The Secret World
(from Indigo Glow)
California is where we’ve always dreamed
of gold and movie screens, erotic cannibalism and magazines.
Remember: we were born in the city of angels
and fell to float down artistic canals
to the ocean where our father rests,
where childhood tumbled and inhaled salted, seaweed breaths.
Neptune’s depths sounded ecstasy-drenched nights.
We sat in the corners, conscious to avoid the mermaids,
unbound as the sirens sang… fairies fluttered everywhere.
The great god, with his trident, sat at the head of it all –
A model for Hollywood’s darker visions, a horror set
with blue lights. We were lost when we wandered into the gallery that night.
With auburn hair, Queen Maeve said, “Sit right in that chair.”
Dreams of guns and roses flittered through our minds
while she removed her clothes, opened the doors, and slithered down the vine
to rest her weight on our lap. Sap rose through the trees.
Flowers budded on the TV screen, and the next thing I knew
I was being interviewed on a late-night talk show.
The host asked why I used porn stars for the dramatic roles in my films.
I replied that they were my childhood come to life. Angels…
“But they can’t speak,” he said to me. I answered,
“Three-fourths of language is in the body.”
“Then, why do you write poetry?” It satisfies
my erotic dreams, I thought. But you can’t explain
that to everybody. Instead, I asked, “Have you ever read Tyranny?
Language has its own shape. Like a seraph, it’s invisible.
Here, smoke this. Maybe, you’ll understand me then.”
I handed him my pen; I welcomed him to the modern world;
I unfurled a flag of red, white, and black. I sat back,
and we were mystically transported to the projects of New York City.
A man approached us as we stepped outside a peep show –
“The police, you know, are just another gang. I need a hundred bucks
to get my daughter back. If you’ll help me out, I’ll repay you
in the next life.” I was an existentialist then. But still,
I emptied out the savings my father had stored away for me,
and I said, “You, my friend, can have my throne in heaven.”
I’m still tumbling in the salty sea where Old Nick
chased me. The riddle was written in the stars,
but one night in a hospital it came to me. Amon-Ra
chomped on human heads across from where I wept. Jesus
reminded me of Pazuzu, and I shrieked out loud:
“My name is Lucifer. How do you do?
I believe I have a question for you. There’s not
one answer, but two. Would you like to reign in hell,
or would you rather serve like I do?” Fool! Only Loki reigns in Hel.
But back then, Lucifer was the fairy king. “And what the rednecks
didn’t realize is that faggots make witches burn…”
I heard Saint Annie purr, once, upon a midnight dreary
while I pondered weak and weary. A book of black magic
taught me ravens are the harbingers of death. I put out my left arm –
A thousand of them came to rest. I felt like
a Satanic Saint Francis, a statue in my mother’s garden…
Michael, the keeper of the flaming sword: knowledge
of good and evil. We’ve come full circle to our Lord.
Raphael! Blow your trumpet song, paint the
visions from the secret world – the highest a human can fly,
but don’t believe there’s ceilings to your soul. Limits are
the devil’s trick. For example: Our Father who art in heaven…
“Our Father,” is what he said. Not mine or yours
or his alone, but all of ours in this beautifully fallen place:
The plants, the beasts, me, you… Don’t ever believe
them when they tell you you’re not the first-born child,
the serpent said to Eve. She whispered the secret to me.
Yes. I was there. I was a bird, a bee,
a flower, and a tree. I am the Lord of everything,
and at the same time, I’m just me. Like the Dalai Lama, like you,
a human soul, the man in the moon, a piece of cheese
for the rats to chew upon. My psychiatrist said to me:
“Your thoughts are very close to psychosis, but keep going.
You just might teach me something.” I already taught you
the language of flowers and of all mute things. Who’s going to teach me?
We all will, my child. We all will.
So spoke the residents of the secret world
as I returned to my childhood kingdom.
My toys were all still there in the toy box
where I left them when my long legs carried me north into
the wilds, the frozen realms. I found absolute zero as venom
dripped into my eyes. I returned to share the secret with you. Because
I love you. I can finally say it: I – Love – You.
It took Lilith and her owl (in a dream) to teach that trick to me,
but She is another piece of the holy coast’s phenomenology.
For more poems from Indigo Glow, please click here.