Gather the dark

Bring me a thunderstorm at sunset
Decorate my giant cranium with beautiful scary pink clouds
Gather them in the west and fling them to the east —

Give me a lightshow. Give me some bass. Rumble
and stutter my tomtoms,
distant and straight
overhead so I
feel it, so I
fall with it.

Crack open the skyskull and gather the dark,
gather the dark matter, fire
neutrinos, electrons, protons.

Violence, pummel, tenderise
me, make me ready.
Break me open
and drink what flows out of me.
Parasite, suction, blend
me, make me jelly.

Give me the mantra,
the everything poem,
the chant,

the ancient brandnew notes,
the faerie banshee baby notes,
the yinyang knife-
edge balance notes
the integer-simple infinite-complex notes
the slowdance liplock discotheque ecstasy notes

An update for the Pilgrims Guide

To: webmaster@TempleFinder.com
Subject: an update for the Pilgrims Guide

When finally we reached the temple we found it collapsing, one brick at a time. Some walls have peeling paint; others have layers and layers of graffiti from years of pilgrims — some disappointed, some angry, some sad, and some clinging to their obsession and leaving flowers, photographs, little handmade cards and books, and more than a few pieces of clothing. Leaving their offerings (and teddy bears. did I mention the number of teddy bears? and the money and bottles of whiskey, which a smiling attendant collects after the pilgrims have finished their tearful or ranting obeisances or their hair-and-clothes-tearing or their hysterical shrieking). Leaving their offerings and maybe their delusions on a concrete platform, its chipped paint as grey as the sky.

We entered the temple and found it stinking. Stale cigarettes, old pizza, last night’s whiskey. The priests were out drinking in a bar down the road, except one who lolled in a back room, half-dead from heroin. When the others returned from their ‘meeting’, they injected him with something to reanimate him so they could continue their parody of the sacred rites.

We had journeyed to the temple, a group of us, full of love or longing or fear or exultation, and a few who came along for the photo-opportunity, full of derision. But when we saw the mess and the useless priests and the grinning, well-fed attendants, even those full of derision became sad, and those full of exultation collapsed on the filthy floor or ran into the littered niches, crying their thunderstorm tears and howling their blue-black howls.

But it was only when we heard the muzak that we began to mutilate ourselves.

(First published in Hamilton Stone Review)

Ware

In neon. Sodium,
electrons, gates, bricks
in each wall, outlet, store,
supermarket, chemist, cafe, tomato
taste on the tongue, tiles, bright
lighting, nonslip floor, theft-
resistant toilet
paper, sanitary disposal
unit, fluids, chemicals, network
of pipes, cables, denizens, their neurons,
teeth, hearts, blood
silent under body
jewellery, belts, shirts, temporary
tattoos, symbols, signs… Save
the Orangutan. Car
Boot Sale. School
Open Day. Mother
waiting for children, hair
of her children, skin
of her baby, new,
swaddled & slung, cells
from her left breast, milk
from her right. The face at her waist.
The eyes in the mirror. The hands
of the chiropractor, stretching, tweaking.

Dream 22

Listen.
The air thin with one picked faun.
His brother in the flower,
pleading.
The air thin.

His sister on the stone,
weeping. The tide in.
The wind rising.

Remember, sister.
In the sanctuary.
Roof of sunleaves, walls
of stone, ivy on walls
of stone. Trees. Humus
on steps of stone. Bright
graffiti.
Flower bravely, let your petals fall on it.

Listen.
The air thin with one picked faun.
On the steps in the leaflight
listen and weep.

In the sunshrine, branch-sanctuary,
leafchapel, weep
for the brother.
Let your tears fall on it.

Among the graffiti carve in the stone
a symbol
for the sister.

(First published in Pixel Papers)