Night Poem XIX

Night of desolation,
you reduce me to this,
husk of a crippled light.
I was a man,
and man is a beast of the day,
filled out like a coat without substance.

I was a man,
and man is a word, no more than a whimper,
in your dark amphitheater.
Why do you strip me of everything,
save these two ancient aches, death and love?

Alone by your silent lake,
pure amplifier of my id,
I fear only death, its totemic heartbeat,
its beckoning festivals.

Alone in your infinite vault,
I remember only lost loves,
the luxuriant spider of a vengeful heart,
the torrid, teasing skin of sudden memory.

Night, you destroyer of my sunlit facades,
I am remade with every dark hour,
the perfected image of your
adamantine agonies.

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Night Poem XVIII

Beautiful mama,
you’re burning up.
What terrible fever have
I put in you?

All night,
the fever burns you
in and out of love.
Damn it baby, I want your fever too.

Your skin hot on my tongue,
your breasts like flame,
your violent whimpers
scratch like thorns.

The louder you get,
the closer I come to a star of agony.
Beautiful mama, I’m burning up.
What terrible fever have you put in me?

I want your disdain,
I want your coy hips,
I want your blood’s exhaustion,
I want the anarchy of your dark sheets.

Night Poem XVII

Who can resist the night,
disobey her giant’s arms?
See how she dims their fierce lives,
for her dark palms are cribs,
and in them lie, in equal count,
lizards and women.

They accept this,
the soft erasure of their finite span,
and call it sleep.
Given a name, sleep becomes part
of the logical momentum of our
feverish accumulations.

But sometimes one, quite inexplicably,
yet filled with strange expectation,
refuses to close his eyes,
and waits up into the night’s deep realm.

And he discovers in her deserted streets,
her rustling orchards,
an amplified existence,
weird noises that echo
the weirdness of his own soul.

What the boys and girls bestowed and
named with songs and rumours,
the night assiduously removes.
What he used to call bird cries,
could now be wind, could be colours.

What once was wakefulness
is now pure tension,
the promised vibration of his fear and longing.
And the day bestows, and the night effaces.

And he walks on through her deserted streets,
out of language, out of landscape,
until his name has no meaning,
and is only a chord struck on the night’s enormous bell.

Night Poem XVI

Who hurt you, night?
Who was it that gave you your melancholic gait?
The suffering of the void became too much for you, didn’t it?
And so you came down here and entered me,
and all the others like me.
Then you could bear the weight of your own heart again.

Now the night dwells in me
like a duke alone in his chateau.
And he wanders from room to room,
speaking gruffly to himself,
and stands at windows,
and turns away with an involuntary smile.

And he fills me with the primordial memories
of ruined love,
of all the love that came and went long before me,
the love that became the night’s blue hurt.
Night, my tenant,
I listen to your afflictions with an ear pressed inward,
and what I translate becomes my strength.

Night Poem XV

I turn my back and laugh
at the corpse of the day
with a knife in his back,
a smile on his face.
Around him,

the eunuchs of my memory
slumped and lifeless;
they tried to pin the deed on me.
I have no time for these stragglers,

their parrot-like recriminations
that keep me here
in the sun’s dead temples.
There are thunderstorms,

horizon devouring winds,
that will forgive me this violence;
they ready me for a pure and
uncompromising shore.

It was necessary to become
the self’s inexorable assassin,
to put these enemies of my purpose to rest.
On the other side,

I will be essential dust
in no man’s night.

Night Poem XIV

I don’t want this voice of day
to follow me into the night.
I want a cabin in a clearing
beneath the broken river of stars,
far from love.
I am exhausted by my failed plans,
and the grandiosity of my youth,
my shadow like a wet and miserable dog.
In a clearing by a cabin
deep in the mountains,
there is a hole, deep and wide,
where I will bury the weight of this body.
And then I will give the stone my name
and toss it into the broken river.
And I will ply the bandit’s trade
with the outlawed night,
and like a stolen heart,
I will never return.

Night Poem XIII

You, my most terrifying friend,
I have needed you before all others.
When the women in my life
pained me with a broken shard of perfume,
I sought you in the moonlit streets,
and we would converse
in wide arcs of anger and solitude.
Being a morose man, I needed your dark humour.
And when the world took its too solid forms,
as if to spite me,
and the day threatened me with
a well laid plan,
I would come to you,
my oldest, most terrible friend,
wine bottle tucked under my sleeve,
ready to erase the edges of what I was becoming,
and you would remind me of what is essential;
the absurdity of the moon,
the chaos in my heart.