TRANSMUTATIONS

From water to water.
From raven to raven.

The water, the raven,
the course of their going
and coming, and meeting,

and the rocks and the pebbles
they wash and they carry
and drop in the pockets
of witches and warlocks.

PRAYER FOR RAIN

        “For his sake, do not refuse water.” ~Tefilat Geshem

Plus. Minus. Zero.

Sum of the fractures.
Numerator of the denominator.
Ratio of the falling towers
and the rising smoke

from suburban chimneys
and gentrified incinerators.

It’s all an impractical joke —
this giving and getting,
going and coming,
slipping and sliding
on the cracking ice
of Miller’s Pond.

Wipe the memories from your eyes,
the cookies from your mouth,
the dribble from your chin.

Erase the poem.
Erase the canvas.
Erase the moment.

Glorify the Father.
Glorify the Son,

and lay to rest the Holy Ghost.

BIRNAM WOOD

~ “Come, let me clutch thee.” ~ Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1

Do it
in the crack
in the wall
in the kitchen
of the alchemist’s cottage.

Do it.
Just do it.

Quickly.

Like Macbeth’s dagger
dancing in the crack
opening and closing
in the wall

before me
and behind me.

THE SHOEMAKER’S PIN CUSHION

“Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom…” ~ T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

Pins and Needles,
needles and pins,

and the shoemaker’s elves
under the stairs,
under the weather,
under the dust of many summers,

many forgotten keys
and unopened locks,
and cigarette butts
flicked from windows

of passing cars.
on the Road to Zanzibar
where dromedary camels
move their lips to speak their lines:

May you marry under the stairs,
under the weather,
under the dust of many summers

and according to the laws
of this, death’s other kingdom.

DREAMS

The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into cosmic night.” ~ C.G. Jung

Little doorways into nowhere
filled with nothing
out of somewhere, like a speck
before beginnings, endings,
and everything between
began.

Everything
squeezed into nothing
no larger than a subatomic particle
or a grain of sugar
swimming in a vacancy of sand.

Step across the threshold, if you dare,
into Caligari’s Cabinet where
all is lost and nothing found
except discarded wrappers

of Dubble Bubble
bubble gum

littering the ground.

________________________________________

NOTES:

1.) “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (German: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, it tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders.

2.) “Dubble Bubble” bubble gum, made by the Fleer’s company, was possibly the most popular brand of bubble gum among children of the 1940’s, including myself. It was temporarily discontinued during World War II because it contained materials thought to be essential for the war effort.

AUTOGENES

“Then the great Logos, the divine Autogenes, and the incorruptible man Adamas mingled with each other.” ~Gnostic Gospel of the Egyptians

I expand and contract,
like a fist or the tide,

or a breathing mushroom
in a fairie circle, enchanted
by the sounds of frogs and owls
and cicada in the breaches.

Lost things, forgotten things,
things behind strange doors,
under glass, under foot,
behind the smiles of naughty vicars,
between their lips and in their hands.

I watch them from a distance
(and you, also from a distance)
from behind my shadow,
from inside my closet,

watch and wait,
wait and watch

for nothing to occur,
nothing to condense,
to coalesce into something
stranger than locked doors

or the trilling of
my grandfather’s canary.
_________________________

*Originally published in Hot Tub Astronaut: An e-zine for contemporary words, images, sounds, April 2, 2015