ELEGY FOR A CENTURY OF AIDS
and the Holocaust and Vietnam perturb,
AIDS kills my friends:
Brian my collaborator
Tom my editor Jorge the horizontal
Jimmy my photographer Paul my sculptor
Andrew my harpsichordist. My
ink is no ocean. Pine at the tree line vanishes, today
my cold country turns colder, September, spring and summer
for me this year has been a long
dying. Bear season on James Bay opens
in a few weeks, I'd like to turn
the page, kill, why not
deal death? The Blue Jays in the paper are in first,
as a kid, I shot
a jay with a 22, game called
for bullets. The sands of diamond seduction tick white.
"You're with the press
and you don't know what that is?"
Looked like brains and sangria to me.
Bury me in: the R.C.
headstone against the snow.
Murder in the streets
or a clock by the bedside, acknowledging
the tragedy of the homosexual today--all I can do for
such friends is make this hello to the magnetic
pole of death that draws us like the years.
I make few prayers while this cold Pole is pope.
(Andrei Codrescu and Laura Rosenthal, editors, American Poets say Goodbye to the 20th Century. Four Walls, Eight Windows; New York & London; 1996)