HATE THE SIN

You killed a little girl.

You slit her throat with a steak knife

And now you wonder how it all came about.

 

You were a thief

You loved Princess Di for her heart

You had never had any thought about killing anyone,

Especially a child.

 

Until that day

At that time

Under those circumstances,

 

It came over you like a blanket

Covered you in darkness,

The you of the kernel

 

The you you knew.

 

You became an unknown to yourself,

Whom you hated

Whom you loved

For a brief instant.

 

It made the killing easy

Until it kicked in

And it was too late.

 

The black dog of vile

Won the fight

 

The white dog of radiance

Fell asleep.

 

I don’t know who I became

But he has left me.

THE LION AND THE STRIPED CHILD

From my ball of stupor a glint at the edge

of my eye puts my limbs on notice. Stretch out,

neck swivels, sniff the air, nothing unusual here,

shadows, hardly a sound, nothing to fear or

get excited for, just par- my tired woolly life

in here. Go back down. Rest some more. But no!

There, in the distance, a little parcel, a striped little thing. Yes,

I remember, the way we were, a thousand years before,

the green world, the savannahs and skies, red and

bloody suns. We ran, my family and I, the ground flashing

under us, our blood pounding inside us. For the kill.

Everything tied to the kill. Things mattered then. I will. 

Shamble down, not to scare the little thing. Here. Such a sweet  marvel.

Plaything. Dear friend, as yet unaware. Mine, I swear. I reach

to touch the skin. It’s not there. I hurt myself instead. I’ll try again.

Same thing. Am I imagining this? I’m in a bad dream.

 I gnash my teeth, I want to break the screen.  I want to smash

 this dream. I want out. I want out of here.

STORY OF A MYSTIC RAPPER

What I Used To Be

 

I know I’m not young

but I like to have fun.

My girlfriends are many

I don’t give them a penny.

They like how I get off

a train or a bus.

I move them real neat

from their head to their

feet.

They know how I’m cool

They know I don’t drool.

I go to a shop

I know how to mop.

I pick-up a strapon

a real big one.

I wave it around.

Their eyes water

and they give the signal.

But I’m too chill

I’m not ready to kill.

I make them wait

I’m that great

the strapon king

with a busted wing.

I might be smoking a blunt

I might be hustling some cunt

I might be changing my teeth

I might be checking my briefs

I might be writing a cheque

For the bling around my neck.

I could be busting a rhyme

having a down time

ignoring the squares

their sneers and their stares

their obvious hate

for a dude who comes late

to the game.

But I couldn’t care less.

I’m in the end zone.

scored a touchdown

got ‘em going down.

I’m a rap man

not no scrap man

I live the lush life

got no lame wife

I live on the street

I’m easy to meet

for a deal.

Got something going on

gonna feel you out

gonna hear you out.

I could be your partner

in crime

could be your worst

nightmare instead.

In case you are not aware

I got good connections

got good protection

got people who

would make you into stew.

So don’t waste my time.

Don’t bug down on me

and try to be gangsta.

Cuz I”ll just blow you off.

You lie to me and you gone

man.

I ain’t no front man.

You ain’t no stunt man.

You be cool man.

 

Then I Went Away

 

You boys want some interior.

I ain’t coming down on any neutral

ground.

I ain’t no cousin or no dad.

Don’t believe in the Second Coming

or The Man From Glad.

This town’s a shit factory

so let’s make some money.

USA

I’m home grown.

Grew up easy and forlorn.

Had both my parents

born on the right side of the track.

Was spoon fed till I felt dead

with what I was supposed to keep

In my head.

Algarbra and Geoimetry

never felt right to me.

I knifed a teacher when I was only

three.

They shipped me to another country.

Worked in a factory

 of woe.

Never felt any purpose till

I quit to go

on a plane on a train on a bus

Just go and go and go

with not a thought for tomorrow.

Witnessed the most incredible shit

in all the lands on this earth.

Everywhere slavery abounded.

Everyone danced to the Man’s beat.

Even the most primitive folk

in a jungle or a boat had to

battle to eat.

Had the realization that

We’re just ants that crawl our way

around.

We try to avoid making contact

till we need a contract.

Then we hustle till the wheels

come off.

