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Passing Thru: For Ti Jean


Hailing a Cab

The Mumbler Speaks of
Pigeon Wars

Squeeze Play: For Joe and
Norma Jean

A Local Virgo Makes the Paper

Safe from the Elements

St. Valentine's Day: When you Care Enough to Send the Very Best

Completely Well: For B.B. King and Wallace Stevens

April Dancing: For Dietrich

The Left Hand of God

Passing Thru: For Ti Jean

The Rosary of Dachau

When the bell
rings in an
Easter City
of old people
a hero is a man

Who at the end
of his rope
still answers
and opens the door
to hang in

Its frame behind
a dark screen of skid-row Tokay
finding as Ti Jean did
that it was just

Kids passing through
his shadow as if
he was still Sal
of the sad Paradise
the all-star traveller

Playing almost all
his home games
on the road
where he had been
expecting the bell

To be Dean rolling
up in the back of
his mind whirling
in some ‘49 Hudson
dream of a hurry

To get somewhere deep
inside the black
jazz of the night
when really it is only
these kids you see

Full of nervy smiles
waiting for some pearls
of spontaneous prose
to drop a priceless
heavy something on them

That will move
the earth beneath
them just the way
it is when you get
laid in cheap novels

Only all they get
is the absolutely
straight dope of
a heartbreaking face
sketched on a man

Acting like some distant
neighbor of himself
saying, “Oh, oh you
must want the other
Jack Kerouac.”

So they leave
and through the wine
and the screen
he watches the cursive
white stitch team name

Of the Dharma Bums
beg the truth of the air
that tapers about their
blue shoulders as they
banner down the narrow walk

Like pennants being won
or lost in the blind
whim of the sun  


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