from the Mortal Self
You keep shadows for pets,
ghost dogs and phantom cats
who prance at your feet
while each of you pretends
the other alive.
The white dog wears your satisfied smile -
the one left behind in that narrow bed
when the last mortal soul died in your arms
for a chance to be reborn.
The cat sharpens your claws
on the honed edges of lost time
and shows me a glimpse of your fangs,
preening on the moonlit window-sillhouette.
When morning comes,
rotten yellow sun-fruit squashed on the night-road,
your little pets will return to their rest:
stone-covered tombs in a child's back yard,
somewhere in the crazy desert
where the vampire king comes to play.
I won't tell the other immortals
I saw you picking wildflowers at dusk
to leave on unmarked graves.
You are smoke in the absence
wildflower in a tux,
whose morning glory face is a contradiction
painted with a brush of mushroom stems.
No artist, I eat the quill
asking it to paint a clearer picture of you
inside my head, but instead
you hijack my mind
and write on it with graffiti fingers
that are your lost-boy thoughts.
You tell me there are stars on the wall
because you put them there in a dream,
a reminder that the things we think
grow from seeds if we don't destroy them
with our weedkiller beliefs
which insist on telling us
stars belong up there in the sky.
I think the stars were framed, you say.
I think we all are
and the frame is just another cage.
You were sad that night,
huddled down inside my soul,
a little boy with a teddy-skeleton
clutched to the illusion
of your flat male chest
that had grown a woman's breasts,
for which I humbly apologize.
We slept together, do you remember?
Two souls tangled in my veins
dreaming separate dreams of infinite precision
that got lost somewhere in the smoke
that stands apart from the flame.
When dawn comes early
you call her a coward
afraid of the dark
and in my heart you ask me
to make it snow in August.
All I can do is remember November,
desert air painted pallid,
white as casket satin,
cold and pure.
I danced for you in a trench coat,
alive for the first time
on my cheeks.
knew then it had lost me
in the storm
where a black hearse sat in the driveway
with its engine running
and you at the wheel.
Are the stars
on the shores of heaven
lit by lost souls waiting,
or did you forget
to put out the lights
when God threw you out of his bed
for night after everafternyght,
fallen vampire angel?
No matter, my love,
I've built a finer fire to warm you,
a blaze to lead you home.
Heaven, after all,
is only for the dead.
(Click to enlarge)
dreams say you live
in an empty house with many rooms
and staircases everywhere
some steep, some stone
some marble, some glass
leading up, always up to a room
where all the windows are broken
and sparrows chatter at dusk
on the haunted fourth floor
while you sit in the only chair
waiting for nyght to fall,
looking in, looking out
for a hint at which mortal doors
will open for you tonight.
That's why I built this fire, you see.
I am the one.
I want you to see me.
A Mortal’s Rant
There’s a rickety ceiling fan
stirring up heat and dust in the old desert ruin I call home, while
the day comes and goes beyond these heavy red drapes, out there in
the sand and the wind and the world of human props and cliched
scripts. I look up and it’s nyght again, time clattering by,
dragging me along inside its belly while it digests my youth,
stealing whatever beauty I might have possessed and draining away my
belief in the things I once held true to replace it with a crone’s
clarity and bitterness, the shaman’s awareness of the illusion and
futility of Man’s reality.
now I sit here in this familiar chair underneath the tail of
Scorpio, counting acne comet scars on the face of the moon,
watching, feeling, perceiving countless dimensions of magick
swirling around me like dust devils that are always moving yet
always still, paradoxes incarnate, waiting to be understood before
opening their doors which might allow me admittance to this dark
Deep in the bleakness of last
nyght’s meditation, I opened my eyes to tell my lover, “I’m
afraid.” But when she asks why, how can I tell her the things I’ve
seen, the thoughts spinning beyond the realms of human consciousness
that can be perceived wholly unto oneself but never discussed
without hearing that latent twinge of madness in words that can only
fail to convey this inexplicable magick? How can I tell her I was
out there beyond the end of the universe or that the stars are no
more than an inch away, or that I was thinking in a language
comprised of particles and quantum dances on the razor’s edge that
splits me into past and future and yet obliterates the “now”
utterly, leaving me already dead and simultaneously unborn, but
never allowing me to simply be in whatever state is
meant to pass for living?