I ain’t no bigtime shmo.

I had a life of disaster.

I am old now

but I once lived in the lap of luxury.

Had it all I believed.

What more could a rich boy need.

Then it all fell down the drain

and I came to a point where I

contemplated the end.

I could not find a friend.

Just wanted out of the game

was whack on my name

couldn’t pronounce it in fact.

I needed a second act.

 

So

I changed my name.

Became a new person.

Read scholarly books.

One that hit had mystical roots.

Why not become a swami or a saint.

That seemed just the right slant

for a boy with a bug up his ass.

I got the appropriate gear

at a country bazaar

Robes and bangles and bling to boot.

I tried on my new suit.

It fit like a glove.

Now I was

a flaming swami.

So hurray for me.

 

Swamis need cool.

They don’t go at it hot.

They sit and they watch

with their eyes closed.

They’re inside not out.

They watch the whole deal

the cosmos within.

Then they put it together

The body the mind the spirit.

They attain some perfection

I’m told.

So I went at it thus

didn’t eat

didn’t sleep.

I just studied my navel.

I meditated for months

for years in fact.

Just looked at the way

things go

like a lazy river in fact

flowing up to the

center of me.

I had serenity.

Had lots of adventure

sittin all alone undisturbed

by the world.

Many attacks to my mind

came in flux. 

But I stayed cool

Like I always am.

The Ugly Spirit inside

reared its head.

reviled me

tried to stop me

tried to make me dead

didn’t want me to know

what I had to know.

But I tried so hard to know

what I

am

My real name

Not my game name

Not my lame name.

A voice came thru

that assured me

I ain’t no gangsta.

No I gotta rap that

I ain’t no mean man.

I turned my life around man.

I had the epiphany.

that you and me

is the same

in the Ultimate Game

We just one pattern

all entwined

all the gangs

a mess of a thing

together like noodles

in Alphabet soup.

We’ll be eatin

but we’ll go on

yes we’ll go on

in ecstasy not in rivalry

not in violence.

And the man the policeman

he just an actor in a plot.

He don’t understand

don’t put no blame

on him.

One day he will realize

the error of his ways

and his old thing

will burn up in a flame.

This ain’t no sermon man

this ain’t no religion to follow

this ain’t no heaven or hell.

There needs to be

in the Law

I received

only one thing

only love and compassion

for each other and for everything

alive in this world.

Not because it is said by a priest or

The president.

Only because it is what it is.

 

The Return

 

I’m back on the field

back on the street

playin’ the game

cathin’ the ball.

Now that I’m whole

I stay above the fray

watchin from a distance

givin my all

but keepin a little.

I don’t talk trash

I don’t hurt or maim

That’s not my game.

They ask me why

I don’t make anyone cry.

I tell em what I brought back

The Truth about compassionate.

You in the right room they say.

It seems your head is not in place.

You not gonna make it here with that

bullshit about love and all.

That’s what Jesus said

and look at him today.

We killers here

We don’t love the enemy.

We fight for what we want.

We get what we want

by any means available.

We live for hate mainly.

It’s the logical choice.

We can’t  turn it off

down here in the hood.

 

I tell em straight.

You wanna hurt yourself

You wanna blind yourself

You wanna cut yourself.

Because anytime you do wrong

you are doing wrong to you.

You can’t feel it but you do.

Because you are that whom you wrong.

 

Of course nothing works.

Words don’t mean much anymore.

What do you do

with folks who don’t want to know

the truth of who they are

even from an old man

who’s been around the block

who’s been up and down

who been on the street

the same street they on

for a long time.

Do you walk on.

Do you keep on

tryin to make a change

in attitude

by logic.

 

But nothin ain’t logical anymore.

We livin by instincts

from a long time ago.

That ain’t no way to go.

If up is where we desire to be

there ain’t but one way to be free.

Jump back into Innocence.

All the other shit don’t make no sense.

 

It seem we all know this in our blood.

Everyone knows there is only love

worth being on the planet for.

Open the door

and walk right in.

That’s the advice of an old rapper

who’s hot on the charts

and don’t give a fart

if you believe him or not.

