FALL 2010

Janine Pommy Vega
  (for Peter Orlovsky)
Your Voice in the Morning

 A snappy wind along the edges
of the morning, spring or fall 
on 138th & Broadway,
P.S. 192, my  favorite school

Your book just out, Shining Vegetable Songs
I sit in the sun on the stone wall
surrounded by exuberant kids
lining up, then silence as they file in

and your poems file out, a few I know
by heart, some I’ve never read before
and here you are in your clear insistent
reasonable voice

making a case for St. Francis
and the saintly lepers, and yourself
after all, the saintly hospital orderly
moving in to help, like you did with Lafcadio

and Marie, the whole mad family, and after
twenty years now and your quiet insistence
on a way we all want to act but rarely
step up to the plate to try:

“This box of groceries, you need to eat,
and cleaning supplies, your windows
are dirty, you need to wash them.”
You come with the pure voice of poesy,

as Gregory would say. I can’t tell you
how happy I am to hear you sing.


Willow, NY, September 2010. 







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