for Basquiat, Wylie Dufresne, Bob Viscusi, Trish Hicks We all do the same ol’ same ol’ same. (Some don’t.) Basquiat Dubbed it SAMO©. The buildings made Of bricks the poems about poetry. Viscusi said the hyphenated can’t stop yapping About Nonna, gravy, the Old Country. At St. John’s Rec Center, all the fathers Are missing poems and all the poems are missing Fathers. When the sun dies, so do the birds And the trees fall fast as a butcher’s knife. So I don’t eat food anymore, I eat light. The saying goes: you can tell a good chef By how he cooks an egg. What is the saying For poets? When Wylie Dufresne Cooks eggs, they come out cubed. When Jean-Michel paints eggs, Joe’s red eyes Are in the skillet. SAMO© left his darkness At the speed of light… But who is The Truth, The Light? We don’t discuss these things in our family, And my mother Thinks I’m perfect. We’ve mastered burying The dark stuff deep inside. Mom breathes smoke To keep it at bay, I eat light, a stack of pancakes: A stack of light—coffee, juice, Gatorade: A mug, a glass, a bottle of light—spaghetti With meatballs: strings of light with ornaments of light.
Deep in the Boogie Down— the bassinet of the boom bap where the trinity is The Treacherous Three, English is the third language behind Bronx and Puerto Rican, and I was nervous because I only speak Catholic school and I'm a Red Sox fan. I'm just a student of KRS-1, not a son, on a train fourteen stops beyond my comfort zone hiding behind headphones coughing bass, and a backpack full of lyrics: Notorious B.I.G., Rakim, Perdomo, Run DMC, Brooks, wanting to be real cool, wanting to be their "dawg"— but feeling like a mailman, another Elvis to the students I will lead through a workshop in a language I itch to get my rusted cavities around.