Song of Discipline

You have to cultivate obsession. Read dirt
and decode clouds. You must become detective
of your own mind, and uncover the gruesome secrets
that’ll undermine your empire. Your life can be excavated
from the noise: within the unshapen metal bar
lie the knife, the needle,
and the neuron. But you have to peel yourself,
abase yourself before all, confronting
the only real enemy. You have to
offer your bones as bread,
and donate blood to everyone listening,
squeezing every last drop of juice from your head.
You have to mount the ninety-nine stages
of humiliation,
letting eyeballs slide dripping off your face.
Death will draw closer: you’ll see it smile,
and hear your own real thoughts.
You must dive
into the prismatic waterslide of memories
searching for the weak spot
to break yourself open;
swim back upstream
into the womb of light
to head the past off at the pass,
to catch the last rolling smatterings
of what you did not love in time.
You have to make yourself real.
You have to die for your sins
and not ours.