Thursday, June 30, 1994


a collage from Omni Magazine

Taking his cue, the comptroller gestured to the Colonel as he passed him on the quay in Peiping, thus sealing his fate. A brief stint with Taoism filled  him with awe, and a belief in a tableau of the wise eye in the sky watching over each generation.

But Grandpa wasn’t about to be passed over so easily like a stick hiccouping a chorus line over a xylophone. Sealing his fate like some centurion before the lion, he was more like the Navajo with his ewes, protective, and therof stubborn beyond the line of duty. He didn’t have time to invest in avoiding wrecks, he bulldozed his way through the W-shaped benches attempting to render the sterile environment cozy. The pharmacy exuded that familiar bouquet of janitorial cleanliness.

6  30 94?

I know I was twitching like a cheap cinq-cent psychology maven during the rondezvous, incanting some mnemonic rhyming hymn to leopard folk gods as he was bawling like some heifer abandoned by the herd. A toast was raised to the indicted man. I doubt he took it hard, handsome gnome that he was, but then, an island of marijuana smoke was building in the forecastle. Often I wondered if the half-penny prayer was hidden in the tableaux of a fivepence answer.

Where was Spock when we needed him? His whiskey breath, more like a rank harvest of vinegar than the fine liqueur used in zabaglione or sherry upside-down cake, was a ripener of the first degree. People often went from pea-green to omelet-yellow before succombing to the fumes. It was a real knocker, enough to make xenogamy a national pastime. He offered me a Danish the color of yogurt ice cream but I’d jacked some quiche fritters into my mouth pronto to keep some professional distance from the seedy polisher.

At least there were no aphids on the blossoming Tree of Eden screensaver on the Macintosh computer. Christ, as if I didn’t have things other than breakfast on the mind. It was like devolving into a Marx Brothers routine. 


             —For Tanure Oadaje

Climbing the mountain of confessions

Picasso was the Bird of Benin.
Tanure said when his grandmother was dying
to abandon the soil, you break the faith with flesh,
But the lines between us, so many stones.

Arabic words replaced words lost during the Dark Ages.

June 1994?  (I have no idea what this one came from—I was hanging out with the African poets at the time)