ghost immigration

i have always been
an immigrant in this
country of lingering dreams

where hawks leave obituaries
on the sky and
words are collected like
rain by the dying
held in reserve for
when the living are
between deaths with their
misery tongues built for
crying with death often
coming at the hands
of beauty

there is no forgiveness
in other men's dreams
no freedom to speak
the language of your
own madness

the course of history
quickly becomes a broken
record a phantom jukebox
calling us all home
to sing

ellis island of the
dead open your heart
to the music of words

call it heaven
rest your tears by
god's stolen river and
remember the secret the
sun once told all
who would listen

this shit is ancient
we have been dying
since before we were born

mermaid blues

when you're 16 yrs
old every little thing
feels like a love
song written in the
key of minor apocalypse

every wayward glance into
the lost centuries of
pilgrims comes like
a breath of fresh
air that seems to
last for decades

parents and teachers tell
us that these moments
will pass like a
cool breeze a drop
of rain on our
emotional landscape filled in
with the promise of
softly spoken lies

the fact is nothing
ever changes with
every kiss we become
aborted children of
hamlet's dreams all
over again without thinking
we recreate heaven in
our image with chalk
on mall sidewalks as
the ghosts of our
parents youth and everything
we ever set out
to be whispers mermaid
blues to the hummingbirds
of myth a worried song
that nobody has ever
dared to sing

each note a breadcrumb
fallen from an angel's
mouth while retracing the
first awkward dance steps
of god

here we are
all searching for grace

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

2007 Underground Voices