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Harrowing Hell bRUCE lYON


Harrowing Hell


Harrowing Hell Bruce Lyon

White Stone Publishing Aotearoa窶年ew Zealand


White Stone Publishing

23 Garfield Street, Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand Phone 64 21 188 6118 whitestone3@gmail.com First published 2013 © Bruce Lyon, 2013 Except as provided by the NZ Copyright Act 1994, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the author. Requests and enquiries should be directed to White Stone Publishing. Lyon, Bruce Philip, 1957– Harrowing Hell / Bruce Lyon ISBN 978-0-473-23610-6 Editor: Barbara Maré Printed by Printing.com, Wellington

Contents Epitaph ................................................................................................. 1 Heart Howl ........................................................................................... 2 This Christmas ...................................................................................... 4 Our Love Life........................................................................................ 5 Ruby Rose ............................................................................................. 6 Dad ....................................................................................................... 7 Shakara ................................................................................................. 8 Aroused ................................................................................................. 9 Standing in the Dawn Parade .............................................................. 10 The Lament of the Losing Sperm......................................................... 12 The Seventies ....................................................................................... 14 We ...................................................................................................... 16 Captain Crazy ..................................................................................... 17 Arriving at the Winery ........................................................................ 18 Dark Light .......................................................................................... 19 Everything Else is Just Another Clever Corpse Move ........................... 20 Today .................................................................................................. 21 Not Today ........................................................................................... 22 Flying Into It ....................................................................................... 23 The Vampire’s Lament ......................................................................... 24 Heart Temple ...................................................................................... 26 Dear Lucifer ........................................................................................ 27 Hell ..................................................................................................... 28


Epitaph His enthusiasm for life caused others to entertain unnecessary hope

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Heart Howl “He who cannot howl will never find his pack.� Charles Simic I confess that I have never been entirely trustworthy because I have not been totally truthful about who I am. I have ducked, fudged, pretended and defended. I have been afraid and ashamed. I have projected and rejected, sought outside for that which I am. I confess I have betrayed myself in the name of belonging and then betrayed every group, relationship, belief system or identity that I belonged to if it prevented me from loving and belonging to all others. Chameleon-like I have blended into every environment, hiding, waiting, gathering strength. I confess that I am love and have always been in spite of the veils I so eagerly wrapped myself in. I confess that confessing is both a total relief and a vulnerable surrender. I feel like I have been coming out since the sixties but only now emerging naked into a world that both desperately wants love and is also desperate to prove it does not exist and cannot be trusted. This is the freeing of love and the loving of freedom. My heart tells me that all over the world others are emerging, blinking from their caves because some horn has been sounded somewhere in cosmos, calling us. I know I do not have the strength to stand and walk alone although I need no assistance. It does not matter. It is time. And so this is my heart howl to my pack, my tribe who has no tribe. What unites them is the confession, the truth telling, each inside his or her own heart that they no longer have any choice but to emerge like cicadas coming up from the earth or turtles hatching 2

on the moon and beginning the run to the sea. Some deep tide of awakening has come upon us and another generation that has been dreaming and nurturing the truth that it is love, is ripe and bursting. It is not an organisation or a creed but an irresistible movement, a stirring of the cosmic soul—synergistically and synchronistically convergent. Some things I know deep in the rhythms and pulsings of my heart blood. I am not an activist or a pacifist, a conservationist or a hedonist. I am love and I have no idea what I am going to do next. I am not straight, gay, bisexual or transgender. I am neither monogamous, polyamourous, promiscuous or celibate. I am love and I have no idea who or how I am going to love next. I am not conservative or liberal, green, blue or teal. I am not muslim, buddhist, christian or jew. I am love and I have no idea what I am going to think or adore next. There is nothing inner or outer, above or below, left or right that I adhere to. My fidelity is to the moment by moment arising in the core of the heart which lets me know what is truth for me, here, now. I am radical, dangerous to all that seeks to exclude or contain me, wild, free and beautiful. I choose this way, this flow of eros, this pathless path unfolding in each creative moment for it is my way, the way that the love I am wants to unfold and flow into my world. I do not know your way but I am curious to see how the love that you are is calling you, dancing you in your own journey to the ocean. This is my full moon heart howl and I sound it clear and strong on the winds of spirit blowing through the torn veils in the temple that is this beautiful earth.

