Rockin’ Riddle

This king fell from his throne
while expelling air, alone,
dying with a morsel in
his mouth, near the porcelain,
rump up toward the ceiling,
face on the floor, unfeeling
because of opioid pills
he took to fight off his ills
as he squatted in his place
within this land, named for Grace,
his followers afterwards
migrating like Summer birds
to his kingdom of rhinestone,
pink cadillacs, jungle zone,
and all the things left behind
by a king, one of a kind—
trailer park glitz and glamour
for which the women clamor;
a man who could rock his hips
while crooning with his snarled lips.

Eclectic Afterglow

Listen— acid jazz sluices so avant garde
that the melodies gel and overlap
abroad the babbling Babel boulevard
and neath the cymbal-crashing thunderclap.
Thunder rolls on the downpour and downbeat,
ambient dance-trance Rickrolling raindrops,
splashing puddles and fast Scat-shuffling feet,
umbrella-popping drizzle Doo-wop bops.
Stiletto metronome-dome staccato,
epileptic city edged in glowsticks
and craving some raves on the downtown row
atop lunar roof-ledge isometrics.
Hear the horn-blast traffic jam sax solo
in a sfumato-plumed cigarette haze?
A dashboard chiaroscuro ghost-glow
mingles amongst the greenlight-redlight craze.
Rack-stacked skyscrapers with wine-glass facades
and windshield shotglasses of crystal light,
warbling cop sirens peal through pedal mods,
fierce fluttering flamenco through the night.
Wakeful chords strike athwart drowsy vigils,
sidewalk insomnia and groggy grooves,
bleary shopping windows, neon sigils,
and pothole hip-hop polyrhythmic moves.
Riverside jive and the torrential croon,
piano patter-splatter as clouds clear
and the club-hopping, buzz-happy new moon
welcomes in the hectic-eclectic year.
Now hear the windshield wiper DJ scratch
as the storm-drain reverb drones on and on—
see the horizon flare like a lit match
to start the mosh-pit of a punk-rock dawn.

To Jalacy Hawkins

You had the operatic crescendo
of Hell’s Freak Show barker,
a Big-Top Ringleader of
Rhythm-and-Blues
whom even the lions shrank from
in abject humility,
so bad was their stage-fright
after they heard your roars.
Your voice was a Carnival ride of
highs and lows,
a rollercoaster screaming
through the stars
and crooning deep under the
gurgling sea.
And the sound effects of the
guitar and drums
skirted timidly the
Looney Tunes zaniness
that should have been silly,
but was somehow masterful
in its dynamo-powered vociferations.
Cavorting on stage like
Vincent Price
in the throes of a
frenzy, you have not been
outdone
in your voodoo magic yet—
not one shock-jock-rock-crock
has had the
alligator chops or the
melodramatic gimmicks
to do what you could do
standing alone in front of the microphone
and embodying the manic mayhem
of human expression,
putting a spell on us all.