A Prisoner under Every Regime

To D. A. F.,
            Sometime Prisoner of
                         Repeated History,
                                       IN CARCERE ET VINCULIS,
                                                   ’72 – ’90; ’04 – ’14
            And to Every Heart
                         Fighting Just to Be

A strict ascetic burdened by belief without words
burned two birds in sight of my traveling menagerie.
One, a crow caged, the other, a parrot defaced
with spray-painted spectrum of place, told my horde
of its racing flight from desire to the desert; seeking misery
to escape the hell of a scholar’s misplaced

The crow had taken the man’s tongue penalty
for perverting a soul’s poverty with his pretense of old
world superiority, and for saying what no intelligent
man should ever have said casually. A rhetorician and a magician
conniving the conundrum, perceived not their blunder
when beasts crushed their logos under the pathos of art’s

“Censor another,” I said; skeptical of the vagrant’s sorcery.
A prisoner under every regime, the hermit unhid
his crime’s unrelenting proscripture, and licked their heads
with tongues of flame. Imprisoned by sentences,
this ascetic apostle of freedom opened the cage and out came
midnight flesh pealing like a bell; drowning its mute master in

Heavy fell repression’s gauntlet, guillotining chastity; suggestion
cut hands off clocks, inhibiting history’s wandering obligation
as the desert drew to its bowl, the few seeking to subdue the expression
of the many. Loose Wumen, coming in through The Gateless Gate,
flashed satorial, sparking critics’ pans. Dancing down the plate, epiphanies
lured me; tongue-kissed sun left his lips like sweating ink, pressing