Patrick White

Rookie (September l5, l948 / Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada)

There's A Black Lotus In My Heart - Poem by Patrick White

There's a black lotus in my heart, black hole
of enlightenment, black waterstar, sacred eclipse.
Nothing worth attaining that isn't unattainable.
And all the gates are upside down and backwards.
Albino starmaps with black dots shining
on the other side of the mirror, zodiacs
of black matter looping back on themselves
like solar auroras of the sun that rises at midnight.
I don't know what all this means. I may have gone
too far into exile and actually managed to get
to the dark side of the moon. Or I'm a warehouse
of shadows at noon that have lost track of the time
like blind sundials that feel they're being followed.

The light illuminates, but I bloom nocturnally.
I've got the burn marks of stars all over my skin.
I work on the nightshift at the foundry of a constellation
busy pouring itself out like iron and oxygen, blood and air,
forged out the afterlives of hydrogen I've gathered over the years.
A fire-womb engendering one you fill with water.
Fire the midwife of its own daughter. I'm envious
of creative immolations I know I'll never attain.
Though my left brain is in full communication with the right
and I'm a full moon of the bright vacancy, dark abundance
of both sides, and the harvest is ripe, I'm always
a star ahead of my light, so I don't end up
like a dead school furnace in the basement
writing my memoirs like a manuscript of ashes in an urn.

Deconstruct me wholly down to my last atom
and I promise you, if that's all I've got to work with
like one stem cell to another at the beginning
of a matrix of causes and conditions into which
we'll be placed by a Hox gene assessing the chi
of which direction our eyes should face, and how many
degrees of separation there should be between our ears,
I promise you, I'll still burn with the fireflies
and the supernovas like a blind prophet
who saw two wavelengths copulating like snakes
and has been tied at this stake of of a spine,
an oracular heretic of both sexes in synchrony
like the hybrid of a phoenix and a waterbird
burning in visionary serpent fire ever since
for the sake of a muse that always comes
in the nick of time like rain on the moon to my rescue.

When it's night in the diamond of my third eye
is the light not more mystically enhanced by the darkness,
more mystically specific than the white wash of the sun?
The moon is the mitochondrian that tempers
the toxicity of the light so the nucleus of the solar system
can blaze with alien oxygen meteorically across the night.
The black mirror, brighter than the white,
shows you your reflection on the inside
where you're arrayed like a faceless world
that's given up trying to second guess
who's the unerring witness under the lifemask
of the surreal cosmology that doesn't recognize
it's not a self, at first glance, and that all physics
is the psychology of ridding yourself of the delusion
you can, even if you're riding a flying carpet
out into this desert of stars to sweep the constellations away
like mirages that have been throwing bad meat
down your holy wells like sacred crocodiles.

Ignite even so much as a matchbook at this distance
or turn on a flashlight to see what's in the dark
as if you were looking for your mind with your mind on the light
even though it's as abundantly clear as your eyes it's night out,
and the billions of stars in the next closest galaxy,
Messier 31, at eleven o'clock above the middle star
in Andromeda on the rocks, and two million light years
of enlightenment will gently recede back into the cosmic hiss
and disappear from your field of view subliminally
knowing, because the timing's yours, you're a daylily
covering your insight with the petals of your own hands
because you don't know how to open them sidereally yet
from the outside in, where your darkness shines
and the night you turn your face away from
like the bright side of the moon blinds you
by a reflected glory to the radiance of the origins
of your own vision, deep within, where it all begins
emanating stars of the darkness of your own eyes.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 26, 2012

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