after John Wieners
I had an accident but lived in elegance
on methamphetamines and small stacks
of Black Beauty paperbacks
and plastic plates of bread
and black cherry marmalade.
Later, a career of killing
time. And wasting money.
But I have always been extraordinarily gifted
at being alone. At the age of five
I thought I would never speak.
It wasn’t until I was thirteen
that I knew it was true.
In blond wig, old worn denim, and gold
chain with plastic pink Saint Genet pendant
I enter the terminal infirmary of music.
And move the body as though
engaged in infinite reenactments
of the sacred. Murmuring, among my people
in the ruins of the institutions of this city
awaiting dispersal of food stamps and low-cost medicines.
But I always knew if I worked hard enough
I would never make it.