Written Upon the Death of an Unknown Poet 

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Methinks the title is self-explanatory. lmr

 
 
 
NYC, The Lower East Side, 1993:
 

Once I recited:  "Life, for me, has mostly been

this reed-thin freedom 
I find in 
poetry."

And there, inside The Nuyorican Poets Cafe,  you sat, in black clothes, amongst the rest, and snapped your fingers in soul-deep agreement.

It seemed, for you as well,  Life, had mostly been 'this reed-thin freedom found in
 
poetry.'
 
 
We vibed, didn't we?  Oh how we vibed then!  Over cheap coffee and Newports...
 
Chinese takeout, and Coltrane conversations.  We vibed for over 20 years strong, yo!
 
 
 
                       *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   *  
 
 
Planet Earth, NYC,  2016:
 
 
YO! Death is inevitable here, my friend. As sure as rape, theft and overcrowded subways, death, for some of us, is just a station stop away.
 
If we’re lucky… if we’re Blessed, Life slows down a piece... and grants us a sweet reprieve released inside this freedom of poetry. 

My Greatest Purpose is a dueling dream fueled by the urgent SCREAM heard from other's expectations of me, versus, 
this insatiable thirst of my undying ambition. 
 
Quite simply: I am, and have always been, a slave to this shit. 

Within the frosted fields between the sheets of my sleep, I am haunted by this duality. It is always hiding, like a shy ghost, inside of my deepest self.
 
Life, for me, has been this journey through streets of Melancholy and the alleys Euphoria, with these necessary escapes inside the plains of poetry. 

And I’ve known some poets... Real Poets... such Beautiful, Living, Breathing Poets; Scribes so much Higher and Greater than I will ever be. And after living their heroic little lives, they’ve died these invisible little
 
deaths.  Last night, someone’s earthly suffering came to an end. Last night, another poet-friend... expired.


Today, once again, Life has become this brief excursion into the freedom fields of poetry.  
I am reminded of how some vile thing and monstrous entity intrudes upon the muse, and kills this reverie in us. 

Death, is more than a conceptual end of breathing air on earth.  For some, death, without truly Living, is a curse, and just keeps chasing us,  
stalking us, walking beside, and then, running after us. 

We have all seen and perhaps even felt its various guises: 
Death by crushing disappointment...
 
Death by winter... in a cold-shouldered America. 
Death by failure’s sharp and jagged needle.
 
Death by trigger-fingered cop. 
Death by a city’s speeding stopwatch. 
 
Death by some incorrect, mistaken identity.
Death by some ignorant-assed vigilante.
 
Death by merciless abject poverty.
Death by a lonely man’s disease. 
 
Death by some obscenely unnatural cause ... death will eventually come for us, just as it came for him… 
And hopefully, someone will be there to witness... and to grieve. 


As deeply beautiful and brilliant as he was, his life should have never been cut so damned brief! 
I get it, though. I do. Between each of us, there are so few differences. 
 
We, who are poets, are bittersweet slaves to an Art, a  demanding mistress who will kick us in the gut... into a World of thieves who will ultimately betray us. I get it!   I do.  Between us, there are few differences.

Life, for me, is this brief and tragic hesitation. I fill in the gaps and gaping holes with broken prose and poetry.
 
 
His life was terse, composed of heavy heart and crying verse. His life, it should have been a song. Instead it proved to be... a broken stanza... an aborted passage.

Yo! Would someone please throw him a jazz funeral, damn it! 
 
And send him home most righteously! Let those dark cherubic-faced men blow their horns through the streets for him! 

Celebrate him! His life! His gift! Speak poems, say odes, sing hymns to his spirit! And then, being that we are such carelessly foolish humans, we’ll forget just what made his soul so rich and special, so unique, and beautiful. 


It happens all the time. I’ve seen this shit happen to my own father; the way people just forget the Shine from his Star. I’ve come to expect nothing more, nothing less than this, for it is his plight, and my plight, and perhaps all of our plights.


My Highest Good is a dueling dream. It is fueled by the urgent scream of divergent expectations of me. It remains this unquenched, insatiable thirst of undying ambition. In the frosted fields of my sleep, I am haunted by this duality. 

Life, for me, has mostly been this reed-thin freedom I find in poetry.

Life, for me, has mostly been this reed-thin freedom I find in poetry.

LIFE, for me, has mostly been this reed-thin freedom I find in poetry. 


I wish you golden days and lyrical nights of radiant riffs and open mics and Gabriel blowing Cool Jazz on his horn... and from the neon-lit clouds on the hipper side of Heaven, I wish you Thunderous fingersnaps.

That's it. That's all.
 
 
 
Au revoir, Bonne nuit, Mon Ami.
 
 

 
 
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