Red Moon


Triggers, like on guns,
set your fire off,
are the switches for wilderness.

At sixteen it’s ultimate.
I loved how music
drowned what felt wrong.
An inner world of spells.
Power to save me
from petrifications of the workaday.

But I hated it too
because fire played with me so,
embarrassing me uninvited,
puffing me up preposterous and red
so I’d demand the world burn
rather than prove my crisis wrong,
holding dark truths on my side.
I wasn’t permitted to forget
a single truth is its own denial.
Still, who was I to resist,
kick the habit, what would you begin to call it?

Nothing has ever sanctified us,
or made us more life-like
than the conviction of burning gut feelings.
No inherited truth competes—
what’s known in the bones does not
consult the part with words.
That’s still true.

This adulthood is just a scaffold of trigger guards
that come at the expense of expressing the self through time.
So that sometimes we miss unfiltered volatility,
and what we meant by love,
and we turn desparate to release the pressure
and there are ways we pay for that.
Our cultural obsessions
are serial dilutions
of precious few denominators.
But mostly today we fear hot blood, and regard the trigger
as an insidious trump
that looms over all the hard work we’ve ever done,
a ringing in the ears,
a chant that we’re all in denial.

It is tempting to say
that we invited the one hundred checks
against our own impulses
because we are broken by civilization
and know what we need
no longer.

But the desire to control the self
must be just as fiercesome and innate,
and infinitely more calculating,
than the gnashing, transcendent animal
that burns out in starlight.
It has also grown in side of me.

Today, I wake at 5am
rather than crash to exhaustion with daybreak.
And I walk out the front door in bare feet
because it’s the only time I can smell the weather
and prove hidden stars.

It isn’t fair to have to say what we ourselves are avoiding.