Midnight sings the blues from the rooftops
Of old washed up little lighthouses
Where ships don’t come, anymore.
Midnight having had her fill
Of blood and flesh,
Sings to the moon.
Midnight makes new friends out of faces
And the shadows grow longer and longer
And they become things that create shadows.
Things with dust, and history, and that smell
That only old, forgotten things ever have.
So midnight, sits on roof tops, and basements
And endless corridors
Singing the blues.
The hum of the night that is always there in sleeping worlds
The sounds that penetrate dreams and nothing else.
Midnight sings the blues like a free black man,
Waiting for the bus to everywhere else,
In anticipation of friends.
Much before, when I was older,
I used to write letters to people,
Perhaps, even admired.
But storms are bad things that happen,
And one broke the post office in my town.
The doves died,
And the postmen wept on the floor.
The letterboxes melted like candlesticks.
And I grew young,
And younger still,
Until I was now,
And had lost all the letters in my head.
I was born a thousand years old,
But gradually succumbed to time
And grew younger.
Age was walking backwards through rain,
And tripping and falling,
Forgetting truths forever.
If anything had ever been useless,
It was time;
Playing with minds and bodies,
Breaking and building
Over and over and over again.
I was a thousand years old, once
And knew so much more.
But now I am young and
The mirror looked good today,
It’s not supposed to, when I watch.
I have not been beautiful in a long time,
Not that I am supposed to be.
I am supposed to be handsome.
But today, the mirror looked good,
The reflection smiled and waved,
And brushed back stray hairs into conformity,
It looked like the son of people,
Instead of an unfinished doll on a wooden floor.
The reflection didn’t suffocate,
Didn’t hate, much.
Its smile faded,
But it was still beautiful.
Some songs are windy evenings,
And some evenings are songs.
The age of giving up and giving in is here,
And I can’t tell which is which.
Suppose what I have written, useless and facile,
Could be collected in baskets
And tossed into the fire like the makings of a dadaist masterpiece;
How long would it burn?
How long do dried poems burn?
Or do they whimper into ashes,
Like the memories of old songs that are just old now?
Wishes are such violent things.
But I still wish sometimes,
Just as I write on evenings that might as well be
Beautiful, windy songs.
Macbeth and Lady.
Juliet and Romeo.
Estragon and Vladimir.
Richard Burton’s Oscar loss.
Kafka and Oscar Wilde.
The spoils of war.
A world at war.
Ambrose Bierce’s journey into Mexico.
Plath and her poetry.
Alfred J. Prufrock
Orpheus and Eurydice.
Bridge over troubled water.
A lost copy of ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.
The Beat Manifesto.
Munch and his Vampyres.
Abani, who was never home.
A dead bird
A river in summertime.
An abandoned palace.
A weeping child.
A clown at a circus.
Puck and Titania.
Rosalind and Orlando.
Godot and Godot.
Peter Seller’s oscar loss.
Saki and Mark Twain.
A war without spoils.
A world at peace.
Byron going to war.
Ogden Nash and his rhymes.
Alfred J. Prufrock.
Loki, and Sif’s hair.
A copy of Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.
Seventy four and a half.
Picasso and his erotic notebooks.
The Dadaist manifesto.
The man whose home was a shoe.
A dead rat.
A river in winter.
An abandoned hut.
A weeping dwarf.
A clown at home.
An alleged rape.
We get progressively more lost in a world that grows half alive after sun set.
The darker alleys of the city are all brightly lit
and the places where we hid, before,
have all been suddenly killed.
The ground shakes after orange footsteps
parade around in unison.
The last throes of the sun invite an early autumn.
All the lanes that used to belong to lovers and drunks and thieves
have been overtaken.
They are all lit under divine lights;
divine providence reigning on the minds of sinners.
We search for little spaces of darkness, remaining within the unfurled wings of the city,
places where sin is still welcome.
The city seems to be tired of divinity.
It’s waiting to fly.
The shadow of its wings will lift
and we will remain buried under the burning lights,
orange, and obscure.
I was reading a poem last night, when the moon disappeared.
The entire world felt emptier for a while.
But the streets
were still lit.
And the ground forever shook under the weight of an absence.
The invisibles marched, the dead marched, the dying marched.
The deformed, the detached, the dejected marched.
The city, before it took flight,
came alive for a while.
The half life of the dying sun held up the flying city.
We mourned the loss of the moon.
The moon mourned the loss of the earth,
If the world doesn’t starve
and people still make love
making forgetful people that run and play and forget.
And steal from each other and themselves.
If the moon returns and the tides begin, again
and the darkness of blind alleys emerge from under the dull glows of night lamps,
where poets drink and drunks write,
and divinity sits,
watching over the city, nesting over a new world.
If the seasons walk back
and fall into haphazard patterns
that never and always make sense;
songs will be written again.