A Wanderlust Song

A wanderlust song
plays in my
collared heart.

Keys ring under water,
sunken chimes and bells,
a song of navigation,
your echolocation
for the journey
submerged internal
while all else

above ground,
as most must:

I swim the bottom
under a heavy gray sky
where goldfish graze,
the houses, squat boxes squared,
pressed under green plastic palms,
traffic sounds wish,
dogs bark bubbles,
birds hiccup their hymns
in the face of the looming storm,

and the wind shimmering through that tree
whose every leaf is gold and dead
is the sound of shallow currents
running, tinkling over the shore
abundant with the hollow trills
of tumbling tiny sea shells.

A long train horn trumpets
and low-end chords crunch
like a crack in the universe
and steal every sense of my place
on the ground.

The tune grooves a lissome circuit,
bluesy flourishes drive a tidal break.

When finally it steps
into a folksy gospel ballad,
I’m had, I’m hooked,
I’m alive with blood
that bursts through
my system
like desire’s

Blame the band
for my inability
to stand solid
on the ground
beneath my feet,
to see reality
right in front of me,
to remember

A band of liars and thieves
plays in my tempered heart,
a band of prophets and kings,

poets of patriarchy,
poets of patricide,
poets of matriarchy,
poets of anarchy,
poets of war and peace,

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ragamuffins of revolution,
troubadours of troubled passions,

singers of chaos and mayhem,
singers of order and rhyme,

a band of teachers and priests,
a band of workers and students,
a band of cubicle pimps and bosses,

a band of jailers and judges,
a band of liars and thieves
calls to me and I go:

Rilke’s Panther on rhythm,
Kafka’s Justice on beats,
Bolaño’s Exile on strings,

From Africa to Europe,
From Babylon to New York,

while Hafiz calls to Gd within
from a minaret over a cabaret,

swaying Bukowski forgets the songs
and spills wine on the set list
scribbled by Ginsberg and glued
to Whitman’s coffin.

And the Waiting,
and the Yearning,
the House of David sings,
oh, the House of David sings!

A band of liars and thieves
sing a song of desire and atonement,
a song of flight and grounding,
of dreaming and waking,
a song of love, love, love,
after all,

because what else is there
in a song of the heart?