his majesty of bleecker st.
(for charlie purpura, 1946-2005)

just off bleecker i
can still see you
once caught carving charlie
plus jennie into some
decaying willow tree in
central park holding court
song for saint agnes
a blemish on your
heart is what kept

the ghost ferns
(for ken kesey)


ghost ferns whisper of
lost virginity dreamt in
show-tunes in dusty closets
a baby tooth deposited
in the earth of
memory barely breaking the
skin god was a
gamblin' man to leave
it here to plant
faith on swollen tongues
well versed in everything
but his dead language
swimming in spirits beyond
our summer of love
a march to some
volcano god's requiem for
a stolen


in august the promise
of grass turned brown
i think of the
pulse of the czar's
children as a last
dance where all the
music has faded their
soundtrack a viennese
waltz to peter frampton
i was born here
between the rings of
tree trunks we shared
secrets the laughter of
forgotten children hide and
we will seek you
out i caught myself
singing your words a
lullaby of bread crumbs
left for the night
to translate its own
intentions it's not only
human nature to burn
ants into the reflection
of the sun you
might say it's a
thing of beauty and
you would be absolutely

the sun sent flowers

he died twice without
asking for the sun's

once to pay
for the

and once to dance
waiting for answers to
forgive the

our god bathed in
sunflowers he returned the
wink the thought of
death held up as

a cold cup of
coffee for which he
would've traded the stars
ever present he witnessed
birth with inverted feelings
of faith regarding his

an inescapable ballet of
black-holes his hands were
a river rarely shaken
or swayed when night
squeezed the stars asking
for bullets where rumors
made love conceiving

for every pulse to
end as well intentioned
as it had

he died thinking
it was a tall

his friend the sun
sent laughter in
place of ambient music
which told the truth
and whispered

John Dorsey currently resides in Toledo, OH. He is
the author of "Harvey Keitel, Harvey Keitel, Harvey
Keitel" with S.A. Griffin and Scott Wannberg,
Butchershop Press/Rose of Sharon Press/Temple of Man,
2005, and "Moshing With The Cosmos" with Iris Berry,
Magenta Press, 2005. He can be reached at

2005 Underground Voices