The Poets Parade

Thanks to Pablo Neruda
for drawing rainbows in the sky,
excavating salt from sea
and colliding politics with poetry.

Thanks to Bob Kaufman
for chopping off my head
and laughing.

Thanks to Jack Kerouac
for bebop Buddha poems
and for rolling out the scroll
of life on the road.

Thanks to Adonis
for slaying New York
and uprooting its skyscrapers
with grass woven from his hands.

Thanks to Jack Hirschman
for translating so many continents
full of radical minds
unheard in quiet spheres.

Thanks to Neeli Cherkovski
for reciting poetry
everywhere he goes.

Thanks to Walt Whitman
for eternalizing hope
in a nation chasing death.

Thanks to Jack Micheline
for simplicity
and power.

Thanks to Charles Bukowski
for rough nights spent alone.

Thanks to Jorge Luis Borges
for Argentinian lanes
where literary characters
play chess against their authors.

Thanks to Allen Ginsberg
for shaking the foundations
and erupting with biblical/diabolical
incantations of 50s/60s life.

Thanks to Dante, Ovid, Homer,
lyrical prophets professing
timeless myths
that the stars understand.

Thanks to all the translators
singing Middle Eastern poems
in a world confused by war.

Thanks to Hafiz
for laughing all the way,
and for pulling countless tricks
to reveal the face of God.

Thanks to Rumi
for slamming down the gavel
of quiet nights.

Thanks to Saint John of the Cross
for penetrating layers of nothingness
until words make up the core.

Thanks to D.A. Levy
for exposing Cleveland’s soul.

Thanks to Reinaldo Arenas
for comically stabbing Cuba
novel after novel,
verse after verse.

Thanks to William Everson
for synthesizing God
with the wild poetic life.

Thanks to Rainer Marie Rilke
for chasing angels to heaven
and not straying
from their crazy eyes.

Thanks to David Hinton
for bringing jade-blue skies
and crystallized rivers
from Ancient Chinese leaves.

Thanks to Richard Wright
for minding the moment
in haiku.

Thanks to Roberto Bolano
for cutting modern truths
from sunned-in Mexican days.

Thanks to Philip Lamantia
for going/not going insane.


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