Weary Of The World Tonight - Poem by Patrick White
Weary of the world tonight. Can't stand the lies.
Some drunk loud-mouth out on the street
wants all the girls to know he's there,
My noise is bigger than your noise.
Someone playing a guitar badly in a doorway.
A homeless cat cries, lets out a howl
of torment as if its sinews were being keyed
as tight as guitar strings about to snap.
Out of the window that hasn't said anything yet:
you touch that cat again, slugger,
and I'll be right down with an axe
to give you a gender change. He looks up
startled. But all bullies are cowards
trying to deny it to themselves
while wearing their sister's underpants.
The cat makes a quick getaway
through a dark heritage alleyway.
Supercharged like a fire hydrant full of blood
throbbing through my temples, and demons
I haven't seen in years smiling darkly in the mirrors
my shadow always regretted like left-handed virtues
that got the job done. Demonic compassion,
colder than intelligence, with a deep
poetic sense of of infernal irony
whereas a muse ago in this specious present
I was longing for a small hobby farm
on the dark side of the moon, now
I'm a dragon eating waterlilies down
by the banks of my mindstream
quietly letting go of itself
like an unmoored lifeboat full of emptiness
drifting no where in particular I want to be
except here where I can shed my humanity for awhile
among the living and the dead
who don't care what I am and am not
as long as I'm not a threat to them.
Darkness, my solace, moon, my longing,
Star, warmer than any fire I've ever
sat around to exorcise my ghosts,
you, who've danced like my third eye
with the other two still chained to their irises,
the poetic lucidity that mentored me
in the ways of light and taught me
the creative rapture of the fish
that still swam like flashs of insight
to the surface of my oceanic tears,
I don't know how many light years
either of us have yet to shine or cry over,
but tonight, come down from your unindictable heights
and sit with me like the intimate stranger of a candle
in my eyes, in my soul, in my blood,
be the small flame that trembles in my breath for awhile,
be the sole illumination of my spirit for awhile,
ease my bodymind with the elixir of your radiance
emanating from the inside, and let me
be born again of that fire that burns within me,
purge my starmud of these urns and bones and black dwarfs
that weigh me down like disappointed bells
and feisty mastodons in the tarpits of my heart
that sink deeper the more they struggle to get out.
And I don't even care if you're the last firefly
to transcend my cosmic solitude like a wavelength
of the transmorphic singularity at the beginning of time
that woke the valley up with the roar of a dragon
in that elemental morning of mad genius
that's be the dawn of every moment ever since
in this chiliocosm of energies and forms
flashing out of the mystery of the questions we ask
about the inconceivability of being here to ask them.
No purpose. No meaning. Except the one
we all live vaguely as ourselves like a nebularity
out of which we might precipitate stars
of a different order of shining beyond what we can see.
Sit with me awhile as if we both had the same nature.
And you can look at the world and me through my eyes
and I'll look at you through yours as if I were seeing you
from the inside out, and there were ashes in my heartwood
even before I began to burn, as in yours,
there were the urns of heavy elements even
before they were born of their own afterlife.
Be that moment within me when time breaks into light
and even the shadows, like sunspots, shine
in their own right, and nothing is disturbed,
not even the silence that is intensified when the fish jump
or a dog is barking hills away at what approaches
out of the dark, and the waterbirds in their onceness
might seem to fly away, but have been here from the start.
Fill my life with the unimaginable splendour
of all those nights you've looked down upon the earth
and witnessed the horror and the wildflowers
in the same breath on a cold windowpane in winter
etching the light like an artist with an eye for life
or the praying mantis of a small telescope in the summer
its legs spread like a doe about to drink from her own reflection
or one half of a collapsed bridge to the other side
of everywhere at once. I don't ask for bliss or enlightenment.
Just show me how you make the shadows luminous again.
Even on a starless night, how to mourn like the eyeless rain
even as it renews the leaves and roots of the constellations
of the wild asters with their violet plinths and yellow suns
burning fiercely as a distant relation of your myriad myths of origin.
Do that for me and I'll show you how to intensify
the darkness into a diamond chrysalis of transformation
like a deeper mystic bliss in life, enhanced by the ores of pain,
as your light is by the night, or the flying stickshifts
of the dragonflies put the waterlilies in park for the night
as if they'd just got out of a car by the side of an unknown road,
not to find out where they are, but just
to gape up at the stars in the midst of decay
and let the wonder of it all heal me as it always has
by showing me how to make a cradle out of a grave
or the long, slow art of a human out of a wounded heart.
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