Steve Dalachinsky

       OCEANA, U.S.A.   (for Ira Cohen)
                                                                          “what is ripe bursts”

the day is so immense
the sky     up     ended
                                     under sheer weight of clarity

sparrows & starlings bathe in the mud puddles that reflect their colors
         (all that is left of the BRIGHTON BEACH BATHS )

                            at 50 the door opened for him
                     he  with the conciousness of sparrows
                         drying themselves in the “sand”

   “very de sica”    she says     “very bunuel”    i  chortle

the door opened for him at 50
it was an immense door
considering the small world he inhabited

          he chose not to go thru

the day is immense           clear
the sky opens           
     asks if we’ve been profiled yet

the bay i grew up on has changed         some
there are less restrictions
less family values
more foreign     language
    the water is clear        with many small fish schooling

                    it’s a cool water cotton candy mexican maraca day
             a gay straight sparrow starling sailboat pigeon sea gull day
a native of & naturalized citizen of & illegal alien of americanewyorkbrightonbeach day
                  humbling itself before the arrogant breath of the sun

              the answer is the vortex                 the question is the door

the sparrows & starlings      they’d rather be around people than amongst them 

                                                          brighton beach brooklyn, ny  8/26/00


inside chinatown’s thigh
near the edge of st. james’ 
by oliver street
& described as     “OUTSIDE the CITY”
lies a dark acre of nameless tombstones
a sweet & sacrilegious monument
to judaism
consecrated in 1656
cornered by brick 
& bridged by steel & clay
the ashes of ashes
the dust of dust
on this cold & dismal ash wednesday.

a triangle of empty benches
the prickly wild berry trees
lining the black wrought iron 
speartipped gate

some secret inside the tombs
the vacant geometric forms
so worn & final
                           resting                    “en un espacio pequeno y solemne
                                                            para Shearith Israel”

a remnant of
a prayer for the souls
of the wandering dead
who now repose
in god’s new world
                                                                                   nyc    3/4/81                 


       lancelot      ( for robert creeley )

“ain’t goin down   i ain’t goin down  i ain’t goin’ down     to the well no more....” 

                  he sat there               
 deep in it
                                          scent of childhood still in his loins

                     the ankles          horse’s that is    all one could see
        thru the trees in the forest                             in the mud

   of their own struggling moments      before becoming history

listening to roland kirk’s      “gifts & messages”

                   what is ad lib       how does one see      who has the hippest chops in the world
    where does small flower      whose  aires  concieved  the things i love

  there were only white kids in my public school so of course when warren chu entered  
  the picture near the end of my stay before i discovered it was as is now history i befriended
                                                                   him immediately   
tall thin basketball tall warren chu thick accent whose dad owned the laundry on coney island
ave. where they lived in back of  only chinese to live in neighborhood & only other chinese 
business was joy fong where we ate once a month & where mom forced dad to order the pepper 
steak every time never could figure out if he liked chinese food or the what & where until very 
much later in history of spare ribs being anything but spare ribs & i think i was warren chu’s only 
friend for however long that lasted yet i remember nothing of our relationship except that i do 
believe it to be a warm one & that’s all i remember & i do sincerely hope that it is enough to 
make a history.

                            “ain’t goin’ down  ain’t goin’ down ain’t goin’ down to the well no more...”

the air is so hot in here
                                            & danny’s trumpet is really bothering me tonite
 dull low hum    flat  sound 
                                                   buggering my boredom

i came as a favor to a friend   yet i had to pay   i will leave owing nothing
                                   things    hidden in various     

   lancelot   strapped himself   to a once wild chicken
                all you could see were its legs       from the knees down

in the mud                    thru the trees in the forest
  poor diminished  bloody lancelot    
                                                                & his chicken
     did it ever imagine    becoming     history

               & the elephants   hyenas   & squatters      roaming around the forest

i wave my magic spare rib        yet nothing disappears

    i wave   & i wave  within a history of money changers with benevolent grins
                                 in a time of mostly shoes

   i suck on old crumbly lancelot’s chicken’s thorny hoof

                                          & gallop away   thirsting of death

           “........ain’t goin down  no i ain’t down  ain’t goin’ down baby to the well no more.”
                                        “go down ole hannah  don’t ya rise no more
    & if you do rise in the morning   we’re gonna meet on god’s golden shore...”

                                                               nyc     1/13-14/01  

                               the blood hustle  ( more than a lb. of flesh )
                                                                                      - “everything is somewhere else.”  
                                                                  -  for gregory corso  @ perazzo funeral home

nice suit gregory
simple    deep   rich brown   velveteen
your not-so-pale skin
not as tight as i expected
not as artificially seamless
though certainly
not       you

your closed eyes
a cloudy mirror of repose 
thoughtful lips
you stink of flowers
really       you
a fat 
rosiness   in what should be
the hollows of your
quite round & rosy
no cracks
but not really    you

your vows of  brutal beauty
though  not   broken
have been     somewhat colored
by the undertaker
& your once scarring caresses
by your not-quite cold, impenitent


                                                       the obligatory pony ride

( passing your life around the room   year by year / a series of photos / for a soon to be book )

                                                                           nyc    1/24-25/01

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