Hangin’ Over The Devil

the blue devil looks

straight into his eyes…

arch-rival enemy,

more than his match, still

he dribbles the ball, somehow

down by only one

the sweat pouring down

like tears of blood

onto the floor of the gym

and then it clicks

something inside

a switch, flipped

all his anger, channeled

into one final move

to end it all

so he can go home

be done, once and for all

with this demon thing

guarding the way

to that unfading glory

and so he takes off

from the free-throw line

cutting into the air

like a blade in the wind

all of heaven, watching

and cocking back his arm

his right wrist curled

while he palms the ball —

the head of the crane

about to strike —

and it comes in a flash

a thunderous crash

of glass and metal

the shattered backboard

bent steel of the rim

where he floats, hangin’ on

forever, never letting go

over, above his rival

who, looking up…is afraid

scared to holy hell:

the picture, the poster

up on God’s wall

 

Boyz Of The Cut

out over in The Cut

a little part of town

down in CC by the Sea

a little Harlem, baby

they be hoopin’ it up

all the brothas be there

burnin’ up the nets

bendin’ the rims

over at The Cage

b-ball court fenced 360

metal fence all around,

on the sides, overhead

there be Little William,

little Mookie Griffin

alway smilin’ cuz he high

pickin’ pocket after pocket

jumpin’ up, knees landin’

up on the shoulders

of the nigga guardin’ his a$$

knockin’ down them threes

out from beyond the pros’

damn near half-court

don’t believe me?

just mosey on over

and get you some of this

southern ass-whoopin’

niggas up north don’t know

how we roll down here

them Miller boyz

Miller High Buccaneers

“once a Buc always a Buc”

runnin’ with the best of ’em

all up and down the court

every jumper smokin’ the net,

every time a Miller Time

nah, they don’t know us

them yanks, or them out-a-towners

from down over here

down in the Lone Star

but they send they teams

and yeah they take it sometimes

playin’ methodical ball

but we don’t cry

nah we yawn

put us to sleep

cuz where the show?

they can’t put it on

with they calculated game

slow and measured,

slowin’ us down

only way to top us out

cuz we move, baby

run and gun, rain or sun

nah, they can’t turn it up

don’t know how to Ball-y-wood

make the crowd stand up

sea of purple and gold

wavin’ them dolla bills

a dolla…100 on the board

yeah, some of them schoolz

they got they show bands

though we got one, too

but we got the show squad

got the “D-squad” goin’ on

D-fence, baby

the Boyz of The Cut

and all them brothas

down at The Cage

playin’ till the sun come up

 

The Wine Press

the purple-pink grape

one in a forest of such

bursting at the seams

popping under the weight

giving and releasing

an offering of fruit

in sacred sacrifice

to the inexorable force

of the heaving wood

a machine of a man,

young and ready

his first and final taste

of the fruit of the vine

yet sated with hunger

and filled with a thirst

the press is filled

once more, to the brim

fruit fresh and ripe

the machine, pressing on

crushing the virgin harvest

for that dark enjoyment

red wine, going down

into the pit, where it burns

through the walls and floor —

the acid of demons

called forth by that craving

with which he was born

 

Face To The Wall

here I am

speaking to the individual bricks

and the lines of mortar:

the wall is tall

I can’t see the top

doesn’t matter, really

the wall is here

and I talk to it

what moves it

to open its mouth?

Not sure, that’s a password

indecipherable to me

but still I must reach out

for I am but human,

in need of some conversation,

and I must communicate

necessarily sometimes, as needed:

you wanna go out?    “……….”

how’s Friday for the lawn?    “……….”

will I be getting that raise?    “……….”

peace be with you    “……….”

the wall, it’s ever there

before my face

does it hear me?

