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Wednesday, April 15, 2015


 (for G. S. Sharat Chandra)

When I went to college
I owned a large Zenith radio
from which the world
came into my walkout basement
beneath the old lady
who would fall on the floor
with a thump
that would make me look up
to my ceiling
covered in hippie Indian bedspreads

Sure I went up to call for help
Then back to the dungeon
where I'd listen to the radio
all night to hear the latest
on the Symbionese Liberation Army
and Patty Hearst from KNX in Los Angeles

Exposed pipe wasn't as lovely
as the block print colors
contrasted with the sound effects
recorded live on the scene
of gunfire and police interviews

Three windows kept me in touch
with the outside
One to the south that looked
out over the town
and two onto the parking lot
behind the building
at 300 North East Maple Street

How strange it is to now
look upon that building
and see the apartments
upgraded with shiny new appliances
across the nation inside my computer
looking for ghosts of a different time
when Simon gave me an acid dot
and I watched a Roman trireme
being rowed across the sky
That night at his Halloween party
The great Chandra would open
my mind to the world of poetry

So now I've come to his old grounds
to find my writing voice
as I hold my walker tightly
sliding around my mobile home
only wishing
someone could hear me
as a stumble
to fall upon the floor

As I lay there
will I see Roman ships
rowing across my ceiling
and hear gunfire from Los Angeles
or will I slowly sink
into the stupor of an acid trip
the brilliance of my ceiling
once again covered in block print tapestry
from his homeland around the world

As that has not happened as yet
I know the day is coming
as life winds slowly down
like the words of this dead poet
stuffed into unread books
or sparked across a screen
the explanations before his reading
by who and what
the future wants to hear
plain language
delicious as simple block prints
from that bearded dark skinned face

Barry G. Wick 2015

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