Thursday, May 28, 2009

for laureate quincy troupe

for quincy troupe
bone bare voices
chewed skeletal choices
in fangs of piranha gales
spewing out slivers of raucous laughter
glinting bright as hard polished silver nails
from ‘snow & ice”
“can u play that instrument?” [monk
irritably asked a musician who
complained that the charts he had
written were too hard] “or are u just

u are like that, quincy, the true
craftsman. u demand so much of
those of us who emulate u & so
much more of yrself.

u stretch the poet in u with a conjure
hand, a magical manipulation of the
mechanics of verse which deform
reversibly under the stresses,
polyrhythms, intonations & macro--

u use to free up the
music in language; the meaning in
significations, the soul in solilo-
to burn then build anew
constructs leading to new &
neoteric tongues.

pastmaster of form & poetic diction,
there is no gainsaying that always u
hit yr mark. like the blind zen
master who looses his darts into the
night & amuses himself by sending

someone to confirm what he already
knows, that the arrows are snug in a
tight cluster at the center of the

u keep us guessing about the bag u
will come out of next, be it sestina
or sonnet, or classic villanelle; slick
phrase-turning, head-bending narra-
or something new & blue to
evict the vagrant double-entendre

living rent-free in our poet heads; to
relax the smooth muscles around
the arteries that supply blood to our
flaccid euphony; to fill that
emptiness with urgent, oracular

u have challenged me, laureate, u
have laid down charts that are hard
to play, but play them i will for they
take me down paths where u have
trod. i can never hope to catch u.

that’d be like reaching the age of a
living someone who is older than u.
besides, every time i reach some
place u’ve been, following the
syllables u left like bread crumbs

to mark the path, syllables, u say,
that are keys to new doorways of
freedom, i usually discover that u
left that place long ago.

©Joseph McNair; 2009

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