Wednesday, February 17, 2016

FOUNDATIONS

Bright slender expeditious
Poet of the Big
City—it's said 
that you held in your 

(just as) auspicious non-
dominant hand—
the keys to the 
Kingdom of Heaven;

that you—by virtue
of your decades-long independent 
study, your reclusive and muddy 
digging for something secret

and amazing 
in the flotsam fishy 
banks along the ruddy clay 
lake shore—that you alone 

became the one 
true Lord and Savior, protector 
of what was true 
and—more important, what was 
Literary. And eventually, that 
only you could

possess this vast fortune. But how 
generously you flung
the riches back out!
In tremendous spangles, which tended

to dance from
the edges of your fingers
and wriggle directly 
into to the hearts 

and bulimic minds of
millions—as naturally 
as reflections 
of private lights from Gold 

Coast high- 
rise condominiums danced 
(and still 
dance each night) in grand 

ripples across the inscrutable 
face of inky Lake 
Michigan night-water.

But—here
on this white page;

here, where I still come 
to meet you every
afternoon, and practice 
and prove in secret; 

here we both 
know—all you really did

was play 
at pushing around the very same 
currency we all use, albeit
in greater 
denominations,

to tell some folks—
all
flowers smell nice,
all
buildings shall burn, 
and 
etc. etc. etc. And today,

the real beatific reason 
your letters still tend 
to land and stick
and burst to blaze-

up the tawny
pages in their minds—the way 
catapulted waves
of titanium 

sunlight lap and ping the sheer cliffs 
of downtown stainless 
steel and glass—is 

actually because 
you didn't know (and never 
even claimed to)

who 
the hell God was. 
But you were always

pretty passionately damned
sure—he wasn't
you.

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