AUTUMNAL BLUES

And, yes

Around us everywhere

The golden note

Autumnal glory, as you please,

Messaging the possibility

That ease may arrive

All dressed up as Sunday.

 

I lay in wait for Godot

With the same stumbling quality

With no ideology

No compass, no certainty,

All the spiderwebs that lead me here

That left me here bereft

The question marks looming

The leaves used up

The casual way they spread.

 

Perhaps I am dead

Like them

I had a home once

Where I belonged,

Now on my own I beg

Something miraculous must come

Yes, like the glory around us suggests

We are something other than

Appearance dictates

And presses so hard against

 

The thin film to

Evanescence and escape

Only motion and peace

And no suffering in the end

There is so much time to contend

And I am so tired of calling for

Something

Something

I don’t even know

What anymore.

LOVE THE INSANE

Love the insane

They sleep in a garden of fire

Their dreams are as alive as gold

They speak in foreign tongues

And drink the music of the spheres

 

Love the insane

As they pass you in the street

And touch you with a killer’s glance

Their rags represent perfect pictures of what

You are in fact

 

Bless the insane

They carry your pain on their backs

They know things that you only suspect

Their wisdom is as old as the earth itself

 

Your food does not sustain them

Your jobs do not pay them well

They house an army of men in their bones

Shattered glass is their home

 

When you look into their eyes hold their gaze

Let the child in you escape

And touch a place

That may not even exist

 

Don’t put on your face

You are a dream to them

A body and a hand

Gracefully let it all expand

 

Love the insane

Let your cold heart fill with a furnace of blood

And

Be grateful

Be still

THE MAN WITH NO VOICE

What can we say to the man with no voice? We hear you still, your nagging, coughing ways, your hunchback array of fineries. Your wild eyes and ambition crippled in the bud. You sound beyond the hypnotic mass of mediocrities. You reach the crux of our half yearnings. You investigate the caverns of out sheltered hearts. You are the voiceless voice that captures us in our sleepy wanderings. Hail to the underground pulse!

BLACK – an homage to Beaudelaire

I turn my back on black

I exclude her from my home

She has been trouble from the start

She has ruined a good man’s heart

 

She came to me long ago

Who she was I did not know

What she promised me was nice

 Then led me on a trail of vice

 

That took me to a land of woe

I gave up everything to her

Desires dark and terrible

Caused decency to crumble

 

I turned on love’s sweet side

It never had a chance

Hatred was a constant whip

Black held in her grip

 

I crawled over broken glass to her

To the jungle where she lived

I transformed into a predator

I killed and maimed for her

 

Every prize I sacrificed

Took me further from myself

I had a wife who waited for me

What I was I could not be

 

Was this man a monster

It seemed so in the mirror

Despicable and deformed

Into black’s visible creature

 

That turmoil within me

 Finally broke me to the bone

Armies of confusion

 Against ultimate reason

 

Then one day I woke from this dream

That black had sent to me

She knows my mailing address

Will I ever be free

AN UNSEEN FRIEND

An itch you cannot bear

An itch you can’t repair

It tortures you at night

The day is just not right

 

Where did my spirit fly

Did my spirit die

I know no reason why

I never told her a lie

 

Please come back in some form

I am so forlorn

I’ll make it up to you

I’ll be your pawnshop Jew

 

The Quest is so obscure

There really is no cure

For the shadow flaw

For the animal in the raw

 

You’ve been an unseen friend

I will love you to the end

Of my voyage on this earth

For whatever it is worth

 

In a moment before dawn

I will find your finger on

A word that must be said

Whether black or red

 

The future is so certain

I stand behind this curtain

With no definite views

I pick up nobody’s cues

 

Am I right or wrong

Am I playing the wrong song

Did I fall into a well

Will I ever get out of hell

 

I have no time to spare

For what I cannot bear

My days are getting few

My voice is ringing true

 

I’m so happy I am old

I never do what I am told

I never eat the common dish

Whether salad meat or fish

 

I don’t believe in anyone

I just believe in One

A jewel before my eye

I see you and I cry

 

You play the utmost Melody

From your branch in the tree

One two and three

Into the heart of me

 

My Muse come back to stay

I can’t bear another day

To be apart from You

When I never know what’s true

A SORT OF MARRIED COUPLE

I try to picture us on beds,

you on a bed of roses

me on a bed of nails.

