You Live

For Brandon Lacy Campos

Watching Naked Poetry Series on YouTube
the retroactively ironic title, “I Live”
set against the previous in the playlist
unripe plums, metaphysics,
and Whalen’s meditation
on William Carlos Williams

Looking up from the digital
to the IRL window
the derelict blue house
its gutters hanging down
the tree scorched by fire
the vacant lot diagonal
where the house so recently burned
under renovation reclaiming the poetry
of a previous century’s architecture
gone in minutes of heat and electric fireworks
the lot now a graded smooth expanse
where once a firm frame structure stood
for a century or more

the sound of a car
tires crunching loose gravel
as it makes a U-turn
to head back up N. Rampart toward Poland

The meditative insomnia of memory
keeps my eyes open     lids heavy
scorched leaves hanging brittle and brown
empty lot now the city cleared it
only char marks on back fence remain
the repetition of traffic turning 180°
at the center of the intersection

This vacant lot is not the house
wood is not ash, nor fuel fire
this street a dead-end yet a means to one
imperfect impermanent interconnected

A small dog barks twice
walking by with its owner
train whistle
a carpenter’s hammer

The living voice of dead poets
remembering dead poets
your words defy borders
the atoms of your body
expand out across the universes
in all directions and across all times
just as your legs spread wide across their limits
you defied their can’ts don’ts wont’s
and we love you for it

You live in ink in pixels in memory
your voice on the phone the week before
now more concept than cadence
the electric pop of dissolution
the unsuspected news on Facebook
even before the cell phone rang

Sound waves can’t be destroyed
the half life of your words’ radiation
will never reach zero
I replay the video
permanently transfecting the cosmos
with the vector of your defiance
Brandon you are still fine as Hell


Naked Poetry Series “I Live”