Robin Orlandi

You were here on earth, in cities-
where now?
Bones in the ground
thoughts in my mind" -Sad Dust Glories, A. G.

Ginsberg's dead
sunflower eclipsed
one less naked warrior
monkeywrenching the machine universe.
Who stripped in LA and with genitals flapping
confronted hecklers at poetry readings,
demanding they tell the truth.
Who chased dulcimer Brian's father
around the kitchen with a carving knife
to prove that he did care after all
whether he lived or died.
Who housed hustlers and hucksters
and untouchables chanting revelations
straight from the genius madhouses,
Greystone and Rockland and Pilgrim.

"Old greybeard scholar" seed of Blake,
illuminated Whitman,
Williams' student transversing the
ash-can streets of Patterson's giant,
blazing sunflower
scorched the fibrous tendrils of mind
wrapped around square America 1950's.

Kennedy, Cassidy, Kerouac, Leary,
Huncke, Bukowski, now Ginsberg
Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist
all gone over back to the tomb,
re-birth womb,
the same,
no end and no beginning.
One exits woman
one enters earth
one comes
being fed by the mother,
one goes
becoming food for another,
inhale and exhale
endless encyclical
eaten by the lion of Dharma
roaring "first thought, best thought,"
without pause articulating the uni-verse
the rhythms' pulsing burst
sound in his throat
now born of a billion stars.

Overhead today,
a brilliant high noon comet
slicing fire hydrogen white
as the sun reflecting off the windows
of his kind
mind's eye
piercing gaze,
"The key is in the window,
the key is in the sunlight at the window-
I have the key-
get married Allen, don't take drugs...
your Mother".

Ginsberg is dead
how can that be
old stone liver,
old blood bursting
up through macrobiotic disciplines,
seven decades traveled,
Benares, Indian Journals,
kicked out of Prague for dissident,
Expelled from Cuba for calling Che Guevara "cute,"
a long life feeding hungry mind
gone supernova.
Time and space
compress into a single point of
infinite density,
Crazy Wisdom,
blues designed to carry you home,
May King,
riding the Lion's back,
you humble and obedient servant,
we dip your verse in wine and eat it
Holy Holy Holy.

Robin Orlandi

What happens when you reach the point
where you know too much
it's all put on
or put up
sit down and shut up and
deal with the plate of days
life sets upon your table,
disheveled, stained
china chipped, spoons missing, forks bent.

Somewhere in the middle, maybe
like a fly frozen in amber,
a perfect ancient place setting, quarried for sweetness
from the vast rock candy mountain of childhood
where all dreams had smooth edges
and bears made tea in Magic Kitchens.

Where dinner never burned nor tears fell
as the most overused seasoning in a
boiled agony of bone and sinew,
garnished paychecks, broken families, smashed glasses
from drink after drink, after drink-
Or not,
perhaps a failed education or flailed intellect,
failure of inquiry, force of profligacy,
domestic quarrel, irreconcilable differences
A pile of crushed cups on the floor
after the tablecloth's been yanked away,
sleight of hand's failed and
the floor's littered with shards and shining pieces
of what Dear Abby predicted
anyone would be most likely to achieve
who knew too much…
and not nearly enough
to put it all back together again,
not all the King's horses
or all the King's men.

"London bridge comes falling down,
falling down,
falling down…."
(interpersonal artillery shattered the pylons
between the distant and fantastic countries of the heart.)

Robin Orlandi is a poet, freelance writer and webmaster. Her work has appeared in several Key West- based anthologies including The Blue Heaven Outback Reader, Poetry on Stage, Mango Summers and Once Upon An Island. A collection of her poetry, Continuity Girl Goes AWOL, is available on line at the Key West Author's Cooperative (