I don’t know…

…doesn’t matter

if it won’t respond

what’s the point?

now, the wall will disappear

sometimes, upon occasion, when:

the rent’s due

or I’m chewed out

or I’m asked a question

or I’m nasty-noted

it gets better:

I’ve tried to build one

a wall of my own

and God knocked it down

bulldozed by the One

who says “Do unto others”

the world, she’s mostly

a one-way street

need to build more two-ways

’cause these one-ways are byways

down which the hypocrites travel

too bushed, too busy or too callous

to hit that “send” button

yet they’ll hang you from a noose

if they don’t get a reply

as for me, I’ll go on talking

my face to the wall, staring

because perhaps, one day,

upon the bluest of all moons,

those bricks will come to life

and I’ll see her face open up

and the wall will answer

so that I no longer have to stand here

talking to myself

like a complete idiot

Flight Of The Angel

fly, winged messenger of light

to the farthest gateway in space

there, at the center

of the most ancient galaxy,

spinning at a distance so remote

you…even you…would taste of Time

before you’d reach its borders

having taken flight from the earth

at quasi-infinite velocities

 

fly to that portal in the void

to that doorway in the darkness

a cyclone which spins about

inside a gulf of space and time

and there, enter into its mouth

and be swallowed up whole

into the universe next door

wholly apart from ours

and fly from there, quickly now

to the most distant wormhole

within that neighboring reality

and enter that cosmic gateway in turn

into yet another realm

a universe all its own

and continue on, proceeding thus

with each jump you make

delivering ever greater majesties

exotic glories that even you

have yet to see

 

and if you keep going on

far enough out on this journey

you will come to an abode

the last and final abode

out of which there is no escape

for beings made of matter

entities of the corporeal kind

and arriving, initiate your search

scanning the surface of the worlds

for she is out there, somewhere

trapped within a gilded cage

crying within the sunlit gardens

of crystal palaces glowing with the light

of twin stars shining in her sky

 

and when your quest is ended

deliver unto her this message:

that I will wait for her,

though she know me not,

until the end of time

until the shores of Eternity

are suddenly upon us,

when her chains, torn asunder

free her to fly up and away

upward, from realm into realm

past my own, where I weep now

into regions of supernal gravity

 

here is where we’ll be

finally, at the end of it all

where that divine force,

drawing in substances unseen,

presses them together, into one

into a single point, infinitesimal

making them not close, not closer

but of one composition

she and I, though one and the same,

still holding onto selfhood

a paradox, a mystery

only God may resolve

 

A Meditation On Existence

they drift in impalpable realms —

close your eyes

and you will see them:

ideas of lives, platonic in nature

divine thoughts of human forms

each of them a him, or a her…

they line the number line

equal in number to its length

residing within infinitum’s darkness,

the content of omnipotent thoughts,

brought out of the black nothing

into the something of actuality:

one of them is you

and one of them is me,

the miracle herein residing:

how came it to be

that you were chosen…

…or I was chosen…

a drop from the shoreless sea

to exist,

one from infinitude?

the chances of it

one within infinity

by what the calculator tells us

we should not exist

yet here we are

you and I

alive to reality

reading this line

and this one, too

lines of so-called poetry

pulled from another pool

also bottomless, like the ether

from which we were taken

 

Megalopolis

the towers begin to rise

over the beaches of the city

and in windblown fields

of bluebonnet and stone

at the edge of her borders

and in environs beyond

soon they will loom

beneath the face of the sun

over the coastal plains

and the waves of the Gulf

where the ships push through

walls of choppy water

to harbor and port

 

yes, they will look down,

towers, without number,

higher than the air trails

blazed by the eagles of the East

their outer walls bedecked

with hanging gardens

from which pour waterfalls

into guarded pools below

their windows like mirrors

of glimmering gold, lit

by the daystar on high

like shimmering seas of silver

reflecting the moon at night

 

a glut of humanity

pours into the City

swelling her ranks

Gotham is emptied,

all her finest things

transplanted here

Gotham the great

a metropolis reborn, here

where heat and humidity,

fossils of a bygone age,

are pressed to extinction

by the mind of man

like finger to thermostat

 

