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  1. (The following doesn't promote anti-abortion sentiments
    but protests orthodox Christianity's 'abortion' of a legend about Yeshua's marriage to / child
    by Mary Magdalene while commemorating statues of The Black Madonna)

    I had an affair with the Virgin Mary
    and left her that way,
    legs crossed - emblematic of a killing tree -
    haunting our footsteps into the shadows
    guarding The Palace of Dreams,
    her hands reaching for the fabric, the texture of dawn,
    clutching, milking the teats of mother goats
    on the empty hills,
    the sun scorching her hair into threads of black
    beneath the nexus of crossed darkness,
    “My name is Mary,
    What does it mean?” she asked,
    “Peace, I think,” I said,
    “I feel the hunger of the waiting many
    reaching through his arms,
    their pain through
    his hands and feet - do they know
    what they want?”
    “Peace, hope, a chance to live and love a little,” I responded,
    “Yes, so speaks my heart” - she fixed me with her eyes,
    and mine followed her steps back through the goats,
    bending to wrench wormwood from the soil,
    her lips caressing its liquid essence
    for a heroic, hallucinogenic spinning
    of fantastic myths and tales
    swirling around his head,
    “They were cruel,
    not allowing us the baby we so wanted,
    Yet, the sand so accepting of his feet
    before They raised him up” - her whisper
    dissolved in her moment of transfiguration,
    etched in stone, black image on distant, rolling plains,
    At loss for words
    I stroked her marble hair and face - as cool or warm
    as the touch of my grieving hands,
    while unheeding,
    a parade of monarchs, nobility and soldiers
    marched past in the full regalia of war,
    peasants quietly bent beneath their toil
    in fields of waving grain,
    struck heat-tortured sparks from anvils with hammers of iron,
    Ecclesiastical judgements denounced her as unrighteous,
    ridiculed her wisdom,
    while grandmothers, mothers and daughters
    came in secret
    to worship Mother Mary, Goddess Earth, The Black Madonna
    before her stone-armed cradle
    as empires, states, dictatorships and democracies
    rose and fell around her watch
    beneath my caresses, until I turned back through the goats,
    afraid to wrench wormwood
    from between the rocks as she once had,
    heart heavy for the moment of his sorrow,
    pondering silly answers
    seemingly without reasoned questions,
    remembering the one I’d loved
    and left a virgin
    in the stone-embraced emptiness of her heart
    for the Child they wouldn’t let us have.

    Still, her eyes look across the distant plains,
    caressing the silence of the air
    with the meanings of her names: Peace, love, hope,
    The Black Madonna
    and my once and still-loved Mary Magdalene.
  2. ( * Financially, Peter (Pyotr) Tchaikovsky, the famous Russian composer, was supported by Nadezhda von Meck, a wealthy widow, for thirteen years. Without a romantic attachment involved, they exchanged a torrid correspondence throughout that period, and Tchaikovsky was deeply wounded when Madame von Meck withdrew her support, possibly due to financial set-backs, perhaps because she found out about Tchaikovsky's homosexuality. Despite her reasons, one version of the story about Tchaikovsky's death says that he repeatedly spoke her name while in a delirium during his final illness.)

