Second Nature [final revision]

No art can rest now
or ever (for that matter)
on what it has been.

how can softer songs
come from drums subdued so long,
beating to exist?

[Part One]
”The way to do is to be.”
-Lao Tzu

(in roundabout 12 bars, a good man feeling down
is made a god by the sky that captures his heart,
rising like Horus in a picture only as
perfect as the blues that created him.)

life is one long, still
somehow connected stanza
of the freest verse.

poetry be me
conceived at moment’s notice
of the universe…
me: the song of two
distinct drums beating in vibe
with day’s ecstasy
…& younger days seen
dreams never passing me by
just keeping me high.

Tender Storm

a hundred nightmares
from a hundred dreams from now
a tender storm will

breathe…inhaling blues,
exhaling spirits that live
in the reflections

of night & the jazz
running thru my soul my own
in chameleon trains.

expanding cosmos
consumed by consciousness
am i, felt thru the flesh

of the metaphor
mirrored in universes
i write, in verses

that i fly by night,
by all means necessity
on my ride thru life

from origin to
end thru continuation,
peering at myself
thru the lens of my third eye
bringing fate into focus

as moon becomes sun
as old becomes young, strung out
on utopia
laced with euphoria, high
on the spirits within me.

when the spirits come
better git’ em in your soul
cuz days don’t come back.

spirits rise & fall
to the call of the voodoo child
within us all.

whispers in the dark
calling out loud thru silent
shadows of the mind
shine as museful knowledge
in these scribbled scroll-like lines.

alone & silent
thru doors of imperfection
i step out of dreams
orchestrating the fate
of my own ubiquity.

bouncing   off
the wailing walls was the sound
of  s i l e n c e.

my soul my witness
of the sun half-awake
the moon half-asleep,

siamese eyes that, though apart,
drift as one

while keeping an eye
on my dreamscapes, more vast
than the universe.
paint the sky with stars
& see them sparkle like eyes
watching dreams come true
as though forged in fate
riding the song of the wind
from here to heaven.

(morning faded in then out reciting itself:
“today is a gift called the present,” ray/sing me
thru the spectrum of my spirit, waking up hues
that conjure constellations of contemplation,
keeping daily appointments with eternity
however wild the blue yonder i choose to muse.)

“History is a people’s memory.”

-Malcolm X

i have peered into
the past & seen the future
rising like the sun.

time. is rhythm. is
the shuffle of happy feet,
moving to the beat.

mother earth with her
motherlode of wealth, old as
yesterday’s wonder,
views tomorrow thru lightning
eyes listening for thunder.

noon moon never frets
the midnight sun never sets
time never forget

…musing a ballad
under a handful of stars
& the midnight sun
i wear my soul as a badge
on which to rise, a blue note

in a minor key, like
my life were a suite bittersweet
2B read when i’m dead…

time: the first & last,
future & past, day’s last chance
fore judgment is cast.

“Tomorrow was born yesterday.”

–Gil Scott-Heron

the text i tailor
with thoughts as transcendental
excursions to no-

where yet every-
where in search of that next step
is my soul’s collaged

canvas, connected
from alpha to omega
by biorhythms

speaking the language
of the drum inside of me
sounding almost like

that of a trap dance
a la The Jazz Messenger
doing his Ritual…

& trips back to when
daddy would heed to Jimmy
Smith’s “Sermon,” with his

eyes closed, just patting
his knee, whistling with utmost

mama, listening
to Bill Cosby imitate
Noah at the Ark,

would laugh as i had
never seen her laugh before;
& i’d memorize

“That Nigger’s Crazy”
by Pryor,  with Phil (my best friend),
as though we were

there amongst the crowd
just directing traffic like
willie the wino,

who lived up the street
& everyday would drink
until he passed out,

waking up only
to empty his bladder
& maybe chatter

something surpassing
vulgar & (more than likely)
profanely insane…

& remembrances
of playing football for hours
on our old red brick street

as cottonwood fell
like snow in the summertime
covering the ground

but never melting,
or going to the park for
no reason at all

except to see
who might be running full court
& who got next…

& beautyful dreams
stored away for rainy days
when i’m old & gray

as tomorrow finds me
still digging up common ground
in the lost & found

discovering dormant
strength to be a truthsayer
who slays ignorance.

saw it in Playboy:
“do what u love…the rest comes.”
just didn’t say when.

