t rich, not yet (but,

as our family’s astrologers always
said, always had been) imbued with the Wealth of
Scorpio, still having then to bathe away
my filth (most of it that which surrounded me)

          with hand-soap, the self-loathing self-foaming kind,
          pumped hard from a disposable jar, since I
          couldn’t even afford body-wash or bars


frequently enough to embalm my Self in
Old Spice, but the guys and girls still wanted to
fuck me, called, came, and got off again & again,
even when it was a lost-cause toss-up then

between eating that week, doing laundry, or
getting done, ours was a special sort of need,
a deceptive variety of abject
poverty, the kind you could get away with

if you wore it well, and I was told that I
did, almost kingly, if you will, by an old
adviser who inspired me to find in the
biographies of those I admired something

coinciding with my own, writing it out
like a journalist or a Bollandist does,
recording the acts of my unsaintliest
ancestors to preserve intact the untold

sanctity of their legends, lubricious and
numinous, we live on through veneration
of our relics, surviving the bullshit by
writing about the present in the past tense,

since this is what brings about the future, it’s
the poet’s life, wanting to create creates
expectation, anticipation, when stones
themselves speak they say my lesson has been to

stop giving-in to men who only want me
as an anomaly, a freak they can play
with until the damage accepts their shameless
exploitation as a contribution to

its nu(is)ances, such that I can profit as
the prophets did, from having god’s tongue in my
mouth and calling it a privilege, but now
I am rich, and as I approach those final

increments of that delayed inheritance,
I should be grateful for having had so much
experience, every year tragedies
and still I can pronounce properly, without

any difficulty, my own name the way
the ancient Isrælites did, reverent,
‘Yehonatan,’ forbidden as they were then
(and ever since) to include god’s own in the

          beginning, shortening it to ‘Yonatan,’
          which means, more-or-less, that I am his gift, and
          the kicker is every day since the crib


has been swaddled in suffering, and David,
the serial non-monogamist psalmist
and king who played both sides and won swung both ways,
striking a chord with that dissonant ménage-

à-Trinité that was The Lord, Men & Women,
the greatest love of his life sharing his bed
and my name, Jonathan, son of Saul, who stripped
his armour and garments for David to wear

when he went to war against his father, the
way I wear-out words to cover these old scars
only a peek of which I now offer, a
tease for those who even bother to read what

I treasure more dearly than his ghost’s silver,
this poetry turning over in my mind
what trauma fills paper, spills into pixels,
tattles for digital visitors I can

tally, what I can’t afford to tell those close
to me (since there’s no one), so I give it to
strangers freely, making of my fate’s faceless
inquisitors an audience I know will

vanish before its pain does, before the paint
dries, but this is the nature of language, not
so much evolving or changing as it is
fading, decaying, being forgotten is

the antidote to being famous and I
wanted none of this, only to be able
to pay for shit and be paid for it as if
everything I’ve said compensated for

losing him, and finding my Self a thousand
times over in obscure books whose secrets I’ve
reworked as obscene verses that could perform
for me a ritual no priest would or cold

lover ever will: saying my name in the
proper way, wanting me not for my gifts or
for the thrill, but earnestly and with tender
honesty, in a spirit of pure candid

sincerity acknowledging me and not
discarding me after satisfying their
curiosity, lines blowing their minds by
breaking open my head, what floods is what’s been

          unspoken since no one’s left whose lips know the
          force of this lost tribe’s shibboleth and only
          I can say it, choosing to do so like this.

1“The Revelation to John”, [Chapter] 22[, Verse] 2, in “The New Covenant Commonly Called the New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: New Revised Standard Version” of The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 1989; page 283.