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The Blog Bog

The Mag Rack


open ended poem


for those who are intinerant workers,
cesar chavez helped to save the world

for those who were porters,
years and years ago, a.philip randolph
saved the world for you.

for those who have a forgotten history,
eugene debs, john peter altgeld,clarence darrow
and john peter zenger
worked to save the world for you.

for children, pete the banjo player
always saves the world

for chicanos and indians and whites and blacks
gwendolyn brooks saves the world for you.

for chicanos and indians and whites and blacks
malcolm x worked to save the world

for those who are black
lalo delgado saved the world for you.

for those who are indians,
lalo delgado saved the world for you.

for those who are chicano,
lalo delgado saved the world for you.

for many who are white,
lalo delgado saved the world for you.

for those who didn't know him, gregory hirsh coleman,
ll with heart disease,
saved the world for all of us,
decking a young man pulling the beard of an old jew.

and it is sure, everyone knows someone
who has saved the world for you.
or know someone did whom you don't know.

now you must help.


         rd colman

the old man, his little store

the old man is gone,
he is probably dead.
his store barely a store,
more a shanty on broadway
among stores with doors;
his was an alley with a tin roof
squeezed between two pre-war buildings.
fruits and vegetables already stack
christmas tangerines at its mouth.
as though they feared emptiness.
a while ago, he also left, but returned,
gaunt, head shaven, revealing large ears,
continued selling used books, used hats,
used blouses, african masks, little rugs
laid out on the sidewalk or hung
from a torn awning. the store nameless
and numberless. he sat at the curb,
chair backwards, leaning forward,
aware, but looking inward, alone,
in all likelihood with ghosts,
the gaunt of wwii camp photographs,
seeing, it seems, the unavoidable
         rd colman


listening for the music


the guitarist imagines
he is lucifer...
an electrified guitar,
amplified...
listening for music,
not hearing music.
bass notes bury
the subway station,
bent on bringing
the vaulted celiling
down...dismantling love
...by reverb
going directly to destruction,


         rd colman__

singers in the subway

they crowd into the car
                almost like children
having fun pushing and shoving
pkayfully. three black men making
up a choral group. all thin. all close
to the down
                and out
introducing themselves-
not names-and their mission
and begin a song. dah dah dah
da, da da, da...singing bass
in up tempo gospel.
         overcoming the noise,
snapping their fingers, doing
a bit of stomping. god, they are joyous.

their conversion of the subway car,
is a new york conversion:
         going down the aisle,
                some reach into pockets,
                               some look away,
then sneak looks,
some keep on reading.
that's the way this city spreads
                but these guys
                are not fazed
they will go on
to spread music in the next car
like strewing flower petals,
                        and the next and the next...
they are blessed, they say.
they say, thank you,
personally, to jesus, and the other
passengers for a buck, some change
in the here and now.
what an act, what a joyous act.

         rd colman__