Hearing Roy Orbison on the
Tape Loop at Starbucks
The 9th makes no difference to canyons,
and it was Mozart then, played at the camps
over the roar, the oven hiss.
A couple years ago,
I was standing over the body of a dead bird,

and suddenly
some hallucinatory
cardinal piped the opening notes
of one of the Supremes' last hits.

What is the meaning of meaning to what
can't feel its own thought?

Pretty woman, talk to me
nel mezzo del camin',
tell me why you're here
so I'll know who I am,

sip the iced coffee,
lick the roof of your mouth
that will rot into un-feeling,
wear the dominant immobile brown,
the death uniform.

Poverty and what passes
is our music,
the self
subtracted from sense,
Hendrix under the dome of the dream,
Brahms on a red donkey bearing sticks and straws,

and the sublime Roy on the knoll overlooking
the valley where what never gets said
is buried like fish under water,
eyes in heads.

--- From The Black Beach
J. T. Barbarese
©2005, University of North Texas Press
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