Shadows in the cave

“They’re not ready but they’re gettin’ ready”
He sings it real from his illusions
He leaves that brutish country for recuperation, rest and respect
He doesn’t have friends, he doesn’t trust people so easy
He gets rich and brings the ghetto uptown
He gets so sick he can’t be treated—we want to help but can’t
That fine-toned music he gives us—
smooth, hard, light, tight, joyous and insistent


Slightly overweight, the oriental lady— the wet subway stairs
her daughter’s rubber yellow raincoat, grasps her small young hand
They run fast down the slippery stairs, their rubber-wet galoshes shine
They can hear the rumble of trains—they’re so clearly late again
She slips down the subway stairs, lets go of the young girl’s hand
Hits her head hard as she smashes it into an orange metal post
Lies on the dirty grey floor while the trains rumble in—
Rubs her bruised head and starts to cry


A funeral:
They stand, they kneel, they stand
The church stinks its holy stink
They sing, they kneel, they stand...
Caught a glimpse of the old famous violinist
(so brilliant, so very brilliant)
He paces in his house
“I don’t want to die,” he mumbles “I don’t want to die”


I thought I heard them ageless sages say
This is the universe:
Divine will
Quantum vacuum flux
Mathematical essence
Timeless goodness
Pure value
The door of no return—the pain that turns you bad or good


We go from oasis to oasis
Something bothers her but I just can’t parse it—
It might be me...
Known all around for a certain moodiness
and taciturnity, he befriends a jolly Irish lesbian
whose long-term companion is absurdly morose
I frame no hypothesis but can’t help but notice
how time works us over


He doesn’t lie:
His memory tricks him
He’s got this great bawdy imagination and a keen theatrical sense...
Some out there look to destroy, to ruin everything 
She has no real instinct for right or wrong
Ambitious, she just doesn’t see the difference
They’ll destroy you, themselves, whoever’s around
They don’t care who


He wears dark green glasses due
to his morbid sensitivity to light
It’s one big brutal tautology says the sage
On that wall the vile shadows play as cool and ruthless as a logician
There’s nothing else here on the wall of the cave
I provide this information
He provides the weapons
What them gamblers do has nothing to do with me


Who protects them from:
The pimp who beats them
The landlord who shuts off their heat
The thief who steals their checks
The drug dealer who deals to them
and their own selfish, neglectful, mean-ass families?
It isn’t the medicine of friendship, I say
no one here is safe



-September 16, 2012-