the festivals spring up

all around, in every district

galas inaugurated

decreed into perpetuity

the confetti raining down

from the greatest of heights

the sound of popping corks

matching in number and kind

the beat of the drums

which sound in the streets

where the people sing songs

and even the old ones dance

as they did in days gone by

 

in time, the stars are born

the greatest of the greats

walking the City like giants

each of them on the ascent

climbing the limelit ladder

to their globes of fame

thespians and poets

painters and sculptors

musicians and athletes

each of them fashioning works

envied by the Olympic powers

whose mythic glory grows cold

as the years march forth

 

and abiding in their estates

within the sky-piercing spires

and in mazes of mansions

stretching to the horizon

and in diamond-made palaces

submerged in the waters

the people live out their days

here, in this City about the Bay

forged anew, and made young again

by the years of suppression

of a tired and aged element

who thought to keep her hidden

from the eyes of the world

 

A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

Hey yo Franky,

you can hear me up there, can’t ya?

I’m here with a news flash

I’ve done spread the news

and I’m leavin’ like you

takin’ her with me

to that City with the eyes

open in the wee hours

yeah the Big Apple,

ya know…a little cure

for little town blues

for even the fattest cities, man

in the middle of nowheres

 

ya know, she ain’t got the looks,

no she don’t,

of a west coast girl…

though she was made out over

in the City of Angels…

nah, she’s a looker rather

for a New York gal

let’s call it Queens

or maybe somewheres

out in Manhattan

­

I got this idear in me, ya see

a picture of the big city, ya know

and she’s a big city girl

lookin’ like one, too

so ain’t these good things, Franky boy

good reasons, ya hear

to up and leave?  Yeah, so…

so I’ll be sweeping her up

up and off her feet

in a New York minute

and I’ll take her by the hand

and we’ll hightail it out

out of this neck of the woods

and make for the City

that never hits the hay

back to where I wuz grown

ya know, back in the day

 

and don’t figure us for bums, ither

we’re going to be somebodies

she’ll open that store alright

that she’s been talkin’ about

on every corner, a branch

the new Gotham Jewelers

selling her diamonds and gold

on the side, and on the other

coachin’ the coaches

of tomorrow’s Olympians

students in her school:

Metropolis Academy of Gymnastics

yeah, the queen of Queens

all this, while I work the days

selling stocks on the rocks

sippin’ on martinis

the king of Wall Street

(and how ’bout those apples?)

yeah, I’ll be sellin’ those stocks

though I won’t be the one sellin’

nah my brokers will

I’ll be a-supervisin’, ya see

…from a yacht off Coney Island

 

and comin’ home every night

our dinner’d be served

and we’d feast on fine fare, ya see

oh yeah boy, it’d be like that

yeah Franko, we’ll be great

great together, ya know

she and I, me and her

taking a bite out of the Apple

carving our niche

making a name for ourselves

just her and me

she and I

forever like that

and ever like this

kind and queen, ya hear

of the greatest City on Earth

 

Of A Gilded Glory

is it not a fullness within

erupting with life

bursting at the seams

pressing outward in giving?

 

an orbed majesty

an offering displayed

for every eye to see

yet not to feel

sheets of silk to the touch

they rise, looming

like towers gilded

over a plain of bronze

­­for not even Troy

arrayed in walls of white

ramparts stacked to heights

of impenetrable stone,

even she did not own it

this measure of expression

but her own child, Helen

who is every woman

commanding the eyes of men

armies, legions who adore

worship those twin fonts

flowing springs that feed

myriads of men-to-be

 

by force their lips are parted

whether they be two days

or twenty years

for age matters not

as the strength of the male

reduced to naught

at the sight of her shores

and to less than nothing

in the moment of landfall

and so he, held wholly in thrall

obeys her word

whether yea or nay

if or until

and when and where

she may please