It’s night; it’s like a metal chair again
inside a concrete room with concrete floor.
The air is thick and silent, like a sin
that keeps you trapped behind a concrete door.
It’s night; you sit and stand and sit again.
You pace the dark, unyielding, dirty floor,
unswept, just like an unrepented sin.
You hear the clicking steps and locking door.
It’s night, and night is sleepless yet again.
You’ve curled up on a thousand sleepless floors.
And what you thought were dreams were only sins
that crawled you toward their locked and concrete doors.
It’s night, and so you sit and stare in vain
into the concrete darkness once again.
I don’t know what it means; I just don’t know.
Did I do something wrong, some kind of sin?
I’ll tell you what I can. I’ll take it slow,
although I don’t know where I should begin.
You know, He came and spoke to me each night
in Perfect Glory, stood there with his Son
above the floor in robes of brilliant white,
for twenty years perhaps or twenty-one.
But not last night. His presence didn’t shine.
His voice was mute; His Son was absent too.
I’m left without the water or the wine.
Is false still false? Is true no longer true?
If silence was the voice I’d always heard
then god was nothing more than just a word.
I built the boat and waited for the rain;
I loaded all the animals with haste.
The state declared me legally insane,
surrounded by the heaps of fecal waste.
They locked me up and let the beasts go free.
My wife divorced me, took the kids and cash.
This isn’t how it was supposed to be
and now my mind is leaning toward a crash.
I’m staring through a window lined with bars;
some drool escapes my gaping mouth and lips.
I wonder what’s become of all the stars
and drum like thunder with my fingertips.
I’ve been in here for forty days and nights.
Will somebody turn off the god-damned lights!
I still believe in beauty. That’s the lie
of all my lies I like the very best.
Such innocent semantics; I could cry
at how it pulses warmth into my chest.
This chemical reaction makes me blind
to memories of memories of you,
and in the lie of beauty I can find
the truth of every lie I ever knew.
I’m blind because my eyes are filled with tears
which bear their witness to the lies I love.
Their warmth, exquisite pain, their beauty sears
my cheeks. The lie is all I’m thinking of
in disbelief which beauty-lies negate
and truth becomes the object of my hate.
She sweeps the heavy sand away with grave
concern for where my body, like a shell,
has washed ashore. Her cadence is the wave
which breaks the breakers’ crashing, rhythmic spell.
There’s time, she says, as plenty as the sand.
She stretches out beside me to embrace
perspective. This was not what I had planned
in stepping from the cliffs of quiet grace.
I fell forever, more alone than wood
which drifts from empty cove to barren beach.
The tide received my soul; it understood
that time had ebbed beyond my farthest reach.
Yet time, it seems, can flood from time to time,
and flotsam may be held, by some, sublime.
To fly, my soul, like wind returning home—
what home will welcome me, my soul, in peace?
To wander like the clouds, one cloud, alone,
I fly in lonely dreams of sweet release.
To breathe the wind, myself, return to light,
the lightness of existence; I am free.
These dreams and visions circumscribe my sight
with winds of life, my soul; I am to be.
Stripped down beyond the bones of thought, despair,
my soul relieves lucidity of pain,
immerses into currents of pure air
where such immersion suffers me again.
Again I feel subsumed by gentle sighs;
again my soul of aspiration flies.
See gold in stripes and braids, how smooth it drapes
across the edge of everything you do?
That edge, the demarcation of escapes
is mockery; you never follow through.
You only sit beneath the warmth of gold
and bite the flesh behind your stoic lips.
You never bleed; your teeth are getting old.
The pulse is fading from your fingertips.
It’s just a bed, get up — or go to sleep.
You claim your dreams are just as warm as blood.
Periphery is nothing you can keep
behind the dams of night; it marks the flood.
One slip, the edge becomes a dark abyss
of which your mind will be oblivious.
Withheld from comfort, comfortless I hold
the space between the spaces of the void
that forms below my heart. My heart is cold,
as cold as if all warmth had been destroyed.
Such entropy of love and life exists
in echoes of the muse who has withdrawn.
And now a single memory persists
which slips into the void: she’s gone; she’s gone.
If comfort could be summoned, I would sigh
the words to draw her back into my space.
If comfort could be found before I die,
I’d die within her comfortable embrace.
The threshold of my universe is crossed
where nothing finds its place and love is lost.
There are no words. The air, as thin as lines
composed of quintessential distant dreams,
is probably the path, devoid of signs,
which flows beside the quintessential streams.
There are no words. The path, the streams converge.
A prophecy of silence draws me in.
Surrender is the quintessential urge
that marks the end where thus I can begin.
The words that form are beautiful and bright,
like pearls and diamonds strung on silver thread.
They sparkle in the quintessential night,
that quintessential darkness overhead.
And in the quiet birth of every word
a hint of quintessential faith is heard.
When blue is stripped away there’s only white
as pure as paper free from petty words.
The morning’s dark and suddenly it’s trite
to think of golden beams and singing birds.
When blue is stripped away its edges burn
along the faults of flesh some lover traced.
And when it’s gone, the blue will not return;
and when it’s stripped it cannot be replaced.
It’s hard to watch it go and not to cry
at how it renders passion obsolete.
It takes a will to live to watch it die
a death so pure, so violent, so complete.
There’s not a lot that’s left to do or say
when poetry has stripped the blue away.