– some star – like the articulate
ghost of my fathers and of yours, who
could not speak in life, but in the owlish
afterlife – Ba, Ka, Crow, Lamb... tracked
upstream to Ethiopia, the truth of it –
manuscripted messenger, papyrus
Pappy or Osiris sire, Moses ripened
in the wilderness). Mountain oak-tree.
Cedar. Pitch-black tar (for
mordant). Bebi, General of the Asiatics.
Quick-runner, wasp. Pharaoh’s taxi-
driver. He Who Controls the Rat-
God’s Offspring. Latecomer,
fast-talker. Journalist for Delta
Crescent. Walker of the tiled
ink-paths, typesetter. Market-
rent-collector, solitaire, free-
speaker. Literal, exact, exacting
horsetrading slavestealing tax-
gathering figure of a reefer-
man, fearful, a-feared.
Goes down ghost-trails
under live-oak lairs
of rattlesnakes... adrift
in jagged eddies of nude alphabets.
Murmuring to himself, saliva-
white, spume-frothing blanched
avalanche easily frozen, baffled, back-
stabbed – easily beloved, won-over.
And adhesive through the crane bone
into the gravity waves (nacreous
mob of carnelian nouveaux
baubles all around the funereal
sunken canopy of maudit covenants,
rumors, glittering knives –
ressentiment scripted into feral runes).
A crossroad of aluminum tubing in the swamp.
Ping from outer space, deflecting the rays.
Silence, alligators, flamingos. Yarns
and picayune lagniappe – pommes
de terreurs – spooks and voodoo queens
if you’re scared of the dark – a muttering
broom delta, the sowing of the tombs
beneath the Gulf. Steal, sneak
away now, Jim – Julius is sound asleep.
We’re going down the inky path
toward a kid wrapped up in llama
tarp and catnap tape, tripwired – peels loose
at midnight – watch! While my ghosts
of keen-mauled, kill-skinned, tree-masted
River-Sixties gather steam upstream
like a money-caulked coot of wood-
stuck crocodiles, bobbing at the dawn levee.
Watch – there go the shadows of the swallows!
Soon the sun arrives, lifting over the lousy
prism-blocks (Angola, Ethiopia veiled, unveiled).
so... this trans-historical potlatch... I'm the last of the "modern"! - remnant, ghosty, ghouled. "Millions of strange shadows." With Whitman lurking near the center, at the delta. (this from July - written on JFK dying-day. Poem (Forth of July) circles calendrically around his b-day - 5.29).