Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Part

A Part

An African man
In a U.S. Army coat
Pulls on his cheap cigar
In the trees
In a park
His back to a cemetery wall
Made mostly of mortar
Not so much of stones
In the tepid night
In Tel Aviv

Skyscrapers just to the east, but
So close to the beach
I can feel the sea
Pushing and pulling
The Earth

And he speaks to me
In Arabic or French
Something weary but pleased
And romantic

Having just received
The most sincere efforts
Of the insides
Of my mouth.

He looks into the far sky
Perhaps high
An oft-defeated fighter
For some unquestionable kind of freedom
And I say back to him
"American. I speak English."

"Ah," he merely said
Nodding slowly
As if he should have known before

And our hearts
Both sank
Into pity, to

In the moment, in the place
In the single time and space
Where coexistence
Was forever manifest, where
All was right here, every
Compounded and complete
Natural, full
Sharp, pristine, and clouded
Flawless, filthy, fantastical and real

I am only the audience

Forever a witness
Is all.

I will never

Be a part

Of Heaven.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Why I’m Hateful Sometimes

Why I’m Hateful Sometimes

Because I’m Bo Diddley or
Robert Johnson or at least
Eric Clapton, but I’m
The only one who knows it and

Because you’re Carol Burnett or
Phyllis Diller or at least
Mo’Nique, but
You don’t mind.

Because I’m
A stationary vagabond
And you’d fall apart
If you pratfell.

Because my heavy lifting
Is behind me, maybe, but
You haven’t finished

We were both thrown in the lake, naked and infantile, but
I swam to shore while
Everyone pushes her boat out again
To get you.

Because you’re never unhappy
In my estimation, but
I’m everything and that and always
In yours.

Because everyone sees that
Sometimes I’m creepy, but
Only I know
That you are, too, a zombie friend.

Because I argue with the radio like an old, old man -
I want them to do it right, dammit, and
You just
Never switch it on.

Because you don’t remember
And I can’t forget;
You imagine starshine from the black hole when
It’s just, plain, empty.

Because you’re in the moment, and
I’m in next week, even when the
Is zero.

Most of all,
I hate you

You’re at your house,
I’m at mine,
That’s what we decided, and
At the crossroads

I can be both
And myself;

You’re asleep in your armchair
In your bunny slippers,
Maybe never



by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Magical Reality in the Carolinas

Magical Reality in the Carolinas

Magical reality
In the Carolinas
Is not
The same as the Southwest.

Hillerman’s is dry, emaciating heat
And the other
Is dank, dripping, growing,

There is not so much dying
In Charleston
As there is always

Putrid, rotting, festering, spreading


The central Atlantic coast is not about
Earthly murder and holy spirits
But about resurrection, about
The living dead,

Not about hot, spiraling, rising mirages,
Wafting hallucinations,
But about the commingling
Of hanging white smoke and sharp flames,



In the desert

You can see the evil
And the enlightenment

From a mile away.

In the swamp
The things swim
Below the surface,
Bloated from their bites

Of the bodies

And the minds.

by Coke Brown Jr. -
as posted on Coke's Croaks -