A true birthday is the day of your death.
In the distance someone’s asking
why it won’t stop hurting,
and the church is working like a round,
everyone trying to start
but all anyone can say
is what they’ve said before,
old stories, old prayers
all that’s breaking through.
From “Radiotherapy” by Jake Adam York (1972 - 2012). Deeply saddened to hear news of his passing today. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
At Sun Ra’s Grave
Now our god’s dismantled,
iron arms, iron hands now laid away,
vacant head beside his vacant feet.
Vulcan, God of All the Fire
That Sleeps in Mountains
now a brash of empty veins.
Now only broadcast towers
lance the night, their amber pulse
the city’s only torches,
and below, where the terminal station
blazed 10,000 lights in welcome,
Birmingham: The Magic City,
now expressway scars the blank
and even the streets are gone
where you walked as Herman,
then Sonny, musician, mystic
man from Saturn, in your tinfoil hat
and bedsheet robe, and even
the house is gone, the room
where you played by radio light,
slowly casting off your names.
[Excerpted from A Murmuration of Starlings by Jake Adam York]