Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Book Two (Dec. 26, 2004)

For years I filled my journals
with news from a bad life, prose
tales of merriment at demon
feasts across the dead suburban
night: of drinking escapades
through all the bars of my
imprisonment in salt where
the jailer in his cups, the jailed
drinking full up. I wrote down
the thousand and one nights
of my carouse through the
hundred and one beds, each
night like a letter to Eros
of a burn which arrowed far
never deep enough. I also
wrote of the aftermaths, the
hangovers in ruinous light,
the near-bankruptcies, my
car spluttering its worst,
the shriek of knowns I always
returned to with a sense of
ebbing life, my chances and beliefs
both spooling out, snarled round
the flukes of a too-great whale.
My desire too was too huge
for my cock & wallet & liver,
a span of arc and ache too great
to cross from night’s blue neon
to dawn’s dissembling blue shore
where you and I were once one,
where I begin at least and last.
I filled those journals up
til I ran out of hope and money
and narrative; standing on that
perilous ledge which swords
one life into the next, I paused
to chuck the whole pile
down a well to drown in
drouth, a paper marge
to be read by cold brine eyes.
All those nights on pages
washed away, all those words
licked clean by massive
undersea waves of
your othering fire.
That book completed, I
turned the other way
and began this book of
matins, this spiral chapel
under the wave which
always rounds home
to you. Here I collect
the thousand and one
marvels beyond and
under those older nights,
a vault of sounds and
sights not meant for
men to hear or see,
though they tide through
our bones incessantly.
One book lost to water,
those waters write the
next one, in hope of
those white shores
I never could quite reach,
no matter who I found
on any shipwrecked night.
My book of wonders
is housed upon that
darkling fish that rules
the darkest seas -- a
jeweled box of cunning
gold that gables words
of praise and plunder,
each page inked with
that old surf’s foaming
thunder, the words a
a salt quintessence
diabolically preter-tumescent,
steering that finned
seraph everywhere I couldn’t
get when I thought that
nights drunk deep enough
could wet the whale
only wells of blue can fill.


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