MENORAH’S CRADLE (written in collaboration with Trilby Farthingale)

In my nights of cruising through the Unknown Zone
I integrated my riffraffy aspects

into my psyche. I saw antipodes everywhere,
caught innocence in flagrante with its looking-

glass counterpart, depravity. Slogging across
the rice paddy was no cakewalk: you had a

votive candle up your stovepipe; moreover,
a scarecrow accosted you. You paused

in rapt contemplation of his sartorial
choices, his mixing & matching of decades.

Though nostalgic for a primordial age of flannel-
clad grunge bands, you pay no obeisance to

the custom of playing Russian roulette, of dervishing
until you puke blood for the anointment

of doorposts & lintels. If the menorah
on your windowsill is cat-shaped, the Super Sabres

won’t napalm your house. The asterisks
from your sleeve turn cartwheels down the bubblegum

stretched out o’er th’o’erweening pride of lions.
I disbelieve in belief; I’m hightailing it

back to my chronic scepticism, vast
tracts of which are teeming with seasnakes

who moan in chorus: “I’d rather dunk my donut
in nightness, Lord, sleep in a hollow log,

than disenfranchise myself by refusing to vote
for inverting the fire escape with a camera obscura.”

In an alternate world you can hack through a cat’s-cradle
of conflicting opinions, ransack your mind

for the in-dwelling Buddha. If you’re too
afraid of your own madness to write poetry,

invoke the Supernal Powers, the silicone tits
that protrude from the TV screen when it’s blizzarding

with static. Or keep a voluminous diary
in which you indulge in orgies of esoteric

name-dropping & fingerprint-lifting. The cool
fool licking the dominatrix’s boots

incites you to perversion. Italicized
by passion you’ll strangle your karmic soulmate all

over again–or maybe just bitch-slap him until
the musical notes fall out of his speech balloon.