They are like those crazy women who tore Orpheus when he refused to sing, these men grinding in the strobe & black lights of Pegasus. All shadow & sound. "I'm just here for the music," I tell the man who asks me to the floor. But I have held a boy on my back before. Curtis & I used to leap barefoot into the creek; dance among maggots & piss, beer bottles & tadpoles slippery as sperm; we used to pull off our shirts, & slap music into our skin. He wouldn't know me now at the edge of these lovers' gyre, glitter & steam, fire, bodies blurred sexless by the music's spinning light. A young man slips his thumb into the mouth of an old one, & I am not that far away. The whole scene raw & delicate as Curtis's foot gashed on a sunken bottle shard. They press hip to hip, each breathless as a boy carrying a friend on his back. The foot swelling green as the sewage in that creek. We never went back. But I remember his weight better than I remember my first kiss. These men know something I used to know. How could I not find them beautiful, the way they dive & spill into each other, the way the dance floor takes them, wet & holy in its mouth.
For Crying Out Loud
And I understand well now, it is beautiful
to be dumb: my tyrannical inclinations, my love
for the prodigal jocks aging from primetime
to pastime, the pixilated plain people and colored folk
with homemade signs. Cutouts, cutups, ambushes,
bushwackers. The clouds are overwhelmed
and vainglorious. MC Mnemosyne showed up
around midnight like the undetectable dew
weighing the leaves, and I was like Awww shit.
Why ain't I dead yet
like the man who wanted to be buried
with the multi-million dollar Van Gogh he bought?
(Members of The Arts League said No
because there was culture to be made into money.)
The volant statues of the aviary, the jabber-jawed
cable channels and the book in which nothing is written
but the words everyone uses to identify things
that can’t be identified. Not that I ain’t spent
the last ten years of my life refining my inner cyborg.
Interview questions included how did the DJ break his hands,
who’s gone bury the morticians who bury the dead,
And what to do about the sublime and awful music
of grade school marching bands?
Not that Neanderthals have a sense of the existential.
Me and my forty-leventh cousins lolling, and LOL-ing
like chthonic chronic smoke, like high-water suit pants
and extreme quiet. Everybody clap ya hands.
Like fit girls in fitted outfits, misfits who don’t cry enough,
who definitely don’t sob, but keep showing up sighing.
Everyone loves to identify things that have not been identified.
The rabbit hole, where ever I find it, symbolizes solitude.
So that’s exciting. And an argument can be made
on behalf of athletes, rap stars, and various other brothers
who refuse (click here for the entire video)
to wear shirts in public when one considers the beauty
of a black torso. If and when the dashiki is fashionable
again I will sport it with the aplomb of a peacock plume.
For now, I have a row of coin-sized buttons tattooed
down my chest so it looks like I mean business
when I'm naked. I know that means a lot to you.