My prophet rises from snow white sands. He is cut and bruised with bloody hands. His metamorphosis is marked by purple flowering feathered wings immaculately conceived. He reaches into the eye of the sky and fondles memories from before my time, back when this river flowed with twice its heart, and the sky more volatile with twice its strike. When this desert land was twice as young, He walked along these very skies now dusked across my mind, like a churning holy electrical explosion.
My prophet rises from the deep blue sea with gaping wounds for all to see. His metamorphosis is marked by the inhalation of deep and conscious breath. His yellow diamonds are draped upon his brawny chest strung side by side with cosmic thread. He is future, present & the past. He’s courage fed by fathers brave & mothers strong. They’ve taught him well, both right & wrong. This world unceasingly expands its view. With opened eyes and a child’s pride, He is my harness. I love this ride.
My Prophet rises. I am He. I’ve wept in pain but now I’m free. Upon this sand my heart is burned. There is so much I have to learn. My metamorphosis is marked by the song of my soul echoing through the cathedral of my mind. I know I am more than looks perceive, my well is full & I have no greed. Christ is here & surely bleeds. He is my lover. I am He.
His ascension came twenty one days to the day he left his beautiful body. A silhouette was all that we could define through the sun drenched smile he wore. It is impossible to mistake his world class smile for that of any other.A starlight flurry of goodness blotted out the pain of our broken hearts just as dawn galloped in. We told each other later that we had witnessed a chariot of gold sutured with platinum thread: a glistening chassis beriched beyond conception with spinning, light-bolted studs & each masterpiece capped with an astonishing precious gem. Some jewels were not of this world. Some jewels were not even of this universe… such magnificence as none of us had ever seen nor would ever see again; a true sweet chariot of the gods propelled by the holy willed power of four & twenty black maned stallions of equal majesty. They pulled the suns & moons from galaxies nearest our own across a royal-blue-blooded, yoke-tinged, cobra-laced sky.
Our souls, bedazzled & breathless, reflexively thrust an ovation onto the astrolabe of dawn. Only delicate golden orioles could be heard singing good morning to this beautiful day. Alex preferred it this way. In a favorite past incarnation he was an Roman Auger, therefore his heart was rich with fondness for every winged being he ever knew.
Ruby red diamonds, yellows, blues, Tahitian black pearls from yet another sweet time & place, rained upon everyone pulsing unified code, surfing crazy shiny-mind waves of Mother Milky Way.
Their mirrors reflected wondrous images. Among them were holy men washing the feet of beggar men & the women who keep the fires burning dancing a fantastic dance, millions of them & more but numbers do not go up that high, especially where numbers don’t count at all.
There were so many women dancing a fantastic dance. I was reminded of the Black ladies who sing the gospels; from the hips, hands to the sky, left then right; a supplication out to front then down to the ground, over & over & over again.
There were smiles everywhere & love, joy & more joy. If you could get close enough to these mahogany ladies you’d find that there is a lot of space & a great freedom around each one, yet from a distance they look packed together moving in unison; perfect choreography like a water dance; up, down, left, right & happy. Did I mention happy?
This must be the part of heaven God has reserved for poets, from the first poet to the last, from infant poets to great ancient oracles. Everything alive & electrical is heading the same way. Everyone loving the same because love moves in the same direction as our galaxy & the cosmos. It must be the joy of the spiral, from helical strands of DNA to the great spiraling universes. It is a perpetual blossoming. It makes a happy sound. Our nature is a happy sound. Laughter. Smiles. It is a great way to live. It would be a wonderful way to die if there was such a thing as death.
Alex smiled his way throughout the universe just as he had done throughout our lives. He never cared for anything in the world but pure love. God loved him for that. We all did. We all do.
More than anything else, more than his mind blowing mastery of numerous forms of art & branches of science, Alex Johns was a great poet. They say the same about saints who come to visit us. Great poets love so much, it makes you want to cry. I don’t know why they bother with us unless it is because they love us so much… as much as we love them.
So it was. And so it is.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
this is your flight attendant speaking.
Please fasten your seat belts.
The captain has asked me to remind you,
there is no smoking permitted in the lavatories,
and to tell you we are going down!
Our fiery crash landing into the fetid jungle below us
should be metaphorically painless but one never knows.
The temperature at the site our destination is uncomfortable.
