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American Poetics

By Daniel Gillespie

All traffic lights are Chinese art thru the last of my retina –
and I am not offended, I am concentrated into the single atom
of a red dot where I have climbed the tower of our modern erotic air
and screamed out loud – virginal, black-faced,
and public for exposure – I am all American and the richest man
I have ever seen this naked, this abused and unrecognized – I have become a part
of the republic by my own choosing!
And I am as sane as anyone I know and I feel alone
as if paint were dripping off the tips of my fingers, from the tip
of my nose – phallus and flower – colors of terror and innocence
cover me until I cannot walk or breathe or refuse to vote for freedom –
but I will never be a martyr, and I will never roll my hair up or drink Champagne
or call myself an artist – I will never walk thru Wal-Mart again on my own,
the help of a thousand voices must lift me up, a million energies,
and countless dollars, rolled, crumbled and thrown to the floor – then I will bath
in the electricity of that foreign market with foreign languages grabbing
at my sense of worth, at my unborn heritage rolling down the grassy hills
of burnt flags to the peep show booth of another generation
under that smooth atomic bubble of breast, flashing the fire on and off
until we are all blind and newborn, groping our way to retirement
and impotency, to a cashless sex of pure meaning and form
where the inner room of religious experience sees me,
the poet, walking among the buyers like a giant mirror
waiting for the mind to cave in without escape.

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