Text excerpt:
To go from a slope of black dirt
to waiting brown water
is her objective:
a bath in wintry Central Park.
The pond beckons with its city ducks
and nautical sewer rats.
This place is better than nothing. 

Sit back and have myself a cup of steam/buy myself a bottle of dreams/sit back and watch the stream/of life
pass me by/sit back and have myself a smoke/tell myself a joke/wonder why I'm so damned broke/watching
the stream of life pass me by/I raise my eyes to the sky/and ask God why/I cant' have some piece of the
pie/he bought/sit back and pull myself a joint/and try to focus upon a point of reason and hope/'cause I'm
running out of rope/I'm running out of dope/yeah, you go for broke when it's drinks and smokes/and all of
your hope goes down the drain/and you're feeling no pain while you're dancing in the rain/'cause your life's
been in vain/and your past is just a stain/and a distant mote/while you row, row, row, your boat/gently
over the waterfalls. 

She doesn’t bother to undress.
Let the plastic garbage bags she has patiently
fashioned into blouse and skirt
bell around her like a nimbus.
Let the paper bags she uses for shoes
soak and tear in the pond’s moist throat.

After her dip she will rest,
lounge upon boulders west of the water.
She will pat herself dry
before a dinner party with the pigeons.


Out of the thick black smoke of a tempestuous fire!
Was born
Ah, long ago, when the universe was young
And the newborn lamps yawned within the cosmic throng.

Half the pain of youth is in discovery,
Half in lost youth.
In those first days of spring
We were kept out of drafty places.
Our mothers shielded us
Until we would not be held.

Up! Up! Into the constellation's clearing
Down, down, into the world
Was thrown

And then it was the last of spring.
We learned not to look at the sun,
And regret discovered limits.

Woke up to the world in a flood of lights
Crying without a name
All too soon it was the last of summer,
The last sprung spiral of a broken watch
We wound too tightly.

Walk through the crowded streets of mankind dying
Naked, but yet clothed in shame. When
Look up to the stars at night
I see
Stars spread out into infinity
And the dome of a lonely universe enshrouding me. 

All in an autumn’s rush
The leaves collected.
Too many months we waited
For the counting,
Let others do our bidding,
Bade our time,
And talked of other times
And other journeys,

Until when winter came,
We knew too late
That there was little left
To do or say,
But talk of other times
And other journeys.

If  I
Spread my arms out
Would fly, high over the expanse of a cloudless sky
High over the depths of a fathomless sea
High over the smog of a crowded city street
Up! Up! Into the zodiacs burning
High over the dome of the universes turning. And as
View the scene while my stomach's churning
Consider all I've done and who


The pathways of his thinking led
Down winding corridors
And twisting, tortured, searching, opened
Closed forbidden doors
And seeking inward through the chaos
Plunging downward into madness
Feeling darkness close around him
Pressing inward, slowly drown him
Still defiant, he went onward

This lonely path I trod
This body bent over steel rod
And mesh
Fashioned into a man of flesh
Scarred by the stylus of time
The unyielding sound of the
Sculpture’s hammer chiseling 
My will and my mind
Cast into the light of the furnace

Still he searched the dark unknown
Sought for truth and sought alone
And always sought alone

All too soon
The dross of reasoning’s brushed aside
No time to cry for lo!
Born to pass by noon
The sun’s so high it’s blinding
My eyes! I bow before its
Wrath and I say not, ‘I AM
What I AM’ but that I have
No other choice but to descend
This path

He would not speak who once had spoken
Truth that men had spurned
What should he say who never said
A word, but it was scorned?
They cursed his name and called him fool
Who always stood alone
And never dared to understand
And never left the firm, hard land
And never braved uncharted depths
Who leaves the shore may drown 

Rain falls but yet
I AM still cold
Fires descend upon a world
So old simmering me like coals
From the flame that I once was
A being of light!
Wrapped tight
In the tattered garment of a man

As men are men, and he alone
Adrift shall ever be
How can he make them understand?
He never walked the human strand
And men would never leave the shore
To seek a man at sea
Before me stretches forth the land
The traveler’s bag’s within my
Hand and I
I turn my back toward the west
With resolve heavy within my breast
To let my journey


© 2010, poetry by Austin Alexis, Daniel H. Canada Jr., Gordon A. Gilbert Jr.