I’m curious to what people think
while I stand in the intersection
and take off all my clothes.
My penis presented to the world,
I bend down to touch my toes
and stretch back up, arms to the sky.
Still outstretched I turn three times
like a dog before sleep, centering myself
in the four-way banked by lights.
Lowering slowly, I assume lotus position
facing west, always the direction
home, no matter how long the journey.
Hands resting on my knees, I close
my eyes and inhale deeply, the smells
of exhaust and pollution choking.
I relax. Lights change, cars funnel
around me zipping to their next
Sitting in the living room
rubbing my toes on the carpet
until they ignite like sulfur tips,
sparks run up my feet reaching
the dark gasoline leg hairs
and shoot up to my crotch.
My trunk ablaze, I stand,
hover through the room
raised up by the heat,
never singeing fibers below.
I scoop a handful of fire,
taste its power and swallow.
The flames travel my throat
to the depths of my stomach
licking my insides, as outside
I continue being consumed.
The soft hairs of my abdomen,
chest, and arms aflame,
catching my head, shrouding
me completely in smoke.
I can no longer move,
The dead have risen.
They walk the streets
at night, in search
of a promised rapture.
One-by-one they file
into empty jazz clubs,
to pick up instruments,
and play for lost arts.
Some take turns
scatting into the mic
to the sound of bongos
and berry saxophones.
Others recline back
in their chairs, smoke
cigars, and nod along
They aren’t voodoo
flesh and blood human
beings back from
the last great pool hall.
This their only time
to walk among streets
of their dreams, and do
the things they did
while living. They
must return when
the doors open up
for business. Though,
many wish to go out
and crawl up to their
the thought of being
just an apparition
is too much to bare.
Blueberry pancakes, strawberry syrup
news broadcast of Bush’s war
how different the world is for us
And you Allen, did you have correct change
and are sitting on the bank of the river
dangling your feet, calloused
from insomniac narcotic walks through Berkeley
where Whitman stood under street lamps
and in grocery stores tempting you
with the body of a young boy
have you taken off your fedora, or put it on
sing me a bar of Spanish loyalist song
or read me poems
I’m no brother, I’m your son
though I’ve seen only 20 sides ‘America
can I hide among the whiskers of your beard
we can find reindeer to fly us to the moon
It happens in the middle of the night
when I am dreaming in pastels,
I’ll sit up in bed and shiver in the dark,
sweat trickling down my forehead
in the same sickening way it drips
from a faucet with faulty seal.
I’m nauseous, weak; I stand and pace
in my plaid boxer briefs to the bathroom
where the mirror reflects an image
I paid $5 to see at the last carnival.
My taut skin making my veins
look varicose in the glow of the vanity.
I run to the kitchen screaming:
there are scars underneath my skin
awaiting a knife to uncover them.
I am a compass
on which polarity
has been reversed.
I move in directions
I feel I should move
and do not bother
to ask if it is right.
my feet as they
propel me backwards
and my feet scuffle
too much for
They will not
ask me to my face
because they cannot
find it. For the world
has many eyes, none
of which can see.