Archives for posts with tag: Jean-Michel Basquiat

i am the king of the world (excerpt)
by roy anthony shabla


i am a king
i am a clown
i am a bum

i am an angel i am not a saint not a sinner
not forgiven not forgotten
i am a buddha do not rub me the wrong way
i am a stranger and who could be stranger
i am a stranger who depends upon kindness
what kind is this

i am a t-shirt and blue jeans fresh from the wash
but looking worn
are you wearing shoes today
pretty feet are happy feet

i am a bad dream in the harsh light of day
i am invisible
i am a bad xerox do not copy me
copy this copyright copy right copy trite

within the world
i am a bug i am a flower with thorns i am the city dump
o how the city dumps

without the world
i am a television screen playing snow let it go
an empty room the echo and the flat air

within without with ice no neat thank you
i am a criminal locked away
what kind skin to be within

i am a joke and it is not that funny
i am a carnival freak a contortionist a bearded lady
i can kiss my own ass blow my own horn

i am a loser with everything lost and nothing found
find me a sliver
are you around

i am a key with no lock a lock with no key
i am a tool with no use a useless tool what a tool what a fool what a rule

i am a king with no crown king ding a ling
king kong the stitch has bled
i am a clown with too many balls in the air and big shoes
and a squeaky horn a horny squeak
i am a bum with a guitar and a story who needs a bath
five cents five dollars five lifetimes
here is the story here it is

i am a song
you are afraid to sing la la la

ooooo ooooo ooooo

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is an excerpt from a longer, deconstructed poem that incorporates several languages. It is an important part of the sound art performance piece, babbel, first performed at Stay Gallery in January 2014.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: roy anthony shabla is a painter and poet who lives in the Los Angeles area. He was just appointed the director of collections for the Downey Museum of Art, and currently has thirteen books in print.

IMAGE: “Trumpet” by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984).

by Denise R. Weuve

None of my parts are original,
one of my kidneys
belongs to a 35 year-old Hispanic woman
whose name I will never know
nor how she died.
Maybe a traffic accident,
or a lover waiting beneath
her bed next to dust bunnies
and regrets forging their way
into bullets with gunpowder and tomorrows.
The other kidneys I leave where they were
except I turn them to face each other,
sad formaldehyde guinea pigs
commiserating about a life they never got to live.

My eyes stolen from a father
that disappears at seven
in the evening.
These sapphire eyes
wander truck driver style
searching for the next rest stop
or diner to forget there is a daughter
358 miles away.

The liver I have moved
to the center of my chest,
it ferments in vodka
becomes sauerkraut strong,
like the grandfather
whose hate sat so long
it had to swing from a basement beam
on a Thursday night.

My heart rest where the spleen once was,
enlarged, filled with a bacteria strain
whose origin puzzles even the devil,
as he puffs on filtered Marlboro,
talks of his yesterdays
with Gabriel and Michael:
Back then, they decided what parts belonged to whom
placed crystal vocal cords into humans
so we could praise our creators.
Once we all loved.

IMAGE: Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1981).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Denise R. Weuve is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee who resides in Southern California. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and she has won a couple of awards here and there, like the annual Sheila-Na-Gig contest and Donald Drury Award in Writing. In the past. she has edited for various literary magazines and is currently associate poetry editor for Cease, Cows!  Her chapbook The Truck Driver’s Daughter will be released later this year by ELJ Press. None of this has impressed her cat, friends, or family, who can either be found chewing up her poems, calling to do a night out, or asking when she is going to get a “real” job. Currently, she attends Queens University of Charlotte, where she is obtaining an MFA in Poetry.