on the perimeter

mine is not to follow you
nor to walk in your shadow
i cannot hold your hand
i cannot watch your back

my life is that which is my own
solitary and alone
i will die without you
and so i must live without you

i know you want a different song
you want something more
something less than perfect
but i can only be as i am

don’t you think it’s hard for me
to ask you this
to delve into your soul
and return with nothing

don’t you know how it breaks my heart
to show you your aloneness
in the false neon of attachment
what is the test of my love?

moonlight and roses, dinner and diamonds
followed by tears
starlight coming through our window
wind drying the sweat from our skin

what can be more perfect than the vessel
broken, cracked, fragmented
beyond recognition
would you glue it together again?

i stand outside of the sky
and there are no stars here
love of mine,
how brave are you?



chances taken, roads walked
sorrows we drank
  like blood along the way
the moon follows me into
    the darkest thickets
lighting the mind of the child
nights we howled
    under blurred stars rising
feral and fierce
the war god ascending
temples broken by
  the weight of our carelessness
prayers crunching
    under our feet like
broken glass
it’s all so ghostly

heaven opens wide
  with jaws of steel
and eyes of baleful fire
devils play harps
in fluffy robes
  singing like gandharvas
where is the lord of thunder?
i knelt before the sun
    you worshiped in the rain
but where were we
  what did we do
  why do i feel
  like a ghost now?

your arms around me
tearing out
    my soul
still i long for
your embrace
to bring me to the end
love, where does
  this forest go
i’m standing in the glade
where love was born
and hatred torn
and I cannot run

wheels burning inside
  the middle of the dark
hearts melting in our minds
and bleeding over sight
every gate we passed
  locked up tight
so we danced
    we capered on
far away from the
  colour of life
but the whispers
still follow with
ghost words in my ear

love, light the lamp
i’m so cold inside
build me a fire now
to keep out the wolves of night

love, hold my hand
i can’t feel my skin
i went too far, can’t come back
i’m lost again

Hold back the night

hold back the night
and quiet my aching mind
touch the velvet cover
that hides my soul from you

take me by the hand
and lead me to the place
where dark and light
meet and kiss on the
lips of the abyss

the lips of the abyss

draw your knife across
the bleeding cuts I have
on my heart, in my hand
drain it all away

fuel all my nights
with the sounds of your need
raise me up to the light
and tear me to shreds
in the dark

see me as I am
and try not to run from me
all that I have
is poured on the water

poured on the water

poured on the water

can you see me as I am?

Let someone else say it

Often others say it better than I ever could, so today, here is the Lizard King himself giving voice to things going on in my brain/life/world/whatever …

People Are Strange 
People are strange when you’re a stranger,
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted,
Streets are uneven when you’re down,
When you’re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name
When you’re strange
When you’re strange
When you’re strange 

The Crystal Ship 
Before you slip into unconsciousness
I’d like to have another kiss,
Another flashing chance at bliss,
Another kiss, another kiss

The days are bright and filled with pain
Enclose me in your gentle rain,
The time you ran was too insane,
We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again

Oh’ tell me where your freedom lies,
The streets are fields that never die,
Deliver me from reasons why
You’d rather cry, I’d rather fly

The crystal ship is being filled,
A thousand girls, a thousand thrills,
A million ways to spend your time;
When we get back, I’ll drop a line 

The Celebration Of The Lizard

Lions in the street and roaming
Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming
A beast caged in the heart of a city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground
He fled the town

He went down South and crossed the border
Left the chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder

One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him
Sweat oozed from its shiny skin

Is everybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin

Wake up!
You can’t remember where it was
Had this dream stopped?

The snake was pale gold
Glazed and shrunken
We were afraid to touch it
The sheets were hot dead prisons

Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom
I can’t live thru each slow century of her moving
I let my cheek slide down
The cool smooth tile
Feel the good cold stinging blood
The smooth hissing snakes of rain . . .

