I am street performers
and stop sign scrawlings, graffiti
and the Memphis Gospel Singers.
I am the fine print on wasabi
bottles and the peeling stickers
on the back of the club’s bathroom door.
I am the indomitable blast of the bass
and the pressed suits on corporate boards. I am why you can’t forget this place.
I turn street corners, subway platforms,
urinal dividers, and cold books on cold shelves
to altars. My brother is the lunatic
in the alley next to Merrell Lynch
with the full cereal box symphonic
orchestra that plays its heart out for the walls.
My sister is the grass-skirted hula harpy
on the dash of your daddy’s ’79 Chevy,
and I am a gateway drug—like PCP
but really penicillin. I am why you keep crying.
I am as accurate a report of the problem
and the solution as I can be.
I am in real time and living color
and have not been formatted for your TV.
I have not been edited for content.
I am not a test but rather a warning—
a desperate man desperately transmitting
a desperate message—and also a joyous acclamation. I am a hopeful American David and his amalgamized psalms of soul. I am a psalm.