For Willie Perdomo, with sincerest apologies for missing tonight’s show. I just couldn’t deal…
Be sure to pick up his new book, Smoking Lovely, and catch him at Acentos next month, November 11th.
for Willie Perdomo and Imani Springer
I. 1996 -I am you. You are me. -I am you. You are me. perspective flipped god taps me on my right shoulder whispers in my left ear -I am you. You are me. We the same. his words communion wine his voice a deep, husky red -I am you. You are me. We the same. Can't you feel our veins drinking the same blood? i swallow deeply inhale the scent of prophecy II. 1997 he says if it wasn't for her i would be standing on the corner thinking about the world drinking blackberry brandy keeping a cold hustler company with stories from back in the days and i know exactly what he means if it wasn't for her i'm not sure where i'd be now but back then when dreams becamse nightmares you'd find me in a bar called botanica borrowed pen in one hand cold pint of stout in the other american spirit hanging from my lip unable to change my world determined to change everyone else's i wrote it all down alternately angry drunk suicidal revolutionary drunk alone despair is the muse of the blocked and i was prolific III. 1998 where's he from a nickel costs a dime langston told him that where i'm from trees are few and far between leaves, like dreams of escape wither, die, fall, float in curbside streams to the sewers below no one told me this exactly but i could hear it in his voice when he tells me what his mother said, "Bueno, mijo, eso es la vida del pobre" (Well, son, that is the life of the poor.) when we finally met on the other side of our own books of Job he stepped down from the pedestal i'd placed him on shook my hand god becoming man to save my soul IV. 1999 a twelve-year old poet asks me why I do not write anything funny eyes aglow with innocence and hope i do not have the heart to tell her that i lost my sense of humor years ago but my poems have told her exactly that she smiles at my hesitance and i want to tell her about every single thing that has ever stolen my faith wish there a way to put it all in one poem shove it down people's throats make them choke on it - gag for air beg for second chances to do things right but i don't in her eyes is the hope i'd lost and she offers it to me no strings attached just a simple question and a smile V. 2000 of all the books resting on my shelf what i remember most are the voices and the people they belong to -I am you. You are me. We the same. there is no poem that can change our worlds only poets who can change our minds