The Prologue

These three poems are from the Prologue which is from of a longer work called The Final Postures of a Dying Whore. This is where it all begins. Enjoy.

I write the word: I am behind it
You read the word: you are before it

We make a oneness, a reflection
two separate moments come together

But the word is still between us

Some day there’ll be no words
Some day we’ll simply be like flutes playing each other

Strike a match
Light up this page
Watch them go black and vanish into flame

for John Keats

I think that I’m a candle
whose flame stays round the wick
whether set in one place or carried
never wavering an inch
from where I’ve always been.
I hold out my hand like you did.
When I’m happy and look at it
it’s not the same I see sadly
desiring or when I’m tired.
It changes with my feelings
which usually I don’t notice
like light and shadow pass over the day
revealing as the morning sun
obscured by clouds or tears.
When you vanished, did all vanish?
With a change of heart I change the world.

at the grave of Walt Whitman

I was in Philadelphia and
crossed the bridge to Camden.
“I’m satisfied,” I said.
“There’s grass growing here
and I no longer care
what anyone might think of me
or what the future holds
or when and if comes money.”
I heard you speak, you are not dead
nor have I lived more than I lived
when you first spoke.
I kneel down in the grass
slide out some blades to chew.
I’ve read you, know your caress
and see out in the void your hand still is
trembling for my touch.
Walt Whitman, you’re the spit
green along my lips.
Help me to trust in it.

performance with Stephen Spera at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia circa 1982

poster by Patricia Kelly circa 1981

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