baby, you are sweet
as a ripe sun picked on a
sunday afternoon.

you are a temple
of caverns 2B explored
cuz kisses don’t lie.

beautiful women
invade my mind, but none lovely
as the midnight sky.

afrodisia, you
sweet sticky thing. i love you
just bcuz i do.

i who have nothing
have all unfurled in you, black
pearl, even the world.

we are erotic
tides yearning & returning
for salts of the sea.

the best love is made
in the dark where nothing comes
& goes but shadows.

the shadows of doubt
stand mute in between having
& going without.

love: a tenor sax
chanting universal rites
to backgrounds of night

for love, to the poles
i would walk, thru hell on earth
the devil i’d stalk.

how can i
give up on love when her reward
is so great?

someday she’ll come
2 stay 4ever & a day
the one i love.

what love
unites…let no one

Portrait Of Love As Eternal Sunshine
for Lisa
love is the desire whose embers never expire
burning stronger than life or death in hearts of fire
hotter than the hottest august turned september
& i wonder–as i wander where melodic whispers
of joy & pain meet night written on faces
of the sky caught between wrinkles of sunlight–
if i am a phoenix burning in hell today
or a sunflower flourishing from my own shadow
fearless of tomorrow, uprooting the silence
death leaves in limbo, taking off into moments
one by one, trying to touch time as though i were
afraid to forget the invisible music
that builds bridges always reaching beyond the graph
of mynd into the realms of eternal sunshine.
(Penny for my thoughts)
at the point i quit
looking for It will undress
my fair libido.

(4 for Andrea)
It never entered
my mind until it happened
then i was in love.

you, i read like odes
from the poet tree, making
your story my own.

from behind the blinds
of my eyes, it’s you i see
thru the shimmering
shadows as night comes & goes
whispering, “hello, it’s me.”

i wait in vain
for her to stop on by
knowing that it’s
not going to happen
any time very soon.

(4 for Deborah)
let’s strip each other
to our thoughts until we both
have nothing to hide.

i love all
dimensions of you, from your smile
to your hair.

beautiful you are,
divine as a butterfly
born to spread its wings.

i say to myself:
“she’d be so easy to love
…but she has someone.”
Eternity By Infinity
for Lisa

in hopes that we would go

the depth over the distance, growing
deeper than the roots

of a tree, never to end what love
did begin, i took for granted that we would be
as one for eternity by infinity; yet,

love is a feeling

memorized, destined to

never forgotten
even if & when it dies
as it does sometimes.

& though yesterday is a memory, your soul
still gleams with the same brightness as the sun.

you were the total conjugation

of my entire language
& the music playing

in tune to moments
we’ve unhappily
lost in translation.

& our embrace,

a universe within itself
to call home, alive

archived in my mind
–that always refuses to go
quietly, already too late for a graceful exit.
“i’d lose myself
in eyes so unforgettable
as yours,” i said.

[Part Four]
(On beams of lyrical sight i take inner flights
thru invisible music that illuminates
me–aware that sound brightens my reality.)

jazz is the mind & blues
is the body black & bold
with gospel in the soul.

blue skies boogaloo
across electric horizons
of naked cities.

strung out on the night
i am soul on fire caught up
in the web of dusk
drowned by nocturnal slowdown
reborn from morn’s ashen ground.

the jazz tears the night
into fragments
that mesh with the air.

at twilight, night
comes in shining black armor
to save the day.

a day late
& a dollar short, daddy
used to say…

days blur & the next
thing i know  i see the snow
falling until spring.

(for Duke Ellington)
he spun fantasies black on
white with keys of life.

his long wandering
lines moving from sighs to moans
approach like notestorms.

with ten fingers
to create his tuniverse
of zombie muse/ic…
Thelonious Monk played
in ways they said he couldn’t.

(for Julian Adderly)
like a Cannonball
he played alto sax with
spontaneous combustion.

(for Gene Ammons)
he played the sunset
as though he owned copyrights
of the horizon.

to move worlds thru words
in seventeen syllables,
to make verses sing

like Anita
with fitted pieces of a dream–rage
into beauty

anger into art
ecstasy into me,
to make verses see

thru the scope of my
innervisions like Stevie
& to reinvent

time’s stolen moments
something borrowed out of mynd
body & soul

is to rock’n’roll
like a bunch of wandering stars
in a jam session

playing after hours &
beyond, conjuring cosmic reign
till dawn rides the blue train.


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