For Jack


A rough and necessary noise
Your foghorn voice
shouting of birdsong and butterflies
Telling off the dogshit blocks
in a muttered rosary
of poems and imprecations
Wringing your hands
in Tourettish mudras
Eggstained anchorite
commended by whisperings of angels
to narrow cells in derelict hotels
and reluctant suburban sofas
Making something beautiful
where there was nothing before
Crawling bareassed
across the sunroom floor
painting the sweaty wind of horses
While the Chinese landlady
Curtainpeeks in horror
Dispatching flotillas of envelopes
to lonelyhearts newspapers
Begging women of substance
to send big ass shots
to a Tenderloin mail drop
Pissing free wine
on the Carmel gallery sidewalk
Despising the shipwrecks
and storms at sea
that pushed your mystic portraits
off the walls
You paraded your broken heart
across a Greyhound maze of country
Spirit sagging but defiant
We celebrate life at your behest
as the sharks circle
and swallow the bait of death
Dollar signs on crustless sandwiches
A river of red wine
washed up on collectors’ walls
What a ragged emptiness
echoes through the gut
of the lost cities
A last lodestar gutters and fades
No longer possible
to triangulate our outrage
on a roiling sea of malls
and airport corridors
You never will consent
to join the ranks
of the Dead.