To Orlando and Beyond
All in the rhythm of a normal night
the banging speakers dropped
the beats that pulsed life
through warm, muscled flesh.
Our long arms outstretched
in poses and poetry and longing
twirling, twinning strands of DNA,
agape and eros spinning, and more
and more and more,
spread your love more, because
Why not love more?
The lights sang searing tones
that rainbow-strobed across
the refreshing pool of shirtless chests
bared and baring so much.
The latest diva always has your back.
When it all came down
all those men and all those women,
would never let me take it alone.
Alone, there I would never be alone,
not as the one who had dwelled
drunken alone in the corner,
drunker and drunker into a selfless pit
so dark he would never,
never see himself again. That night
he returned at closing time
and began to blacken the room
to pitch all into his emptiness,
his one vanishing point, darkness
as his clack clack clack
deafened the club’s rhythm
draining one beat at a time.
Then came mine, and I,
like a white mist, coiled my insides out
from the rising white wisps,
and spirited from myself
and left them all behind,
each to their own end,
to freedom from
the soft dust that settled us
after the bullets shattered
bones and bricks
completing their commandments.
It was there, behind the dumpster
with red-white-blue police lights trilling,
out of range, where I knew we would arise
springing from all ancestries’ strands
that demand more love, more love
more love, more love
no matter the fire and the rubble.
I just had to believe it.
“Here” appears in the morning
like waking itself.
the dark mumbling.
The street post bulb,
its flicker-buzz. Then
the world begins behind
the thick white mist.
Then a house, one switch
clicks, opening up
the inside into a cave
of light. Then the street lamp’s
flicked off lozenge of bright.
Inside, a human shadow
rises before a mirror. Then the brume
fades into a blank day.
Already I missed so much tomorrow
will nearly white out today.
That Which Has No Name
Renee named him “Burlap Man,”
a word meant to be as tender
as it was brutal
for a giant as unknown
as he appeared gentle.
All she had to go on was
his burlap sack suit,
his burlap-wrapped feet,
and his overstuffed grocery cart
that rattled and shrieked metal
as he slogged it down Roscoe Street.
Her words painted over him
with the ease that Goya's oils covered
one of his madmen into history,
but her words floated between
the world and what she saw
like red, blue and yellow water colors
dripping over a completed masterpiece.
When the bitter Chicago winter night
forced him into her warm vestibule,
she asked me to assure she
nervously passed him--
daggered eyes mirrored one another
in fight or flight?—as she stepped
into the allusions of safety behind
her double-locked apartment door.
As I turned the wheel
to round her corner,
a queer white mist,
despite the cold, hung
over a dissolving world
until I comfortably arrived
to a home as dry as paint.
Macaroons & Espresso
Under the watchful eye
of Aegean Sea April sky,
the sun’s glamour
glossed this slick cellophane bag
wrapped around mango-flesh yellow,
blueberry skin, and birch leaf green macaroons
(anybody with five bucks can buy)
whose sugars divinize
the tongues flesh with pleasure
only to be annihilated with a sip
of pitch, espressoed bitterness shot through
my tongue’s tip and out the back
of my head, blasting my mind
and racing into the starry-eyed distances.
Must this be the sweet & bitter surge
the believers feared
when they prayed
with envy the power of their god.
These stubborn, hairy tufts
remain despite the indifference
of winds that blast from the North
and from the South.
They arise each year in green
and gold and spikes of splendor.
Like flagged quarter notes, a field full of them,
as far as my eye can see,
undulates in waves that ripple and repel
all the hell bent on whipping each one
away from their lives
singing towards the skies they resist.
Their power is not with
the individual limp blade
matted down in mud
by the piously insistent elements
but the masses of them bending
prostate together but do not break.
If I had to follow one way,
it would be theirs,
to face life that fiercely, that resolutely,
that wild in the dirt,—that’s a life,
steadfast with a weather-buffed smile--
that’s a life I could dig my hands into.