Poem by John Sullivan


(From the Poem 3 for OC)

Chan Can Dance, but a Red Steel Vulture Don’t

For Picasso’s Red Steel Vulture in Daley Plaza
(Chicago) that looms and sometimes drips a rust-red
effluvium on passers-by: but nothing drips on Chan,
because she’s too damn fast. She’s nothing but a blur
of bone.

Yellow horns go crazy
when a harsh lip touch ‘em,
and Chan can dance
in a window, not no
secret to my eyeball in
a gold light afternoon, upon
so many hooves of commerce
cross a stone river, stone
backwards, each ghost
goes belly-up, goes
panic, goes show, and
show some leg,

like Chan can in a
window: soft finger
of platinum draws
her outside on a red
light afternoon, palms
open, on her skin, a
light, and gold, no
stone again, no
cosmologist groupie
in a “Cure” drag gots to
prune another patient, no
way, no one misses hats
more than the occasions
for hats, but a statue, Herr
Wesen, a statue of a vulture
is not-no-vulture, no
more than ain’t no sense
in a long mile shine,
straight into actual
blue light afternoon, say
Mr. Red Steel Vulture gots
No future, neither, he
don’t blink like
a vulture blinks, don’t
dance neither like
Chan in a window can

breeze a note away
and still, and always,

ol’ Red Vulture gots
to grook-a-long a fat mayor’s
playpen, say don’t droop,
Mr. RSV, make a drip-steel-drip
of red juice nether down
to snow, instead, nether
down in red muddles under
so sore hoofers slogging
by in a poor ol’ sad ghost
bunch, and they can’t
blink back, neither, can’t
dance on a gold light
afternoon in a window
like Chan can

“Reaching for Faded Ribbon” © Bill Wolak

John Sullivan – Lives and work in Galveston TX and has a background in writing and theatre – directing Theater Degree Zero (Tucson / Bisbee AZ) for a number of years, Seattle Public Theater (applied theatre wing) and the Amnesty USA Local Group #23 (Houston TX) with Michelle Rae. He is as a juried poet to read at this year’s Houston Poetry Fest. A lot of his work is influenced by music or the lives of musicians: the “OC” in the title of the series refers to Ornette Coleman, one of the founders of Free Jazz.

Bill Wolak is a poet, photographer, and collage artist. He has just published his twelfth book of poetry entitled Love Opens the Hands with Nirala Press. His collages have been published in over a hundred magazines including: The Annual, Peculiar Mormyrid, Danse Macabre, Dirty Chai, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Lost Coast Review, Mad Swirl, Otis Nebula, and Horror Sleaze Trash. Recently, he was a featured poet at The Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival in Craiova, Romania. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

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