a continuing anthology

Founded by Andrew Gettler & Linda Lerner

NO. 9 & 10         T H E  M I L L E N N I U M  I S S U E

Edited by Linda Lerner


November 3, 1998 Dark Afternoon
and the clouds are heavy metal
rolling oe'r the vacant bricks of Utica
where Ray lies in his death throes
at the Faxton Cancer Hospital.

It's not a happy sight, a
finality about the rooms and service
his roommate's exposed privates
both he and Ray seem far away.

In and out of sensed reality
I fear to say, eyes like animals in cages
Ray's eyes sometimes intense
screaming "I want to die"
not in a philosophical mode
but the growl used for prison guards
rattling his bones against the
iron bars of New Jersey.

Squirts of daylight on the sidewalk
like used rubber gloves thrown
among the slimy Autumn leaves
Study the sight, oh latter night Beats.

Another is passing into the night
like T.V. tonight Jimmy Smit
on NYPD the line of fictive reality
unto death, what to do with life's purpose?
If it's to understand life (loved the old comedies)
from those eyes just make ourselves over
Ray watched the old realities in black and white
He pulls on the bed rails : "I want to die."
His eyebrows move and he briefly conducts
a conversation he can't partake in
or a Katchaturian concert or a poem.
He leans back, eyes glazed, goes elsewhere
further than shooting up decades ago
the history gone like our rides for Terpin hydrate
finding village drugstores while the world went on.

What history can a human have.The history gone
the religions, the politics, the last fiction...not that
there's just never enough to go around.
Don't tell me his spirit has to hitch a ride
'round about midnight'
to make a visitation when the sky
rolled back its spheres to let the gold sun
wail like a sax over the stage of East hill
for an original hipbeatster camping at
the Committee on Poetry farm
where he said he used to talk more shit
than the radio which he didn't own.

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