of the human being is lettered in DNA proteins
that it’s tempting to think of as forming cosmic acronyms
for some as-yet-unspoken series of names,
or at least as DJing an innate theme-music playlist,
and that do weird things like bond in base pairs,
give you Down’s Syndrome, size, baldness or maybe gayness;
maybe make you a big bald gay retard, which
sounds bad at first and isn’t not a hard card to draw,
but can’t stop you from grinning from the heart,
feeling raw awe, dunking a basketball,
getting a shit-ton of friends on Facebook
or shoot, maybe even, before you’re for sure no longer young,
driven by that pent-up primal urge to spawn,
and despite the wad of cash it costs, finally getting it on,
a little toot-and-boot with actually a cute brown prostitute
who’s smart and nice despite his meth jones,
and remembering to use protection then and from then on,
because the job of prepping or cooking one lone
food item at a time in heaping helpings on the line–
first it was chopping onions, where you made clear you
could be clean, suffer and safely use a knife,
then burgers, where you proved you could
pay attention and work a griddle till the middle of the night;
slow and steady pace really wins the race; you pull your
weight so well the manager nicknamed you “Game Face”;
you’re just so proud to have and earn a place—
yet despite how fresh pride waves your code like a flag,
accelerates the urge to replicate with no lag,
that job just doesn’t pay you enough to get laid like that
more than every six months at absolute best,
much less cover the aftermath of a positive viral test;
plus paid sex made you feel “great” but maybe more bad;
and you have a sister to spend time relating with,
and a mom and dad.
that’s one part of the code of being human, alive;
and maybe it all does come down to a code
in the sense of having been programmed, then disguised,
or simply fathomed by a force passing through
the atoms of you: dictated and transcribed.
Except that no, it doesn’t. Sorry: untrue to me.
What we do is also as free as could be.
Like, “Wheeeeee!”: as in the sliding of young life
down a literal slide; as also in the sliding
of years through a developing mind,
turned, okay, inevitably, vanishing mind given enough time,
until—and this is the part so tragic it has us
wonder if or even wish that it’s all a merry dream,
doesn’t it?—all that’s next will not include much:
erasing outwards from perhaps right now,
from the touch of these lines to the before and after hours
of today, tonight: the rush while getting dressed,
the gentle mental tucking in of all your wakeful stress,
through the weekend ahead and work weeks and weekends
ahead and behind, et cetera of forgetera,
until what once was visionary has gone blind, all gone,
fizzled pixel in the panel of the Great Beyond,
so small as to nearly never have existed at all–
so who can promise it’s even not pure nonsense,
in-between our silent ancestors that personalized
bloom of consciousness and even conscience?
The size of a cricket, but a persistent conscience.
I can promise I’m honest and so
so many others seem. I can promise I dream
and believe this is different, that real
is something, as I say sometimes, we can all feel;
I feel like you, my boo, make me feel mighty real;
I have a face I think you can’t steal
cuz it’s bolt-locked, chained and alarmed into place,
plus I have trust, plus I’m inside looking out
the windows watching; okay, can’t say
I have the cops in my pocket or a senator on hold
or mafia connections in a good way, but the
bolt lock and alarm and trusting and watching,
seriously; anyway, bottom line, get your own face,
this one’s mine and it’s so fine in my opine-yine
with its little half-smile, half ain’t-nothing-nice vibe,
a pinch of run tell shorty it’s Doherty—
a face that tries so hard to pretend to understand
the joke of it all, in the case that it’s a joke,
but holds itself ready for love or treachery
should either strike—in other words
hedging all poses; a confused or universal face
that may or may not be a mask,
that when things get so sin-serious so wants to laugh
but tries to gage what’s asked of strict manners,
and of even something deeper.
So from here the idea that we’re
just shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave
is no keeper. Too much to give and grieve
to be mere delirium or make believe.
Therefore there is meaning.
I mean: if we’re really something
bigger than MLK or Biggie’s dreams—
if we’re like notoriously B-I-G in the
annals of the sacred heart,
that flame around it: we’re the living spark;
if we’re straight tattooed on God’s neck
where everyone can see;
if thus we’re forgiven for all the times
we forgot to be free,
or couldn’t let good love be,
didn’t do what we could
or anything for those in such need,
or looked back when we shouldn’t
or didn’t when we should,
or weren’t just not good but bad–
the worst, at times, this shit world ever had—
could or should one be forgiven what anyway?
What I mean to say:
our code is more than DNA.
It’s what we build and rearrange
until it reads as a name.
From roots of dream grow what’s true.
I come from a long line,
same as you.