Learning to rhyme with the dawn of in-Hu-Man,
Tasting what revels in itself as a child watches
Me stumbling across the street, late for work, for even life
Dribbling in your viewfinders. Did anyone
See the shooter was outside?
This isn’t fabrication, Art, “Reality,” or anything
He said: I better clock in for work like you guys too,
Right? I better tell you everything here is basically
Going to be your last shift; movie over; song ended.
But that’s okay – I hear you speak, not yet
Screaming over the copier’s busy whine,
The food channel showing quick lunches on the wall T.V.
A thousand metallic fists will strike soon.
Scroll down to the lesbian boss licking her intern
As I enter suddenly, unannounced, brandishing
Thought as a physical construct for mass demise?
As discussed irreverently on your annoying social
Media channels: Did you know “The Shooter”
Is the real influencer, advisor, guru – he/she/they?
At your cyber desk. At your window. At your breakroom.
Speaking to you in tongues, various languages.
The very migrant nobody wants around, no skills,
He’s inside the building now, inside your office, inside
Your very mind’s being a simulation of itself,
In another lifetime
Far from this one
You – or Me.
Poetry is no damn good, the Muse told me, chugging down
The devil’s brew while I sarcastically commented,
Torqueing-up like a long James Dickey line
Impregnating the cosmos with dawn’s first light,
Reflection of the light year’s fire which still is
Exploding within you. Then laughingly, musing
On her/his/their lightning words across the billboard
Advertising a clown’s red nose painted by Jeff Koons,
So brilliantly; now worth millions at chic auctions
For the over-classed collectors of priceless curios.
She/her/it walks in the cool waters of creation,
Or mass genocide, watching the stars or bombs
Fall into the igneous museums closed for eternity.
I paint Dame Muse nonetheless, I fashion the many-gendered
Facets on the e-canvas only shallow vendors see
Never glimpsing its real identity, or God’s.
The spill of words does not define you, cannot portray
A sediment of slime burying the truth. But where is it,
Wandering this day through back alleys of downtown
Vegas, pretending to be one of the homeless?
That must be it, a fact with no home to go to,
A word synonymous with nothing, a letter with no hyphen
To connect with the universe of belonging.
Even me in the flesh that cold day, a researcher
With tatters on, I came across an encampment
The truth did not shrink from, nor shirk
In moth-balled tents reeking with the wintery mold
Now, at hot-damn long last I told myself, the real deal
Of what it’s like to be homeless in this society
Of looking-glass simulacrums, or bums.
My true calling. With mike recorder in hand, standing
There asking the motley residents what-is-it-like?
To have no direction home, just a complete unknown
As Dylan crooned from a nearby ghetto-blaster
Festooned with a neophyte’s greasy graffiti:
To be one with the hip, on-the-run with Jay-Z
& the beauteous young street queens day after day
Against the backdrop of glittering mega-structures
Housing the mega-bucks all of us yearn for –
The true ticket
About the Author
Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where for years he’s been active in the small press as editor, writer, poet, and publisher of his own lit-zine, ART:MAG. His recent offerings have been in online & print places like Fevers of the Mind, Knot, Every Writer, Impspired, and elsewhere. His recent poetry book is Night Pictures from the Climate Change (Cyberwit.net).