    ... *Prince Kiyama boiling up
    stirring the featherless soup
    liquid brimstone
    black cat-bone stew
    seething omens of steam
    acrid Big Easy incense
    dervishing above the bayous
    fangs of the city
    time blue
    inoculation of sorrow
    clinging to the street car of Desire
    racing to the Cemetery
    and churches beyond with windows of
    dripping crystal,
    altars of Russian-consecrated
    delirium and
    sweet Pyotr Tchaikovsky's murmuring
    rending the veil of white requiem:
    ''Nadezhda, Nadezhda, Nadezhda!''
    voodoo Nadezhda
    come back to me! -
    voodoo Nadezhda!
    I want to see the hem of
    your skirt flirting with
    your flashing ankles
    in your venom dance
    to a da-whomp, da-whomp yammering orchestra
    of owls, hyenas, jackals, cats, wolverines, coyotes, frogs, dogs and
    cathedral raccoons
    Nadezhda!
    voodoo siren!
    screaming the *B-Street tango
    along the barren ribs of night
    through the bleeding noon,
    chaotic twitching of feline tail
    sweeping the roof
    nadezhda-eyes staring at the *Union Depot
    across the street,
    yes! - yes! - want to see the hem of your skirt
    flirting with your ankles
    flashing like fangs
    in your venom dance,
    pearl flesh - and
    clack your heels on the marble floor
    of the White Nights palace!
    chickity chickity
    chickity tickity tick tock time
    glaring back at the B-street roof-top cat
    ready to spring to the roof
    of the street car Desire,
    cruising madly, careening sweetly
    toward collision with
    the street car adorned
    with announcement of Cemetery
    death warrant translucently glaring
    in dripping crystal -
    Nadezhda, Nadezhda, come back to me!
    lest the yammering be choked by essence of brimstone,
    Can you feel the veins of it?
    Halaboo-boo bobbidy
    creesh crash crickity crockity
    doo-whomp whompity oola
    dingidee donga bonga
    hola slappidy slippidy whippidy
    clickity click clack chickity tick tock
    booma bangadanga
    bong - bong - bong
    *tar-pants Madman with coal-blazing eyes
    teetering atop his conga drum
    with feet too mercurial to punch
    through its head: Bangada bangada
    bong bong bong
    B-Street blues hypnotized, baptized by dripping crystal enlivening
    Prince Kiyama's fingers
    stripping, ripping feathers from the chicken
    maniacal struts of demonic flight
    for coronation on his head
    caressing the coon-dick realms of beyond
    before stroking the feathers with one hand
    stirring the soup with the other
    tilting his ear toward the city
    chanting his name
    Prince Kiyama, Chicken Man!
    The King Of New Orleans Bayou Voodoo Magic!
    while a roar ripples along Union Avenue
    Give us The Blues Mojo Okie Snake-Oil Madman!
    the people of the city gave him that name!
    reverberations quivering away in thunder
    rising to a wail,
    Nadezhda, Nadezhda!
    I want to see your ankles flashing
    like the fangs of love
    igniting Bourbon Street!
    rattle the stones!
    shatter the silence!
    rapturous rupture through The Garden Of Bones!
    while above the bangada bong bong bong
    all that can be heard is: Chickity
    clickity click clack clack
    chickity clickity click clack clack
    yeah, oh, yeah, such stinging music
    ringing assault of rhythm!
    for white-haired Peter, sweet Peter
    is King of the Parade
    his magnificent head resting in the arms of
    The Nutcracker knighted Clown of Fat Tuesday,
    striding down Bourbon Street
    his tears coming to rest in Peter's hair
    silence
    white
    a coiling
    the roof-top cat launching herself
    midst the clanging of bells
    atop the street car of Desire
    reeling past the wreckage
    destination - Cemetery!
    mocked by fangs of love: Chickity
    clickity click clack clack
    haunted by the frenzied flailing
    of Madman hands: Bangada bangada
    bong bong bong
    bathed in ecstatic sighs
    Prince Kiyama, Chicken Man,
    The King of the Bayou
    New Orleans Voodoo Magic
    quaffing the limpid essence
    of black cat bones
    simmering omens above the bayous
    dervishing above the fangs
    of love - a yearning whisper:
    ''Don't stop, Nadezhda!
    Nadezhda, I'm getting close
    the silence is ravishing like your lips, your eyes, your face and
    your ankles,
    thrust the bitter fangs even deeper and I shall rest,
    and... now... now you can rest your weary feet
    until the dance's final call,
    but listen, Nadezhda, for one last time
    to my voice, to the clickity click of black cat bones,
    to the Chicken Man voodoo beat,
    to the blues rhythms
    of my lilting music
    the speaking thunder
    of my drum: Bangada bangada
    bong bong bong
    bangada bongada
    bangada bongada
    bong... bong... bong''...

