RIP to my old friend, Too many stories to attend, Late night discussions, Love life repercussions, Readings and road trips And memorable quips, Surviving a fire bombing, Living for poeticizing, Other wild and surreal times, A few misdemeanor crimes, Hilarity and sadness, A touch of divine madness That defies death, Friendship its frozen breath.
Shameful to carve a falcon in granite, To cage swallows in starless stone, To mummify crocodile and Nile perch And bury them in the desert, sacrilege, To imprison lions in mineral, Predators trapped in pictographs, Prey powerless to escape pursuit. The cobra has no spit in sandstone, The bee has neither sting nor honey, The sacred ibis sinks into sediment And vultures weigh a ton a piece. Scavengers face their own erosion. Baboons gaze at stonework sunrises. Sparrows eat the last grains of light. Figures of famine begin to fracture. Cartoons of war crack at the core. All this weighs humankind’s entelechy Against the weight of a feather.
I won’t know if I’m awake or dreaming. I’ll be carried by water A long way out into the open. I’ll feel what the birds feel When they plunge into the cold. My bones will never be addressed again, My ashes will cease all communication With faith or doubt. A star will alight on a leaf. I’ll be at the birth of time, The beginning of music. The natal universe will embody me.
A decade of teeth eating hearts, You can feel vileness spewing, Like being unbaptized into hate By aspersoriums of acidic waters, By words used as weapons, The determined dissimulation Of propaganda into vox populi, Garbled garbage recycled As word meat for the ravenous. Can’t you hear the gibbering Of the ape stuck in the man? Can’t you hear the road rage In the cataclysms to occur? Teeth eating hearts, eating money, Eating the flesh of the earth… All of us, enemies of each other And enemy of one’s own self In the language wherein we’re born.
Passing a barbershop I see my father. He’s reading his newspaper, as he often did. He looks trapped by the mirrors In which he worked, like a living specter. I ask for a haircut and shave But my father doesn’t recognize me. I’ve grown too old to be his son. As he cuts my hair, I feel the same touch And his same skill with a razor. We talk about sports, as we always could. After the haircut I pay and leave. I don’t wake the barber from his dream Or myself, from my own.
Since childhood I’ve been unraveling The spools in nonna’s sewing box Needles for the handiwork of the moon Pins for the sky against the sky Thimbles for the chalice of the invisible Measuring tapes for night’s endless garment Scissors for the unseeming of space Scraps for the patchwork of time The white thread from the black And the blue and white threads She passed through the eye of a needle Unspooling her own life in shadow