Nearness, Or Why The Moon Looks Bigger When You're Far Away

Love that is near is a fruit (how cute!)
Got too easily,
Handled too rough
In the sweat from my gloves, must
Brown and bruise
All pith and evaporate juice – 
          I was told this is cheap
          To take one bite before dissolution.

Love from afar is a gilded frame (how lame!)
Bought at a terrible price;
In it we display
Proud memories of our life
Together, in obscurity, in fantasy –
          I was told this is noble
          That others have squeezed pap from the canvas.

Fool! I'd rather take a bite of the failing fruit
With that old grinning ritual self destruction,
The fermented juice getting me ripped on salvation,
And wither of happy consumption,
Than plow the fat furrows in my overfed mind
With golden flax seed
While the holes in my guts
Fill up with concrete.

Your mouth said "handle my heart with care,"
I told you I'd try,
But, for the static, you couldn't hear.
I'm not saying that I lied,
Here's my reply:

Two legs of a compass we are not;
Love from afar is lust for the thought
Of the garden we'd grow if bliss was our lot;
The gilded frame is terribly bought."


West Strand, Portush

I
today is picnic day
and we're getting close
now the tire tracks are white

the strand is like the rim of the world
closer to the space expanse than the mountains
here and there the sun hisses burning 
like a dying star in vain
my crying sun

and after an age it will be the same
when little bits of seaglass melt
and snake out a roundness becoming one
here hiding in the earth beneath the creepers
there peeking out to greet the cool of the wind
this enormous quicksilver vein
the great grasping serpent
horrible gas gasping into the twilit sky
choking life from the trees
the trees who used to live here
now gone away

II
today is picnic day
with baskets and bottles of cheap wine and a guitar
the sand gets everywhere
and that's alright
I hear rustle and spray
and taste salt in everything
and after half a bottle I'll lie back
let the chatter mingle with the splash
for miles and miles to left and right
feel the salt scales peeling me away
under the glamour of the golding sky

up against these dunes I'm washed
discarded but not alone
I rode this wave here
across the world it seemed
and I almost made it over the top
almost tipping over the edge
into the wild high wanting
the great unknowing that I sought

waves weaken
waves crash and dissolve in foam
and I am drying out on these sands
on picnic day
I see the stars already with the stars
falling over Donegal
our sun fat and low in the channel 
on the fringe of my world 
one day I will stand atop this martello tower
staring with new eyes
at the terrible bride of the western isles
the great nothing beauty

III
the last day on earth
the fitful sun brazen and cornered
will spit venom and shudder 
the breeze will hang vestments of dew in the air
to drape over my bones
bleached like the reverend driftwood
one last stand against the bubbling tide
like Ulysses
and sand will be in my hair and teeth
and the serpent will be choking life
and all will rust
and I will feel everyplace I've been
and everyone I've known will blow in the wind
and their faces in the water
and God will be checking his watch
and gulls will scream
and the sun will sob red tears
and the edge will drop off 
and I will see the silent stars before I go
the silent stars falling on picnic day