Friday, March 02, 2007

Stephen Mead

Blithe Spirits

"If we reorganize lost noises,
maybe we can create music."

Cheng-Chong Yao

It takes, admittedly, a little arrogance,
desperation, this arduous task:
to siphon pain, veins of nicotine,
those death gnats, that lead,
& become an astral kite.

Afterwards, space is egalitarian,
the earth a postcard depicting weather scapes,
countries blotted by mere one gloved thumb.

Now breath is better, meaningful,
air, an intention light redesigns.
Shadows track sound,
celestial pitches, invisible, conducive
to entire sky chords.

use noise. Channel a vacuum. Let arms
intertwine, fly, forming flutes. First disbelief
must be suspended, next, energy, finally, anguish:
a sling shot to shoot from, foolishly faithful.

Oh harmonic dharma all ridicule sneers upon,
we have no more interest in pettiness or evil,
those jaded snares, while here we rise widening,
spirituous fifes amid seraphim:
what an astronaut hears.


It's rather a shocker, to nature & even myself,
the fact that I've survived.
Most figured, & I don't mind saying it,
that I'd die young, one of those frail
neurotic types for whom, to be borne,
the world is too much.

The thought could make one nauseous,
but all I can do now is laugh & laugh,
wondering just who in hell is left
for me to celebrate this with.
The cats, I suppose, Duchess, Periwinkle,
& old slant-eyed Redcoat with his left ear
half missing.
I've nineteen altogether,
their life spans a collective karma
for the incarnations I've gone
through, who I was during this decade, that,
each, more or less, a bit of a scrap pile.

Fingering the tatters, everything floods
back, the chain smoked years waking up
to stumble over bottles
or into arms—-—
Ricardo's, Jack's,
those throwing down lifelines while, in actuality,
searching for their own, the mattress going, "Dao! Dao!",
'til I decided friendships were the best intimacy.

Then, as you know, I fell into leaf-letting,
demonstrations, & the lot, even 24 hours
in some cold piss-stenched jail.
In between there were letters, books, the cinema,
wash days, picnics,& every odd job imaginable.

I remember feeding Suicide Bernie
coffee one long night for hours.
I remember C.C's cancer ravishing flesh the way famine does.
"Oh good." I think Izzy said on the death of McCarthy.
"Where's the mercy?", asked Shirl
on whatever occasion, the 3rd world, our own street,
she came up against the cruel.

But, as I've alluded, they're gone,
gone except to me, cradling,
crinkling, smoothing such lace
mentioned now 'n then to the curious
visitors who trickle in.

"What was it like?" or "What should I do?"
Questions like that.
Once in awhile, as if at a river, I see a bright
thread, a flash of this unattainable masterpiece
where their reflection is mine, rippling superimposed,
first puzzled, then, placid, but, come on,

at ninety, once in awhile is still pretty fair odds.

Stephen Mead is an artist and writer living in northeastern NY. His work has been presented extensively online and in print. His merchandise can be found via

Dorothy Mienko Barry Seiler Lisa Gordon Stephen Mead Michael P. Workman T. Lewis Olga Lalić-Krowicka Joel Fry Dave Ruslander Anna Kaye Forsyth Keith Nunes

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