    ***
    * Prince Kiyama Chicken Man: a colorful figure, now deceased,
    on the New Orleans voodoo scene
    *The Union Depot: former train station in Pueblo, Colorado
    *B-street; Union Ave: streets in Pueblo
    *tar-pants Madman: blues poet Tony Moffeit of Pueblo

    * * *

    By the time Madame Von Meck declined any more financial support for him, Tchaikovsky had become famous enough to sustain himself until he died in 1893, seven days before which he conducted the Moscow premiere of his 6th. symphony, The Pathetique, quoting the Russian Requiem and receiving a mixed reaction. According to a story propagated by his family and/or doctor, his death was a result of him treating indigestion by mixing soda bicarbonate with a glass of unboiled water during a cholera epidemic. Scholars, however, think there's good reason to believe that he committed suicide, perhaps with a gun, for reasons that remain unclear though possibly relating to his sexual orientation. Due to his being a beloved figure throughout his Motherland, the audience was reduced to tears when a repeat performance of The Pathetique was given nine days after he died - and the work is still considered a masterpiece.
  3. ... men and women of the night
    and doughnut shops
    where life crosses,
    in and out
    against
    after and before
    life mounted on sugary dough,
    where coffee drips for hearts of tin,
    guts of steel maternity
    stolen from everywhere,
    from halfway between here - and -
    I, there, seeing, hearing
    writing: "Heaven... often... not -
    writing things halfway between why - and -
    - "Heaven often is not found"
    while time shuffles tails and whiskers of itself,
    where the waitress stands in cotton print identity,
    staring, counting, pouring
    as she stolidly jockeys drops of acrid aspirations
    which seep through the seams in her hands to porcelain
    and beyond to shadows of

    echoes, doughnuts -
    - holes, the soul of hard
    lonely
    guesses and questions -

    - "Ya' need a refill?'

    "Naw,"...

    ... windows rattle the frightened night -

    - "Naw, don't need one yet,"- off-duty, now, and
    hanging over the counter
    his need hovers beneath her seams in hope
    as he speaks above a graying beard
    which seems long enough
    to tickle the bottom of the coffee pot when
    part-time, he, too, tends the doughnut shop -

    - "But phee-ewey!
    it really is getting' windy out there, ain't it!
    sho' wish it'd rain, though!"

    "You want rain
    and I want to know,
    do two broads have to live together
    or sleep together before they're lespians?
    Somebody please tell me,
    What's a goddam lespian?"

    "What a question, Denny!
    and it's lesbian, lesbian, not lespian!"

    ''Shee-it! Lespians, lapdogs, hussies! What's the diff?"

    ... the wind clutches at numbed glass and skin...

    "Well, if I have to match
    your ignorance with coffee refills,
    it's no skin off my back!
    you pay for both,
    but why don't you get a damned job
    instead of coming in here night after night
    and throwing a 'hard one' over those poor women?"

    ''Poor! my ass!"

    "You really hate them, don't you?"

    "Shee-it! Love, hate,
    lapdogs, hussies,
    What's the diff!"

    "At least they're really there," the *grocery-cart woman mutters,
    from her corner, unheard, without doughnuts,
    and how she does it, since she has no castle of her own
    and the sign above her vigil screams:
    "NO SLEEPING ALLOWED, EVER, NO EXCEPTIONS!"
    is a matter for those who play the odds
    on pain and guesses
    and the dignity
    still penciling her face
    beneath the streaks wintering her hair,
    a dignity as pulsing-real
    as the college girl passing in the street -

    - "Wha'dya think, Joey,
    ya' think she's a pro?"

    "Naw, Denny, too fresh-looking," and leering jabs
    of elbows into ribs
    fail to rupture the warp and woof of the bone and marrow
    which stretches between `lespians,' pros and college girls
    behind prison bars of grocery carts
    filled with the rich vomit of disdain.

    "Hell, you wanted rain, you've got it! Christ!"

    "Damn! You a weather prophet or somethin', man?"

    "I wouldn't be jackin' my jaw about nothin'
    if I was you, Denny,
    after the way the lady told you off
    a minute ago!" - seeking a refill, now,
    graying-beard steps behind the counter,
    "And that goes double for you, Joey!" -
    he returns to the barstool side of commerce.

    "Hell, you ain't no weather prophet!
    You're a goddam Pentecostal preacher or somethin', man!
    Who put your friggin' saddle on crooked, this morning,
    any-damn-way?"

    "Save it for the apocalypse, Denny,
    you're going to need it!
    Say, by the way,
    your shift is about over, isn't it, girl? - he leans toward her
    across the counter
    for they both
    jockey cigarettes and lighters
    when other bridges fail.

    She accepts the flaming: "Yeah, when the other gal
    gets here,
    When's your next shift?"

    "Five-goddam-thirty in the morning!
    Christ, I have a friggin' twelve-hour shift, tomorrow!"

