Daniel Y. Harris – Frantic

Daniel Y. Harris

                              for Brian Brophy, Chicago 1987

Play to remain ahead like a godling who does not want
to be the plea which runs like a prayer through the
large black door where not even the reach of her
arm could for that matter bring to climax the pale
rough glide of ecstasy where the white glow of
then like now not be confused with apparitions
that form crescent-shaped gravity hedges near the
birth that has nothing more than notes of guitars

stretched tight letting no harmony drift forward from
what the critics cynically suggested was neither
the bestial nor the bestiary but rather the evaporation
of matter as it quenches thirst on that face you dubbed
thirst as Chicago grew like moldy figs on the heavenly
gates of North Wells now left for the actors of lice
who lip service their way to fame with the smiles
of income and the waves of commercials left to spring

from Second City the improvisational rampages now
more insipid than the lady who was the meaning of life
before the quake and the lusting of LA with white
sports car and biggy Hollywood parts surreptitiously
concealed in fame which barks its way beyond the pale
of human potential a god of detergent where nonsense
like a hot lick and smoke allegorically represent the
sadness littering the soul like oil in an ocean you

called the heart which is so immense the strongest seem
bewildered by its very touch or the exposure not more
than vines from a lost epoch of romantic visionaries
reciting the iambs of Shakespeare with whiteface
and masks through the archaic and plasmarealism of now
like atoms spiraling in seven dimensional vector spaces
of dark streets from convulsions of the shaman’s ritual
rites in the laugh-pun-spark-itch of so much comedic

abuse they say is all any able-bodied red-blooded
American man would need to toil the fields of creativity
fermenting like fine rusted bolts labeled elixir or
aphrodisiac or Theater of the Stock Yard marked
by the cold we dread so much like iron cranes now a
discarded clip where Marlon Brando vomits away the
light he fought for but called nausea as pure form of you
who jotted everything down in twenty five journals

not to be seen by the famed audience knowing your name
and chanting your contribution in supermarket lines
which resemble a theater enough to be its idea or at
least a painting of real estate with men who are women
who are gangsters but love you because the goddess
spelled your name out on those shores Marlon called
broken glass and kept his hand on until the blood
was too much and love too powerfully suggestive

of the pull that has you by the neck as you shine
alchemically bringing magic to everyone you meet
everyone who hears about you and your inability to
choose between the choice and its enemy decision
haunting your dreams like the ideal women never to be
known but to be washed with scented shampoo or
the eternal cliché rambling unpunctuated in the words
of mold and dust your friends have become.

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