with thanks to Margaret Walker and apologies to Allen Ginsberg
For my people,
their slave songs,
their despair songs, self-hate
songs, for those who
don't know they are
singing another's song.
For those who have never heard of prayer
who believe transcendence Eastern.
For my brothers who would
disdain my brotherhood.
And especially for those who learn all
instruments, move to Berlin to record
acoustic punk all solo albums,
with no knowledge of Faust.
For my playmates in the greenbelts
and beaches, bodysurfing, sandfighting,
jumping through fire on Norooz, brothers
who will never know,
Marco-Poloing in the pools
of perpetual summer.
Who play nylon stringed jazz standards
in upper rooms and dance flamenco
in wrist-rolling delight
and cook and spontaneously collectivise
the unpacking of dishwashers.
Who get cooked in bars and preach it,
who bang the lumpenbogan drum,
transform inheritance into lint and dust,
Prufrocks who dare not even write a line.
For those who believe in
progress and the eternal trapped mind.
For those others who watch Bowden in secret,
deny beauty by day, make bosses rich,
who have ceased their drunkenness,
return to quiet nests to feast on satire.
For the futile kickoff crowd,
for the winter desert roar of freeways
reconciled by famous memories
of girls on lifeguard towers,
the audience of after hours,
and seals commentating in the neutered bay,
For my people who are all of this,
for those who find out who they are
let a people loving grace
barrel out of sweated suburbs,
blast floodlights out of shoebox
apartments, send bonfires up
from vast estates of wool and beef,
so all will know, though it won't be said,
let the rule of thirds return to rule.
let brothers sing in truth once more.