    "Je-ezus, that's awful!" - her smoke forms
    rings of disconnection.

    "Ya' ain't ****tin'!"

    ... "five-thirty, that's when it was,
    at least I think so - a long time ago," the grocery-cart woman
    answers an inner cycle: "A long, long time ago -
    - my pen stutters: "Heaven... often... not"....
    then dipping and bowing
    to the pogo-ing of streeted raindrops, it finds stride:
    "Heaven often is not found
    in far-off places
    but stares us in the face
    like plate-glass windows" -

    - "five-thirty... yes, back when I was real,"
    the grocery-cart woman's fingers tattoo time,

    tattooing

    "Tah-tee-dum, tee-dum-m, tee-dum-m, tee-dum-m,"
    and falling,
    though not the pattering of rain
    nor thudding steps
    of souls beyond the edge,
    but the half-singing of She who's come
    to relieve the Other She
    who waits for a younger script of Self - Herself -

    - "tah-tee-dum-m, tee-dum-m, tee-dum-m,
    would you like a refill now
    or wait until I make a fresh pot?"

    "No, thanks, I'm fine,"
    `My, she sure is pretty,' my mind wanders from my pen
    to the younger waitress, `A lot like piano-woman
    whom I cared for long ago,
    was perhaps in love with,
    I don't really know,
    She probably didn't know,
    I don't think either one
    of us really knew -
    - O muse of hammered strings
    O robin-breast of soul-mate deep connection!
    Where are you?
    I am waiting!" - but why are graying beard
    and She in cotton print still here,
    why don't they go home'?...

    ... black, acrid gulps of hope
    leap porcelain,
    my pen seeks delirium of ecstasy
    in that which has been, is, and will be:
    "Reflect Heaven in yourself,
    reflect and go in peace
    and all will be well, will be well"...

    "So, ya' leavin'?"

    "Yeah-h, gotta' be goin', girl.
    See ya' tomorrow night,
    You take care, now - okay?'

    And so, into streeted pogo-ing
    raindrops,
    Perhaps his graying beard
    will be long enough to tickle laughter from the sidewalk
    where life crosses,
    in and out
    against,
    after and before...
    ... and the coffee is meant for hearts of tin.

    * (The imagery of the grocery-cart woman was inspired by and is in tribute to a real-life homeless woman who lives out of a grocery cart at doughnut shops, the bus station, library, and often, by standing for hours in the lobby of the post office at night).
  4. Manifesto)

    VIII … stop! - Skid! - Shift knobs, slide gears, vomit numbness, fondle!… the music of guillotines!…

    VII … unmannered retching! since everything is a percentage of death in motel prayer-nights separated from unholy echoes and junkyard dogs yapping the insanity by disdain mating hysterical drools with refried rectitude, masticating giggling shame: “That dog, there, lifting a leg, there, back-alley sodomy of wetness in air – Hush, mentioned for headstones only” strewn among graveyards, sweet-jeezus jukeboxes purple-trumpeting along the borders of Their juice: “Yes, Holy! Holy! Holy!” screaming down the Holy Ghost and Fire in prayer-gutters backbiting along time of choicely chosen madonnas weeping children dear-jeezus-glittering through open legs into angst, screaming tilted jigsaw puzzle pizza-glitzy jive for crumbling bridges back and forth between us and wrinkles of self-righteously disgusted divinity…

    VI … bloodcurse-running!

    V … in dark rain! Red Sea deluges of body burning with love or shame-delight while lightnings flash through babies’ mouths giggling thunder rattling screaming jigsaw puzzle dripping into gelled pots of leftover Judgement “Not here, not there, not any nor every when or now!” “Jilt the proper puke! Go with pyromania! Torch the Dogma State! – the pimps of puppy pimple-love!” who juggle governed durges of rote, “Save the children!” - lapdogs yipping the absurd reprobation of cloned devotion drowning unwashed questions, non-visa versa versus vice: “Dead business liturgy!…

