michael jackson has been dead for almost two weeks
and shakespeare has been gone
for almost four-hundred years
but i’m still here wearing shorts that are
a size too big
and a forest green t-shirt with stains on it
nursing a scotch hangover as viruses rip
apart my computer and almost five years of writing work.
i’m still here carrying the torch of humanity
for the both of them.
he has this gimmick
this midget in the subway station at atlantic avenue
he dresses in a black jacket and hat and sunglasses
and wears a glove speckled with cubic zirconium
he dances to michael jackson songs
blaring out of an old boom box.
i’ve seen him do this on random days for two years
he’s always good for a small crowd.
twelve days later
the people have packed the terminal
the tourists, the natives,
all the people trying to get to and from somewhere
and the midget is playing “beat it”
doing flips and spins and moonwalks
while all of the people cheer and clap and find their solace.
it has been endless celebration
for the king of pop
and it shows no signs of quelling.
who wants it to end anyway?
here, we always love you better in death.
i walk through the crowds
anxious to get home from work
not stopping for the midget.
i think how john lennon has been dead for almost thirty years
and the mess of lunatics that still hang around
and chaucer, he’s pushing over six-hundred years locked up
in westminster abbey.
i think of genet sucking cock in paris,
then chasing leather clad american boys,
gone twenty-three years
and michael jackson somewhere still above ground
cold on a slab somewhere
as people scalp tickets to his final and immortal moment
of song and dance in smoggy los angeles
as the midget dances on here in new york city
and the people clap and cry
and somewhere else
they are getting ready for shakespeare in the park
on another balmy summer night
that begs for rain.