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This Christmas

Our Love Life

Love used me outrageously to shout its poetry into so many ears that I am as unwrapped as all my presents for a while I danced on this great wave like a surfer or a dolphin but then it broke... I fell no board, no body, no I wiping out so completely dissolving in love cut like a sheaf of wheat at the height of summer my last breath a prayer that I would never rise up again but I did and in the inevitability of resurrection now there is this poem the first green shoot a soft pillow whisperer calling me to love’s bed all over again

We lay curled up together in the first singularity and watched the galaxies burst into being we were there when the earth formed in the molten longing for single-celled life we greened with the first algae and crawled together on to dry land we cheered when the first homo became erectus and painted cave walls with our blood and the orange earth we are the love that waited for words and lips to form them 14 billion years of conscious evolution welling up in our bodies, hearts and minds reaching towards each other in the matrix the incredible miracle of shared awareness so right now may you feel the warm breath that has clothed itself in this word caress may our hearts resonate together in the tawny heart of the Lion of cosmic fire a vibratory celebration we are awake, in love and love is awake, as us weaving its magical way through our world

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Ruby Rose

Dad

It is said that we are never given less than we deserve in life or more than we can take you stretched us on both counts we must accept that we deserved the presence of such a loving being and we must trust that we can take your leaving with the same courage and grace you showed us daily in your fight to be here and love us the blood of the soul runs‌ a ruby rose

One by one I am introducing the grandchildren to your kauris it takes time to grow good heart wood season after season of sap and sun versus gravity each new ring embracing the last One generation of humans is like a single wave curling towards the beach at the foot of this valley but it is the same water in each wave and the same love in me that moves through from you to them It takes time to grow good heart words as well may these few saplings return a current of appreciation back to you as I tend the next generation of human trees in this beautiful and fragile forest called family

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Shakara

Aroused

The veil tears on the mountain top and your naked divinity rushes into me in those moments when the Presence sears through all self consciousness I will be your witness your bush is burning God is here Beloved

We who stand up for love are the pink bits the erogenous zones the erectile tissue of humanity the rush we feel is the passionate blood of a second coming lifting us swollen with the sap of freedom into an ecstatic cosmic embrace we stand naked vulnerable and unafraid for we rise on an invincible tide we are the first rosy blush of an awakened earth aroused and ready for the ride

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Standing In The Dawn Parade What is wrong with a good hard on? It’s a wonder men’s cocks can still lift at all under all the dark quilts of shame sometimes I think the best part of men lies half dead in grey suits under board room tables or buried in black cassocks in the bowels of the vatican while stiff-necked dickheads mind-fuck each other and our whole world

there will come again a day after nature has humbled our brittle ambitions to live forever when the flies will open and the phalli will be more welcome in the heaven of this life than any dreams of immortality in some future one.

The brave and vulnerable erection a celebration of life and the sap of spring when unable to lift in the body of our delight hardens our arteries and opinions instead rising in the shadow lands of politics and porn listen all you false accusers and dispensers of blame to the inverse law of the phallus the more men try to keep the towers of the ego standing hard for all seasons—the limper our dicks will become A standing cock is a beautiful and ephemeral thing more like a breaking wave or a prayer of praise than a monument of stone but the rock-hard edifice of shame-stoked viagra-charged compensatory world domination ego projects? well that is another story Aphrodite has no power there and Hades must and will crack those nuts open 10

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The Lament Of The Losing Sperm I knew that little wriggler long before the big spasm the charge of the 50 million down the valley of the vas deferens

O great goddess hold us in your heart the billions of us for whom this brief life on earth is a bitter journey of longing defeat and then…laundry.

