"Hagiography 1 (a friend walking home)"
I imagine you and your Ludi eyes,
crossing feet homeward towards a respective rook,
feeling the olive throb of your veins
tempting the bleach of the night's cold.
We hoisting a palate of lies,
we pray for swan-skinned maidens
to sweep our stone clean,
for carlies with arched temples
to appraise the tombs
we've drug from some holy land.
My ribs, beloved, friend,
are yours reaching just the same,
cracking like kindling in our fraternal
O, what can't your boy do with his renaissance auspiciousness? Die, apparently, as I've been efforting as much as the next for now on thirty years. I stand from bed each day only to gift my blood the chance to drain from my head.
When your life is consumed with grief it can be a screw turned into a rotten tooth, the singular pain that defines your entire existence. I hesitate to say this, but I think I know already the feeling of loss of a parent or child, of a loved one, the final amputation of Love. When one feels like one will never live again, and when you do, what next?
"Hank Williams, dead at 29"
Ah, the plush seat of a Cadillac,
a fine American auto,
here is where I lie my head,
tossy hair sprawled
in some fictitious Christ-pose,
never to rise,
knowing that I soar sore soar
from broken eyes,
wings of barroom paper,
heart of the godly love of Pain
and heart of the god of Pills.
"Otis Redding, dead at 26"
I still see you, Otis;
You defy and define
the light and the dark,
you who splashed your blood
upon fiberglass fins
and filled your beautiful lungs
with the rotten water of some northern lake.
Your silhouette is that of a street lamp,
and within I find a mirror;
it blinks when I blink.
*a startling influx of cute black girls in my neighborhood
*noticing finally in an empty graveyard that my backpack's plastic clasps knock like bones
*a dog with a mosquito head
I've never finished Rimbaud's "A Season in Hell", though I've owned several copies. It, that is, a copy of it, along with Ferlinghetti's "A Coney Island of the Mind", are in my mind's eye silently moldering and mummifying in some great old Chevrolet, wedged in the groin where windshield meets defrost vent, bleached dusty pages eroding across a dashboard, unread. Why I lent her Rimbaud, especially not having finished it, is beyond me, for as surely as that summer melted into a dank fall I had already learned that all I found exciting about this Some Her was ultimately flashing teeth and terrible driving and breasts still stupidly prideful and that we smoked bud while fucking but it was all gross, grossed me out and myself grossing out as well, limply slapping time with gypsy fantasy, so I threw dark books at her, dark books I hadn't even been able to finish. I hear it echoing still around the empty skull of her car, grimacing as worms as to thighs as to wild eyes rolling in an empty head, her breasts and their promises barren when their flesh was forced down my dry throat. I pretended the candles and beads and dark poems made the situation desperate, but I embarrassed only myself.
His name is Despair,
and he is my ghost.
He lives in mirrors,
though in this instance
"lives" may be giving too much credence
as there is plenty to be had
apart from the realm
of the contextually
warm and breathing,
slave to their empty dreams
and unable to fly unfettered.
"Leaving the Card Game"
I have such tremendous energy,
but when left rudderless
have no sink within which to bury it.
One step at a time,
when morning's still breath
becomes a cyclone.
Walking a thin line bleeding,
the avenue is alive
in each way I am not.
Maybe I can fish romanticism yet
from some sort of defeat,
from "Yo no soy yo",
as goblins gobble
and men Stand and Walk.
I alone am not I,
turning data to birdless wings,
sparrows remembering the dreams of men,
and I put faith in happy selfishness,
and selfish happiness,
which both remind me
that tomorrow a new sun rises
upon a new earth,
and each funereal clod fallen
is a new lung to breathe,
a new breath to be won,
a new rose upon a frightful sidewalk
that beneath the sun's scrutiny
I promise that I will remember yesterday's bats
and tomorrow's green fruit.
I pray Gawd bless our young love,
and carry the answer's to yesterday's flowers,
and tomorrow's sorrows.
I give myself dirty looks in the mirror.