Still, we are here together as before and

before that,

a sort of married couple

who live at separate addresses

and meet for dinner and snacks.

I drink liquor and you plan my heart attack.

I have problems and you have nerve attacks.

What a pair, what a team

we present!

Even if we live in different worlds

until we have to pay a bill.

I feel good knowing you’re well,

You feel good when you give me hell.

Then I go into action mode,

I have a new knife, you know.

All is settled in a minute, though.

And we come together as lovers should.

We kiss and cuddle on the rug,                                         

And you plan tomorrow,

I just shrug.

But we are more alike than different, you know.

We were brother and sister in another life.

We toiled the ground and lived on a farm.

We made friends with lots of breeds.

In Italy, everyone has peculiar needs.

But back to now in 2021.

Our love is strong and tough.

We are old, but we give enough.

You are still lovely.

A mask of the sun,

your light is strong.

I wear dark glasses and hope I’m not wrong.

THINKING ON BUKOWSKI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bukowski

I’m not as bad as I think I am, and

I’m not as good as I want to be.

I don’t think you’re that good either,

Actually,

Though people love you

 Even as you scorn them,

Revere your sickness

And you secretly don’t believe

They do.

And I keep coming back

To your poetry

Wondering what all the fuss is about,

Wanting to appreciate the magic

I think I’m missing,

And see sleight of hand instead.

Shaking my head, I put the book down

And I say to myself that

A drunk 10 year- old could have written that,

And I feel jealous of this 10 year-old.

Your words don’t touch me, old man.

I can appreciate your naked cynicism,

I’m a cynic too,

But I get hate for being one and

You get accolades for it.

I’ll keep going my own way

Hoping maybe something will turn over.

And I guess, if I’m being honest, believe

We will meet in a bad dream one night

And have it out.

TO ANTHONY BOURDAIN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Bourdain

He made us laugh

He drew us in

He left his imprint

On our screen

And then he was gone

One day

By his own hand

One early summer day

In a French hotel

Anthony Tony

Chef and seeker

Bringing love

And food

From disparate

Locations

Into our lives

We miss those CNN

Evenings

Those recipes

For brotherhood

With cultures

Around the globe

Those sparkling dishes

And easy conversations

You had a rare talent

For empathy that

Broadcast to viewers

What tragedy

That you end this way

Who might have

 Seen it coming

We hope you are in

A better place Anthony

Rest in peace

Friend

THE TRUTH ABOUT AGE

This is a sign of old age:

It is a sense that you have

Seen it all before. There is

Nothing new under the sun.

The repetition freezes you.

But, of course, this is all bullshit.

You know this to be true. Yet

You may cling to that false message.

What you need is adventure,

Which may be had even sitting

In one place. Each moment is actually

Brand new and there is no such thing

As age.

WHAT HAPPENS AT NIGHT

What comes up from the depths Is not invited.

The cold hard facts from the ocean’s floor arrive

as a host of information

like gate crashers at a  wedding

to remind the bride and groom

that sores fester beneath their fine clothes,

 

and secrets linger in dusty hallways,

bones  decomposed  in some forgotten room

undisturbed by sunlight.

 

This pale hand of guilt operates to tweak the

functioning machinery of day

so that

We are laid bare and picked apart,

 subjected to voices speaking in bewildering tongues.

 

The faces of night reflect in mirrors manipulated by

an insane projectionist, a sort of god of randomness

 

And

If there once was a whole man he has been  splintered into shards

swirling in flux under our lids.

We have slipped from brave front to the helplessness

of the dead.

 

The night examines  wounds,

 packages of grief  pulled from corners and dragged to centre stage

 that may set hearts thudding and terror to spring.

 

There is no armour strong enough to protect us

from ourselves .

THE FIRST DRINK OF THE EVENING

Margarita,

Your 4 syllables thrill, they chill me.

You are a celebration,

 a marching band down my throat.

Your lips, satisfyingly salty,

Then comes the squash of lime

Joined by a sweet liqueur.

They dance deliciously

To the overall

Tune of the agave,

Oh, agave!