    IV … confessing in whimpers while love returns unwashed by tears of joy with eyes unwept and blank - chameleon colors change with choice of sins - the tilt, undropped shoe, The Word beyond all words waiting in the hush of The Timeless Whisper, the sighing , yet, of a stinging sweetness: blushing dawn draped like a Bridal Veil! Hear it, touch the deep Hymnal-Wraith when the darkness yawns and Gypsy-Sun slips mirthy skyward with giggle of wind in birth - stallions chasing mares, babies playing the alleys of apple-cider autumn, Soon, amethyst-glittter of dusk and Gypsy-Sun kiosk-safe beyond; moon, then, perhaps, and lovers’ juxtaposition before rooster-purple dawn with All contained in all,

    III … and the why of how, when and where, the where of how, when and why… all we, here, in roads, fields, cradles, in streets…

    II … the rain! - the dark rain!…

    I … ascending silence like cathedral-chills of tomb up spine…

    O… oh sweet, snorting jeezus
  5. for The Beloved, a night at Nedjima Bar (Ankara, Turkey)

    … hypnosis shattered by atomic jiggling, salivation of song on your brow,
    channeled chaos of body, spastic sound, tantrum of dark delight unbuttoned
    and flung over the up-ended chariot of the moon,
    vibration – stuttering – thunder of slap-happy bass thumping the roots of “sweet home chicago”,
    you and I beard-to-beard, the pomegranate purple of your breath singeing my whiskers with
    notes insanely bent in the blush of your voodoo blood
    and throbbing with “go, johnny, go”,
    johnny be bad in prickly heat needling a conflagration consuming my pores,
    revival of beat-howling preacher on knees of confession in harmonica valley,
    drumsticks masturbating the crazy, crazed hymen of rhythm ravishing
    sin and redemption in our eyes testing the high-wire between us, fluttering,
    fanning the flame, tongue-flailing the invocation:
    “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, do you have your dancing shoes,
    are you ready for some blues flames, some rock ‘n roll rantin’,
    Do you like dogs?
    You see, the boys in the band are going to let the dogs out,
    all the dogs, all the way out and it’s going to get scorching hot in here because
    hallelujah, amen and great balls of fire!”
    here is your raving medicine-man
    screaming joy through the microphone,
    alley-catwallering yowl uprooting our chakras
    along the silken storm of strings
    strutting, spitting, rattling snake-eyes of resonance along “route sixty-six” curving
    around our shoulders in the “t-bone shuffle” of your right shoe, my left one,
    black, red, “blue suede shoes” and “well, it’s one for the money, two for the show”
    neural earthquake, volcanic sermon shakin’, blessin’ and cursin’
    down on “mustang sally”
    “uh-huh, uh-huh
    guess you better slow your Mustang down ’cause you been runnin’ all over town”
    lawd, “guess I have to put your flat feet on the groun’,”
    uh-huh, uh-huh
    “mustang sally” docidoing with “caledonia” mocking yo’ momma, teasing yo’ daddy
    and tell ‘em I’m comin’ ’cause your name’s caledonia dripping with “sweet alabama”,
    sulphuric scripture, reprobate weeping sugar, third eye of beer and limbo games under my scarf
    shouting, laughing, you at one end, me tracing the vale of “sad, so, sad”
    ’cause “I got a woman way over town”
    got a, got a woman way over, way over town,
    so promise me to love her first and me second ’cause “I’m the hoochie-coochie man”,
    not way over there, but here because we gotta’ get our feet right off the ground
    along the path of the soaring, skin-disdaining
    serpent probing our souls believin’ our believin’ eyes in askin’,
    do you be “secret agent man?”
    because they’ve taken your number and given me your name I
    raise in exultation of bone-bred pain screaming for a strangling
    of questions “in the shadow of the city” risen from scorched, grinning alleys
    strewn with fragile hope-seeds born in the spittle of fertility, ancient
    moments still watching over the sacred egg from which we
    came – and shriven of barrenness I throw back my head to yell,
    “you ain’t nothin’ but a houn’ dawg”
    nothin’, nothin’ but a
    houn’ dawg, houn’ dawg
    runnin’ tongue-led along my trail joined
    to your redolent thread, us sweetly inflamed with “bad, bad whiskey – and we’ve lost our home”,
    bad, bad, bad, bad whiskey, highway of liquid-burning sin and yelping salvation
    from heaven and hell to the beyond of the subway station confessed with “I love you”,
    and the only answer I need is redemption of the night
    steeped in the beautiful, bad bad whiskey
    of your eyes…
    … and the whispering hymn of the wind…