the hunger of divine mermaids

i used to play
with starvation that black
cat of magic as
if it were my
daughter though there was
nothing there but a
plate of hollow bones
carving out dead languages
with crayons children used
to pray they'd hear
the call of shadows
playing mellow in the
shade i could hear
them tempting the mermaids
of divine hunger with
love songs belted out
for little more than
strange fruit floating under
the sun on billie's
death-mask feeling the
the stale breathe of
jim and huck that
once divided and made
whole our nation's red
sea whispered as blues
on the tongues of
young lovers an american
musical set to morse
code in the heat
of passion they sang
praise glory be
whatever you make of
it in the rain
that which has held
us in its cradle
we take to our
grave and call
it a history

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