Blue agave

Desert notes that brace.

I can finally breathe.

Margarita,

You are always fidele,

I am never put off.

You settle me

I need more, more of your cold love,

My dear.

I must trick out fresh cubes.

Second rounds, please.

I USED TO BELIEVE

I used to believe.

I used to believe when I looked something in the eye I believed it,

I believed it was so. I trusted other things, people.

I was young and needed to believe in the other.

Now that I am old I don’t need to believe anything, not even myself.

Everything has its worth, even lies, and nobody knows what the truth of anything is anyway, so lies are the only things we may go by.

Choose your truth, but never believe it.

I know there are things that choose us, but in the end they disappear.

Nothing survives.

This may or may not be true.

I AM BLACK

I eat on black plates

I eat black food on black plates

I drink black tea in black cups

The sun shines black on me, too.

 

Black sucks in light,

meaning it contains light.

I am the Real Light, it says,

the hard shapes you see in day

disappear at night,

I own them.

 

Black is the color of sleep.

We rest in black

if black so desires,

or

black wields a whip

to keep us out,

starve us from our dreams.

 

While other colors strike poses,

play party games,

black remains serene

like an unruffled butler.

Distinguished

Absolute

A master of circumstance,

black rules quietly.

 

Black is jazz,

a burning saxophone on

the summer pavement,

slow drinks,

sex, easy and long.

 

Black is the dislocated,

sirens blaring to upset

delicate ears,

Police bullets spray,

the city is turned into

a trauma unit.

 

No,

don’t mess with black,

because black has been here

even longer than truth.

She is the Great Mother,

Africa,

the earth

that can swallow you.

 

So,

rise now,

and raise your glass to black,

in Coca Cola or in Russians.

And, remember,

everything goes with black,

it’s a well known custom.

 

SAYING GOODBYE

I wait for the summons.

When it arrives I comply

and enter the chapel.

I sit like a king removed

listening to the thin silence

draw me back into the

mysteries, and wonder

what artwork to expect fashioned

this day by the devil’s mouth,

what shapes will the body of

the snake take, whether pointed

or curved like punctuation, or rather

coiled almost seamlessly into an O.

I don’t know.

Death’s needs hold sway,

its odors must speak sweet

and fill up the air as in a stable

or a house of ill-repute.

My back arches like The Thinker,

elbows grinding into tops of thighs.

The light is weak.

Then I jut vertical to open

to give the babies passage

and kick back.

They rush to oblige, creating

a symphony, besides, dropping

plop plop into the drink.

I think, that is enough.

But no, wait, I was wrong,

another comes along to

join the song.

And yet another follows.

Oh, my! I sigh, I must’ve had too

much for dinner.

One day, I vow, I will be thinner.

At least, I’m lighter.

And now the party’s over.

Time to tidy up.

That’s less fun but has to be done.

Scroll down.

The white pages, the tugs and pinches,

the moustache all coated.

Fingers probe, scoop up the soil,

acknowledge it’s the wet season.

How much to stem the flood? This

is becoming drudgery! Pad after pad.

But look how bright we’re getting!

Maybe another roll will do it.

Finally, yes, here it is: unblemished. Pristine.

Not a hint of muck. Good as new.

I stand. Roll up. Buckle tight. Proudly,

focusing down, I lean on the handle,

and with sadness, wave my goodbyes.

LATE SUMMER

The feeling of drowning in morning light, cloud power and the dreamy skull, the promise of the blues gone forever. In the blonde blondness of the day, the caramel coated summer passing in a slow motion mirror, the trees cheerful as they sink into a yawn. It is a famous present, whispering seasonal traffic, the angle of a sun-splashed brick wall. A cityscape delirium. I exit my closet, blink orange, and I’m there, Sunday Morning by Lou Reed, and I don’t know what to bring to this last gasp of summer. It is a little like being invited to a beheading. How long will it take, will there be neck tightness, bleeding colours? I don’t know. Nobody knows when it comes to transitions, nobody’s an expert. And I don’t want to know. I prefer my windowpanes vague. I hope we can cut to the chase with a sharp blade, avoiding the tangled up telephones, the exhausting positions, the gum ache. I might be doing something wrong. I wish it were not so.