THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY

          “No more weepin’ & a-wailin’. Goin’ home to be with God.” ~Negro Spiritual

On that day,

I shall wake up
to sleep no more.

No more
weeping and wailing
when I wake up
to sleep no more.

When I wake up
to weep no more,
to wail no more.

When I wake up
to the other shore.

CAT’S CRADLE

Here, in the Valley of Bones,
where the scorpion mocks the turtle
as the turtle dies
and curses the scorpion
for its lies;

where dead men return,
and stones return,
and children’s teeth return;

here, at Elephant’s End,
we play cat’s cradle in the dirt,
where a little dog laughs
to see such sport,
and the wayward dish

returns.

DONA NOBIS PACEM

          “Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.”

1.
A broken clock
is no longer greater
than the sum of its parts.

Time, broken,
limps along a path
of shattered glass

to the beat
of a crippled drummer,

a bitch in heat
on a hot tin roof
of a house of cards

in the center of a faerie circle
of psilocybin mushrooms.

2.
This is the mountain
where the Gods swap wives
and fuck their daughters.

(And the windows are open!)

This is their seventh resting place,
that smells of anointed feet,
overheated breath
and the armpits
of sweaty things
that go bump in the night

behind you.

MEMO FROM THE MASTER OF THE DREAM

1.
A serpent tickles my ear
with its tongue in my sleep,

coils around my trunk,
shaking my leaves until they drop,
like dead flies on dead sheets.

2.
Get beneath me, serpent!
Get under the bed,
under the mattress,
under the mandrake.

3.
Reader, I tell you:

This little sleep is death’s other kingdom,
a foretaste of the bigger sleep to come

where a strange sister
(twisting under the bed sheets)
bangs pots, augers sand,
skins the serpent,

and reads the creases of my hand.

SHIVA’S EYE

                         “The secret is in the eye, closed and opened. Closed it sees the mirror that shines; opened it sees the mirror that does not shine.” — The Zohar

1.
There are dragons
at the bottom of the river,
and the blood of dragons
in the sky.

And to the left and right
virgins fly through closed windows.

And a black mountain rises,
piercing Shiva’s eye.

2.
Make no mistake,
the secret is the eye —
the eye that sees
and does not see;

the eye looking at the eye
looking back at me
just before we die,

when there is neither you nor I
but only a far-off speck
in a far-off corner

of Shiva’s far-off eye.