Should you require assistance upon our arrival,
do not hesitate to call upon your flight attendant.
Beverages with continental breakfast shall be served at Heaven’s Gate,
located in the main concourse, compliments of Our Dear Sweet Lord, Jesus Christ.
Everyone is welcome but for the exception of Reverend Frederick Phelps of the
Hillsboro Baptist Community Church, Topeka, Kansas, sitting in aisle 2, seat A 4.
He is going to hell.
Because, Freddy, www dot god hates you dot com.
Thank you for flying our friendly skies.
And have a nice day.
I let pass without acknowledging to my only friend in the world, POKER, my beloved pop-eyed Siamese fighting fish, that yesterday was the 21st anniversary of the semi-great Northridge earthquake. I remember it was such a pretty day. At first I was fearful. Not then. Yesterday. Yesterday I was fearful that if I thought upon that day long ago I would fall into a blue grey melancholia. (Not really, I just felt like using that word.)
Alex Johns was up from San Diego to stay. We were young, smart, compassionate, talented, humble & very beautiful. Well gee whiz man, we were. This reminds me, Alex also used to say to me, “bragging isn’t pretty.” What the heck did that mean? I’ll never know. But we were happy to be together & that showed.
What did I tell ‘ya? Those were the good old days. All days past, present & future are the good old days … one day … some way or another … so these are the good old days too … come what may so they say … now … hmm … what was I just spewing forth about? Oh yes, the day the earth rattled the nerves of millions of people with lots of nerve.
Alex & me … were both gently bashed onto the floor from a mattress that was in the dining room because I was growing dope in my bedroom under two 1000 watt super metal halide bulbs.
We dressed quickly. The first thing we did was check on old lady Irene next door. She wasn’t phased in the slightest but I insisted on carrying her down to the street anyway. Five minutes later she wanted back up. She said she had enough so I carried her back up. She was almost 110 years old by then so I think she was kinda hoping the roof would cave in on her. Mainly because I suppose putting up with Richard (her gay pianist lover who was almost as old as she was) for so long had made her suicidal.
Irene was a piece of cake to haul around though. She weighed 20 grams if that, so it was no effort on my part. I should of tossed her into the hills. That would have been the time to do it but I was preoccupied with getting to trolling the neighborhood expectantly searching for mangled & bloodied corpses. Irene lucked out that time. I loved her like crazy though. If she were still alive she’d be close to 300 years old. I miss her still.
Alex & I went driving around looking for someone to help. Yeah, that’s right, help, sure. But everybody was fine … (damn it) … around us anyway. The only thing though, there wasn’t any electricity. You couldn’t watch the news or a good VHS porno on the boob tube, which is how I would have preferred to have spent that day. And you couldn’t get money from ATM’S … if you had any. We had a little sum on us; five grand at least & some change if I recall. Pocket money. Dope was a great business back then & it showed.
… Almost like out of a Twilight Zone episode, MEL’S DINER down the block up on Sunset boulevard was the only place in all of LA opened. I suppose they had a generator. Or they had made yet another pact with Satan as most folks on Sunset Boulevard do every day. “They did cook good omelets & stews & we might have stayed on with them there but our hearts cried out for you, California.”
Grateful & amused. More lucky then anything else. Not too many people had a warm breakfast that morning. And MEL’S was the place to be seen that day. But who cared really, we didn’t. Well, EVANGELINE obviously did but she deserved to be seen any time she wanted. So we had us some good Beluga caviar (farm raised in New jersey) omelets with diced palm tree shoots & lots of strong coffee then split.
What a great day that was. We had a lot of fun. I know some people were crushed to death that day, which is not funny, but everyday some people were getting crushed to death in LA. Nothing new. You wanna know something true? Everyday was a great day when Alex was still alive, every single day because he was astonishing, simply astonishing. No shit, Sherlock.
A diva doused in deep scarlet diamonds; glitterati eyes, black sable & hair electric blue held her place before me as our elevator fell free from the top of the World Trade Tower. Between heaven & hell I fell in love. This much I could feel. This much I was sure of. I felt shame at being nothing & nobody she could love. I flashed back to the ghetto I was branded by. Blank-eyed, my head tilted forward, out & down, my perspective was a hawk’s eye view of Hades. Fifty-Third & Third … mine, mine, mine … used to be mine … my corner … I was fourteen.
