I once sat – watching a blind man wail his saxophone on a street corner
the lines on his face a roadmap of his journey
I stretched out on the meadow blanket at midnight
watching the Great Sky Mother dripping her shedding – falling
Remembering that old street-corner minstrel
He played like Parker, Coltrane and Turrentine
all rolled up in one giant Hero Sandwich of Cosmic Sound
and I thought
These are the Stars that Shine Darkly.
These artists – who burst into Novae too soon
whose force came out with too much speed and drained them away
Artists who were handed the flame – handed fame – named King of the Beats
even though all they wanted was to write a little – Earn a little – Live a little.
Artists who heard the voice of God crying out to them
during cock-in-hand, spring Meditation
Artists slowly murdering their souls with Junk
squirted from needles dripped and dipped in blackened spoons
these are the Stars that Shine Darkly
And I think of these things as the blades tickle my arms on the breath of Life
and Mother drips falling daughters who shine darkly like their terrestrial brothers.
I watched old, blind Gabriel blow his horn for a year straight on his street corner
then he disappeared –
gone into the Void.
Ann Arbor, Michigan