Once I had, a little game
I liked to crawl back into my brain
I think you know the game I mean
I mean the game called ‘go insane’

Now you should try this little game
Just close your eyes forget your name
Forget the world forget the people
And we’ll erect a different steeple

This little game is fun to do
Just close your eyes no way to lose
And I’m right there I’m going too
Release control we’re breaking thru

Way back deep into the brain
Back where there’s never any pain
And the rain falls gently on the town
And in the labyrinth of streams
Beneath, the quiet unearthly presence of
Nervous hill dwellers in the gentle hills around
Reptiles abounding
Fossils, caves, cool air heights

Each house repeats a mold
Windows rolled
Beast car locked in against morning
All now sleeping
Rugs silent, mirrors vacant
Dust blind under the beds of lawful couples
Wound in sheets
And daughters, smug
With semen eyes in their nipples

There’s been a slaughter here

(Don’t stop to speak or look around
Your gloves and fan are on the ground
We’re getting out of town
We’re going on the run
And you’re the one I want to come)

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do, but
Run, run, run
Let’s run

House upon the hill
Moon is lying still
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze
C’mon baby run with me
Let’s run

Run with me
Run with me
Run with me
Let’s run

The mansion is warm, at the top of the hill
Rich are the rooms and the comforts there
Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs
And you won’t know a thing till you get inside

Dead president’s corpse in the driver’s car
The engine runs on glue and tar
C’mon along, we’re not going very far
To the East to meet the Czar

Some outlaws lived by the side of the lake
The minister’s daughter’s in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl! We’re almost home

Sun, sun, sun
Burn, burn, burn
Soon, soon, soon
Moon, moon, moon
I will get you

Let the carnival bells ring
Let the serpent sing
Let everything

We came down
The rivers and highways
We came down from
Forests and falls

We came down from
Carson and Springfield
We came down from
Phoenix enthralled
And I can tell you
The names of the Kingdom
I can tell you
The things that you know
Listening for a fistful of silence
Climbing valleys into the shade

‘I am the Lizard King
I can do anything
I can make the earth stop in its tracks
I made the blue cars go away
For seven years I dwelt
In the loose palace of exile
Playing strange games
With the girls of the island

Now I have come again
To the land of the fair, and the strong, and the wise
Brothers and sisters of the pale forest
O Children of Night
Who among you will run with the hunt?

Now Night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready’ 

Lyrics by Jim Morrison of the Doors (courtesy of Rock Lyrics.)

Are you sad?

A few days ago, a friend said to me, “Are you ok? You look sad. Are you sad?”

I hadn’t been thinking about sadness or happiness. I assumed that, given the general emotional place of my life at the moment, I was very, very happy, in a deep-inside way. But I guess I’m just one of those people who still feel overwhelming sadness in the midst of great joy. There’s never one or the other, both are always present. My life is in a general state of gratitude and joy. Not happiness, which, to me, is transient.

There’s still a pervading sadness. I can feel it, touch it. It’s always there, will always be there. It’s not really mine as in of me, made of my thoughts, harboured in my heart. It’s just a quality of the Darkness That Is. Maybe this is why addicts are addicts. Even the middle of their joy, they still feel the pain and they want to run away to euphoria, even artificial euphoria. I don’t know. I think many artists, poets in particular, are given over to dark as much as light. They become conduits for darker things that others put away, hide in religion or mysticism, compartmentalize, refuse to talk about, pretend aren’t there. A poet, a true poet, can’t put those things away. Can’t hide. Won’t hide. Pain and sorrow and sadness becomes the texture of their life just as much as the heights of love, joy and pleasure.

I know people who think that because they’ve felt pain or sadness, they know what I’m talking about. That the dark is woven into their lives in the same way. Not so. Everyone has felt pain or sadness, but only a few dare the madness that comes with constantly looking into the dark. Are you willing to feel the sadness for the rest of your life, even in your happiest moment? Are you sure? Do you want to leave your wedding to walk into the forest and cry? Do you want to hold your first child and weep for the heartbreak inside the joy? Do you want to walk the edge where oxymorons pave the road and paradox falls from the sky? Is that the landscape of your life?

Do you want the constant need to get away from all people, while needing them immensely? Do you want the agony of never being able to reconcile the two?

Am I sad? Yes. Why do I cry? I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. The question “Why?” is so irrelevant to me in this afternoon of my life. I don’t care why. I just do. And within the tears lies the pain of the world, the salvation of my soul. But salvation from what and for what eludes me. There’s nothing rational about it. I abandoned rational life a long time ago. All that is left is the vast landscape of the mind when you refuse to put things into categories. Into compartments. The Wild Things spill over into your work day, gnashing their terrible teeth and rolling their terrible eyes. And you leave your day behind to join the Wild Rumpus.

Or maybe I’m a liar. Maybe all people who feel that “something” in their soul are all liars. All of us. Maybe we just need to give voice to our delusions. Our wild imaginings that darkness has shape and beauty too. Maybe we’ll never get it right, never understand, and are doomed to keep trying, like this “Glimpse into the Beyond.” (jca, I love this.)