We grew up in the same neighbourhood we hung out together you might say our families swam in similar circles politically left of centre south of the main trunk line Those were the seminal years before we were pitted against each other before all the pubic meetings the gender wars that left us prostrate in the trenches of Cowper’s gland waiting for the order to go over the tip And now he (let’s call him Rocky or The Donald ) And now he has ‘made it’ all the way to the top of the regina’s vagina aced the cervix drilled the egg home run fertilisation day! While we keep swimming upstream leaping like salmon into the bear’s mouth drying on sheets in 30sqm rented apartments on Nelson St knowing we will never, now, own the building 12

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The Seventies Somewhere between our first orgasm and our first real jobs in a purple haze listening to smoke on the water with friends who had not yet learned to protect their hearts from one another we opened the door to our generational fire lit in the sixties simmering through civil rights and long nights talking about breaking out of the little boxes where our parents sat around their square tables hassling us about our hair Somewhere out of the tension between our dreams and the need for rent the lovers we had and the ones we longed for the need to break things down and build ourselves up each was launched on a unique trajectory of love and freedom

How many bodies of old friends must we identify on cold mortuary slabs How many times do we need to appear as character witnesses for each other in the internal courts of a dying culture How many of our lovers must walk naked into the void before we realise that we are not alone and can never be When will this generation that set out to find itself discover we were love after all? We are leaves in the same storm my friends but now the wind is blowing through us and we barely move at all Hold my hair back once more while I vomit this powerful spirit too strong for my soul back into the white bowl of time

We sat through lectures in calculus and physics when we needed to learn how to handle suffering Where do they teach you that the only way through is to keep opening until the hinges on the heart are totally broken and the world can walk in whenever it wants Where do they teach you that true power is not with governments or rebellion but in being able to listen and respond with honesty and beauty to whatever wells up moment by moment from the inside of everything 14

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We

Captain Crazy

There is a sound that the heart makes when it has reached the limits of its capacity to love that can be heard in the core of all hearts there are calls for help we instinctively obey this morning I could feel such a power reaching for the hilt of me drawing me from the stone of my daily grind all over the world I sensed others pause, suddenly awake listening for the horn of the spirit blown by some wielder of the light and dark mysteries kneeling at peace in a field of struggle then we are running like lions through the golden grass of time and space game on

There’s someone coming honey but it ain’t the Christ not Buddha or Mohammed they had their little roll of the dice Been sleeping there inside you since before the big bang been walking right beside you since the dawning of man oh baby you don’t have to believe me cos you just know that its true something crazy is on its way from the inside of you let it through darling let it through the force that spins the universe has chosen you to play a part this earth needs something stronger than caffeine to start the heart don’t be afraid of judgement day and the hammer coming down it ain’t written babe but I have faith that you’ll ride into town and you don’t have to believe me cos you just know that it’s true captain crazy is on his way from the inside of you

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Arriving at the Winery

Dark Light

I am at the edge of everything I know and still my heart demands another step very well but I cannot take it you must take it in me conquer me from the inside out in the centre of my being is a hole through which the universe pours a dark nectar so rich that 100 billion suns burst into light around me I have no idea how this happens and no longer care I am the chief drunk at the party in residence at the bar finally I have come on a journey with no return everything i have and am i lay at your feet crush me so that some sweet scent of you spills out into the night

Don’t look to me for that kind of leadership Last life I led the charge roused the passion and watched it bleed into the very soil on which this city is built this time round I am an empty lot letting the weeds crack the old concrete holding space for street kids to experiment with eros honing a new sovereignty a radiant dark light that will effortlessly supernova the sun god’s heart

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Everything Else is Just Another Clever Corpse Move

Today

It’s just not doing it for me baby I can’t seem to be your man and this thing called making a living feels like dying where I stand

I want to be alone and walk through the terror into ecstasy Alone. No other arms to hold me I will eat the core of the soul i sol ate even to be alone with God is an unnecessary companionship As God, alone I am unknown abandonment is a doorway bereft i inherit the kingdom

I’ve tried to imitate the others learn the craft if not the art and I’ve checked out every chest I met but never found a heart the corpses here are clever they know how to clap and sing they rouge their cheeks but it’s plain to me there’s no real blood in anything so it’s time for a gracious exit i’ve gotta cut the binding cord just tell ‘em I couldn’t hack it no need to say that I was bored there may be dignity in drudgery and gold in the buy and the sell but courage has whispered my name to me a wind has come, be well

