Michael Castro

Dark Continent
Dark Continent
by David Meltzer
Oyez, 1967


The Poet's Telephone

A writer writes
& so I put pen to paper
as the sun
provides my light.
I give praise to poets
who bear witness
to all that oppresses
the human spirit,
who give voice to the voiceless
in their sufferings
& joys,
who explore the inner
mountains & valleys,
the oceanic expanse,
& report their findings,
who sculpt into words
the boundless power
& intelligence
beyond all horizons:
for Ira & Max,
snapping pictures & retorts,
for Shirley, Quincy, K. Curtis & Eugene,
bluesician bards,
for Brandi traveling the globe
& painting his visions,
& Hari Sky, stumbling around his kitchen
searching for a pencil,
these are the voices
on the poet's telephone
keeping me alive, well-nourished,
day to day.
I bow to these friends
of mine
& humankind
& find
them in me
as pen scrawls over page,
And to Walt,
Grandfather of this poetic journey,
Lorca, who first touched my soul,
To Ginsberg, Blake, & Keats
from whose spring
I will always drink,
to Howard Schwartz, David Meltzer,
Jerry Rothenberg & Carter Revard
who affirmed for me
my human root --
Many others I could name,
for the poet signs his work,
but always collaborates
& is never alone



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