If you want to discover your mind
burn your house to the ground
the chasm exposed becomes a bridge
overheated lungs will not shut down
if the subject is wood, why not ashes
(insert your fine print here)
recitations emerge, with perfect precision
(place mental doodads here)
a one-way trip for the fire starter
through a tunnel of hope, fever dreams, and fear
no port of call on the way past digressions
no pause in the journey to shredded pretensions
if you want to discover an unknown country
dance in the coals of an unborn star
(abandon your baggage here)
As red dwarfs rise, so blue giants fall
in the stone at the heart of a midsummer’s plum
a teardrop the size of an ocean
if the subject is ashes, why not photons
(sow your confusion here)
luminosity loves a meson octet
(pitch your cabana here)
a billion suns rise in rootless mind
a trillion stars blaze where rock meets bone
as that flame melts even glassy granite
and eats through illusion’s flashy gears
in the still at the heart of a midwinter’s night
you may note a pervasive surf-like thrum
(enter the action here)
Let me see, how can I describe this scene? I’m sitting in a stone shack at the edge of the desert playing cards with a dead guy. The dead are righteous—they’ve shed their masks, they know how to deal. Hit me, I say. The dealer flips the card called Death (your business partner). Hit me again, I say. This time it’s Ignorance (the root of all suffering). No shit, I say. Land ‘o lakes, land ‘o peaches, zombie logic, abandoned creatures. Only problem is, there are no creatures.
Endless war packaged and recycled as eternal life. The sweet hereafter. Repetitive interstellar self-replicating self-installing clockwork phenomena. Repeat. My head is a steel cage surrounded by spaniels. Now it’s time to take out the trash. Repeat. I am one or many thoughts. Nothing if not what’s thought. Or not thought. Don’t be disingenuous. You are black and purple crimson and blue. I need red hair, a diamond necklace, pearls.
I’ve been set adrift on a ghetto blaster sea. I understand your position, Mr. Naught—in my previous life I didn’t believe in rebirth either. Yes, your thought train does resemble a spontaneous nocturnal emission. The real question is, do you want to wake up from this dream? Discursive thoughts tend to be fragmentary, overlapping other thoughts, fragmented, layered, overlapped. Other thoughts wrap themselves around overlaps, layering, overlapping. Some thoughts overwrite themselves. Layered. Overripe, overwritten. Overlapped.
Oh, by the way, in case you hadn’t noticed…irascible kleshas repopulate this all too fleshy bight. Now, let us think what is not to be thought. As if I hadn’t gone mad already from trying to read other people’s minds! Memorize or write down these instructions: abscessed crow, burdened apparition, oscillating spider. I was lying naked on an oyster bed, surrounded by sea ice. I was Homeboy the Sailor Man, who sailed a snow-cold word-choked sea in a steel cage full of strenuous mitochondria. I needed a non-conforming cockroach.
I find myself again in a stone house, playing blackjack with one of the guys who were killed the day before. Captain Crunch claims that if you create a time machine where none existed previously, you have to cross a Cauchy horizon to enter the region of time travel. I need a white flag. I need a corpse candle. I need an expedited ephemeral dog chain tightening around my revenant neck. I have entered a state of religious ecstasy induced by ideology addiction. Do I really need snarling maddened catamounts noshing on my insides? I’m glad glad to meet meet you you! Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think we should agree that life is strange death is real. I need another card. Hit me.
Fred Ferraris is a poet, writer, and sometimes a filmmaker. His work has appeared in, among others, Bombay Gin, The Cafe Irreal, Cold Mountain Review, Poetry Bay, Orbis, Sanskrit, Stand Magazine and The Worcester Review; also in the chapbooks, Marpa Point and The Durango Chronicles, Book One, a full-length book, Older Than Rain: Early and Recent Poems, and the anthology, Prayers for a Thousand Years. His book length manuscript, Loose Canons, was a finalist in the 2003 National Poetry Series. A film colaboration, “Even the Door Must Open,” won an award at the 2005 Nolita Film Festival. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2008 he won The Mark Fischer Award.