Between the sacred and the profane

Between the sacred and the profane
there is not a sliver of difference.
We are luminous, we are crude,
we are crudely luminous, we

spill our lives into the sharp
vessel of time without a stray
moment left behind, without
an inch of depth undisturbed,

unperturbed, benighted as a breeze
in Hell, which, if we only knew it,
is Heaven held upside down to
let us trickle into new carnation.

Bah! I’m tired of this twaddle
of infinite souls to the manor
of eternity borne. The least is the best
of us, and the grandest star in the cosmos

destroys itself for our amusement.
The joke is that we are made of it.

Dark natter

We’ve lost the will to listen,
instead expressing and expressing
without end, without impression
as if we were generators and not motors,

as if beams of reality flowed
brainless and wantless
toward – what? Tomorrow?
There is no tomorrow,

today only, in a false succession
of todays. How can there be
expression, alone and only?
There must first be an emptiness,

gradually filled with the stuff of galaxies,
or more remote still, of giant gas clouds
or invisible matter, so dark.

Blood line

As luck would have it
I was born who I am,
propelled into wonder
and deep disturbance,

pushed from behind
by fear and tedium,
compelled by curiosity
to delve and burrow.

Shall I say my fate
has formed me,
or have I moved through Earth
not spellbound, but spellbinding?

No use complaining, no
point in shallow grievance.
Fate works not by force
but seduction.

Notes for the photographer

Don’t push too hard for fidelity
because looking at a photograph
you really have no idea
what it felt like to be standing
just this side of that sky,
feet in the mud, those foot-sized
bricks framing your heart.

Avoid the light in polar places
and try to catch the drip, drip, drip
of reality disappearing just off-camera,
those eyes aged into history
while no one was looking.

When you dip roses, even roses
into the frail cold of liquid nitrogen,
“J’accuse!” they shout.
“M’amuse!” we shout back,
sometimes in anguish, sometimes despair,
as they lie shattered around us.