Sadness, thick as chilled
milk but more brittle than this summer chaparral, forms the
framework of reality upon which the stages and plays are
constructed. How terribly aware of our mortality we are, fragile
creatures sensing the predator always nearby, the breath of Death
hot as August, cold as the blood of the damned.
Back to the Boat
A voice passing through the
"We have to get back to the boat."
A twin-rigger I think she was,
with timbers creaking beneath our feet
on a sea so still
we gazed down into the midnight sky,
dizzying refracted realities,
and the ship had become a starswimmer,
and all the stars just trinkets on your belt.
Your eyes were stolen sapphires,
your heart a pagan drum
stretched taut over the hollow
of vacant crypts and empty coffins
where our bones would be writing
sonnets of dust
had we never embarked on this treacherous trip.
"We have to get back to the boat."
Back to that place
where the rivers of reason have all run dry,
where silence has its own continuum,
and the flesh we inhabit is luminous silver,
where all of creation is our address,
all of time our identity.
Voices in the Night
from the Immortal Other
The door to vampyreland is left open,
but it is a one-way portal
through which my mortal love can pass but once.
If you come into my world, it is forever,
on a bed of toadstools
with bloodwine served in tiny gold thimbles.
My wings are black,
molting with summer’s passing.
I tell you
that leave me defenseless,
for now you could scratch at the wounds.
The hurt is what makes you hunt a cure.
It is what makes me whole.
older but no wiser,
it lures me to your
but leaves me always one step removed
a lost cousin
my nose pressed to each new night
looking for a way in.
I gather storms,
acorns to plant in my narrow bed.
On summer days blue and bright
I nibble the stolen thunder
and wash it down with rain,
pale thin blood of the tempest.
You would do well to gather storms now too.
There is more substance in a cloud
than most human hearts.
Once I lost my
mind beneath a wooden bridge
where mushrooms grew wild and speckled,
delectable eggs of the fertile cosmic womb.
Vampires are gluttons
so I played there crazy to the bone
watching the moonfall
and the rainshine night
drinking the stars in my cupped hands.
I scooped up the sun, evil morning fruit,
to steal its reflection from the river
dribbling it through my fingers
until it was gone.
It came back of course,
fractured water all aglow, mending.
So I beat at it with a willow stick
until it turned wrong side out
and sank to the bottom,
a popped yellow balloon.
Scholars said it was only an eclipse.
You and I know better.
I won the soul of the sun that once,
because I was crazy enough
to believe I could.
Which came first, the vampire or the shiny black
egg? Do you know that the first amoeba carried the coding from
which we would grow a billion years later? That cell was All
- you, me, harlequin boys and mosquitoes on the walls of hell.
Careful, don't drop that egg! Did we know each other before we
began to divide and got lost in the afterbirth, did we share an
Have you started
that falling stars are vampire hearts
thrown down from heaven with the trash?
Left over thoughts
to fall up to the underworld
without burning to ash.
I am vampire.
I am real though you don't believe it.
I am forever flesh and voodoo blood.
I am in pain from so much pleasure
and in rapture from the pain.
Feed me tears of the crucified Christ
and I'll call them vampire wine.
He cried bitter blood
for his creator couldn't save him.
Maybe the old man didn't love him anymore
or maybe he just got bored.
I keep the stars
in my coffin
only letting them out at nite.
my love letters
are death threats
and that's the nature of the game.
i'll make you pale
when your breath fails
and you kick and screech in my bed.
feel my arms constricting like snakes
and the fatal red flood of the flow?
want me to let you go?
then give me reasons to need you
and better reasons to bleed.
I'm not gentle or
I drink blood and make no petty apologies.
I dine on death with eternity jealous of me.
I laugh at heaven and hell,
knowing I'm beyond their reach.
I raise the dead to ride the thrill
when my children prey to me, offering tears.
I see men and women die and I am without pity
because they've chosen the easy way out
in little steepled buildings
where they pay to leave their dread.
I play dead just to talk with worms
who have more to say of life and death
than any rabbi or shaman or priest.
The only god I know resides in my mirror,
the only devil I've seen shares his eyes.
My will is steel, my heart a singularity;
my soul is from the grave.
I am a vampire.