Sampson Starkweather

A Letter To Bob Kaufman

The Ancient Rain
Has Ceased, It’s Tributaries
Of Blood Have All Run Dry

Like Love,

Jazz is dead. God however, is doing just fine, reclining in his leather Lazy-boy, an unobstructed view of the dumb show. Tell me Bob, are those stars in the sky or a necklace of shiny deaths? Down here, the lights are all going out, Heaven forgot to pay its phone bill again. The dead and the living are separated only by a fence of flesh and the ability to walk through walls. The secret mind screams with laughter, madness was only a matter of timelessness. The wind was unfolded and devoured eternity with one small bite, it is our lives that are folded neatly now.

Your body is a tattoo. Your hair will eternally hold Harlem in a headlock and Oregon is forever fossilized inside your big toe. You keep Lorca and San Francisco as your own. The wax bitches have seen you in the nude and abandoned your arcane basement. The second coming of April has come and gone, the apocalypse was pure poetry. You’ve been accused of stealing the sphinx and the shadows of Japanese babies. Your vow of silence was seen as a gentle genocide of sorts. For the most part, your grave has been kept clean, except for artificial flowers and acid rain. Your eyes are embedded in the Golden Gate Bridge.

A black blanket of snow has covered the earth. Snow-angels are enslaved or slaughtered. Santa clause thinks children are a lie and abominal firemen put out laughter. Yesterday, when the sun was working on his tan, I saw Superman selling insurance to a suicide note and dead fish were having secret affairs with sparkling hooks.

When you cry, a shower of seeds ascends from the mangled mouth of a blue-sucked sky, pelting skulls of the homeless and the blind, placing indentations in the earth like acne scars, coating the cold skin of cities, unable to penetrate the American asphalt. The deaf remain deaf. Occasionally, a man might stare at the sky and scream, accidentally swallowing a single seed. Once digested, a poem arises among the walking dead.

Your blue skin has been burnt by the Ku Klux Klan and bruised by silence. Your eyes have wandered through the dying woods of America and have drunk deep into a cup of shadows. You’ve plucked a thousand thorns from your eyes. Excruciating ­slivers of beauty lie crucified on the page. I have worn your eyes, but could not see through the