3 X KENT JOHNSON
a thought to wrap your legs around in the wood smoked Pescara air as the green train snakes below the olive trees and the grape arbors which adorn the terra cotta studded landscape, a huge early moon hanging above the twilight and the smooth Adriatic rippling here and there across the wake of its golden reflection as gulls dive and soar, and hover as if this moment is stalled forever in the thermal that they float upon, and only a fishing boat with one bell clanging moves slowly thru the rising mist, its small red light winking.....
the last freed slave sits on the edge of his chair & sings into his shadow darkened by the sunlight feeding his corpulence forgetting for a moment to chant the obligatory banalities of his being..... as the icy cold squall delivers its fury out of the Balkans and the white-streaked sea storms shoreward, hurtling wave after wave against the dark, gray rocks that line the man-made breakwater a solitary fishing boat emerges from the heavy mist just offshore its beacon swinging haphazardly from a clanging halyard stretched from the top of the square cabin to the undulating bow lifting and sliding across each turbulent swell as the wind and rain numb my face
The Homeless Shelter*
a hundred a day are dying in St Petersburg the incontinent interval between one surprise and another One wan face in a great gray coat gives way to gaunt regrets piled in the cemetery’s heartless cold & immutable greed of incommensurate charity a hundred a day are dying in St Petersburg the mullioned girders' shadows fall where the fey psyche stammers chic & murmuring poets sing of solitude, of self-scored nebulae fissured by hope & in whose hopeless canned responses each newly painted paradise collapses a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg the intolerable degradation of one order into another & lonely hearts insist on lavish words that breed sullen calibration of a soul not worth the witless carbon it consumes, a fop that would more likely lie than not a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg the balalaika stains credulity with scream and counter scream of violin & in the finger-stirred Chablis functionaries juggle continents and sympathies while quasi semi studio types ad lib the muted sign, the status quo a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg conflates the neo-democratic twist with tyrant's assimilated turbid sketch The backlit smiles dispel asperities in discordant tenets where sensors drain consensus from gamboled idiom to intersect the blade with your expectant balls a hundred a day are dying in St. Petersburg the ambient sneer flaunts cheap review of fallacies adjudged melodic perks The mock reflection of emoted caveat spurns the cavernous sense of loss distilled by hype to afterthought, verbatim . . . unforgivable . . . . *The March 16, 1994 edition of the Maui News reported that 200 persons were dying everyday in St. Petersburg, and that half of them were homeless.