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Not Today

Flying Into It

Today I rest some wind can decide whether to turn left or right and if I should phone my mother

30,000 feet and moving towards Japan earthquake, tsunami and now nuclear radiation what is it that draws me towards this? the closer I get the more my heart opens to a culture that does its suffering stoically hands cover mouths that quiver with emotion a bowed head a body sitting amongst impossible rubble human calligraphy each line of the body cries out in a simple language understood by all things that bear weight bridges, dams, the small bones in the feet there is a gravity to suffering that draws the heart near as the light falls down the stairs of simplicity each breath becomes a prayer for the strength to take another

if some poem wants to write itself through me well there are a thousand poem shaped holes in this fevered mind and gaping wounds in the heart I cannot help shape words though even my editor is in love I’m tired of drawing a co-creator’s salary best to live on alms and confess I was really just getting in the way I had this whole gig going where I thought God needed me hands and feet and all that crap Shit I needed God so bad I could barely breathe Today I am like a grave digger standing by his own grave

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The Vampire’s Lament It’s innocence I’m drinking the lack of trust that makes me strong breathing in fragments of denial and breathing out this song it’s your innocence I’m drinking one more transfusion of hope while the dark winds of karma gut seven centuries of guile my death was just the beginning of a deeper dance with pain if I had ’ve seen that coming I’d never have opened the vein

you cannot kill what has never been alive or dead either the undead IS and the choices already made are beyond all vengeful hands you have no idea how much control you will have to abandon to know me as I am sleep and be food awaken and feed one way or another it is dinnertime in the cosmic restaurant It’s innocence I’m drinking

long ago I gave up judging the evil from the good I drink because I’m thirsty I grieve because I hurt there is a stake sized hole in this heart longing to be filled and a love that burns through time like a pizza hurled from a starship I have cut my eyes on the serrated edge of the human soul a dark light is streaming inward over the event horizon from the black hole of non-existence touch the centre of my heart there’s nothing there never was 24

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Heart Temple

Dear Lucifer

Today I am preparing the heart temple tidying up all my affairs cleaning the ego grime from the soul windows and the cobwebs from my shadow choosing a small sweet flower of gratitude out of my feeling garden for the chest altar where one red candle hosts the freedom flame finally the blessing of the ritual sword and now i lay this head down on the curved block of the body ready once more for the life-giving blow

I’ve finally arrived at a place where I’d like to hear your story If you have time If you have the inclination I wanted pretty bad to be good so I actively shunned you like a good boy should But I found the point of darkness in their holy sphere of light I’ve eaten so much of their daylight I need to wash it all down with some night I have two handfuls of clay excavated from the feet of prophets and this heart will do for a kiln but the breath of life lies hidden in your domain to make of this factory-built puppet a living human again And yes I’ve been back to heaven like a child who forgot the reason for his journey this time I have it tattooed on the sensitive skin around my ass oh and here’s a letter of introduction seems like I could do with some work on a sense of humour.

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Hell I like songs of hope too but they are not what I need right now no angel descending from the heights can comfort this heart I need the one who rises shaggy, unbowed, from the depths the one who has seen the cycles come and go the one who waits and works without hope, underground shut off from light and love knowing that he is these... and more he has the power to endure exile for as long as it takes and the power to receive the projected hate of a civilisation hungry for salvation from its self-generated pain

is all I need that and the shovel he puts in my hands I look down at the rich volcanic soil on the surface of a planet that has been circling its dark galactic core for 5 billion years ...and begin to dig.

Only that one knows what I need in the place I have arrived at unbroken, he comes up from the pits and holds my hand he does not tell me it is going to be alright he knows it is not he does not tell me we can save the earth he knows that is beyond our power he does not point to the rainbow or the dove but down into the bowels of the earth itself where the serpents have coiled their dark wisdom There is no talk of heaven or hell there is no talk at all his touch, his presence, his companionship and the fact that he has survived so much suffering for so long 28

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