Upon the littered streets of Chelsea, Sheridan Square, Christopher Street, the pier, the trucks & my old neighborhood over off Bank street by H. B. Studios lay debris & detriment & minced miniature genitalia of yesterday’s used up action figures greeting good morning through hazed, petrol glassed, excremental eyes. That was yesterday. Today? Well, today … I felt her. She felt it. Damn it! Oh, oh…truth hurts. I hurt. It hurt. Immediately. Yet my fantasies still flew wild just as the hawks on Fifth Avenue do when the pigeons fly their loops.
As her black satin heels hit the curb I found the courage to raise my head. She had glee’d me into submission with her eyes & then she tore my heart to shreds. A praying Mantis widowed black is unbearably attractive. A trickster out tricked by a trickster! That’s a switch. I was sure she was the one. I felt it. She made me feel that way. This must be what it feels like to be an old whore after Mardi Gras.
In the first moment, being mortal, I suffered profoundly. In the next, my blank stare turned starry as I gazed in wonder. Her eyes darted to and fro as her gold leafed head turned circles, I wondered just how she did that? I wondered if she even knew. And then those eyes, those eyes, those oscillating glitter-opticals illuminating my barren heart … what could I do? I simply turned to dust & blew away as she shimmered towards the fading light.
If you give me Palestine, I swear to God, I’ll end this crime. I’ll lay verbena, purple glory, along the path of Jesus’ story. I’ll ask our buddy, jolly Buddha, to bring white roses & blessed Moses. I’ll ask dear Mohammed & Sister Mary to feed our souls should we get weary.
Let us take those rockets aimed at you & melt them down to different hues. Let’s paint love stories, grand & true, about these gifts God’s given you. Let’s ask all Christians, Muslims & Jews, to blend their truths with milk & honey. (A golden brew in a silver chalice can surely end such bitter malice.)
We shall all take sips & become blood brothers, or better yet, spiritual lovers. Let us drink to peace blessed in this chalice & shout out a toast to God’s great palace.
We will form a circle hand in hand & make a pact upon this land. Such senseless hate we used to fan, we’ll forever bury beneath the sand… & all our prophets will bless this peace. We’ll dance all night. We’ll make a stand. Call out the doves. Peace to this land!
My name is ‘Prophet’ but they call me, ‘hey, you!’ I am a penniless drifter shod poorly. I’m diseased & despised. I sing for a seat near the hall down the path to the shed used by swine. I’m gleeful with joy for any place to dine. Crafty by circumstance, I am blessed with a spark of divine mind. I trade hope for shelter. I barter truth for a comfortable lie.
I feel privileged, indeed, honored to share my most cherished possession with whatever lurking beast or saint there may come a knocking on the door of my rice paper heart. The possession I speak of is my inner light, my love; the most powerful force in the universe. More often than not I possess neither food nor shelter but light has never me down. My huckster mind tries to convince me otherwise yet to the joker inside my skull I say, “Shyster thoughts be damned!” Belief does not make an invidious fantasy real.
Those evenings I am cold, angry, lonely, rejected & filled with remorse for coming to this place in the first place are the very same evenings I forget to be grateful. On these occasions nights crawl painfully slow to that trickster called dawn. What I lack in essentials I make up for in wisdom. Vagabond wisdom is priceless so I give it away for free. I must. Like my father before me I stand hunchbacked, just as his father before him. My deformed stoop is the result of an incalculable weight I carry upon my shoulders.
My mother was born & raised in New York City’s west side shanty town; Hell’s Kitchen. My father was orphaned at the age of two under crushing dank Mississippi Delta poverty which knows no equal. Perilous & foreboding omens for both of them yet they overcame their twisted fate of birth with passion, ideals & love… at least for a time. They had to dig deep to survive. I have had to dig even deeper but I have learned to love getting my face dirty. Either do that or die.
Sometimes I wonder if being born deformed & senseless is easier to bear than this weight, this soul numbing weight. I fear the worst should I stumble or fall. I fear for the innocents striding between land & cobalt blue seas. When I fear it is because I’ve abandoned gratitude. Sometimes my unbridled dejection paralyzes my connection to god. It is easiest then to dismiss divine light as a dreamer’s hallucinations run amok. And I do. Yes, I do. I dismiss like a diva.