the club                                                                                      

ok so dolphy left the country 
& i just missed trane
but i got to see ayler
doesn’t that qualify me
for the club?

where are the wash clothes when you need one
& why do monkeys stay in packs

there is less logic|
less protein to envision
it’s an out & out crap shoot
now that the anti-christ has been elected
by a minority vote

i draw the line at winning
i’ll debate any drop out on this point

uncle sam is an aging saxophone player
who smokes dope
& when everyone gives in
willingly or not
then you know that the conspiracy
is over.


the mandarin’s skin

             (for steve cannon)

a back rub
a thanks for coming
a story of relationships
that only I.V.s      description
& friendship can convey >

the SUN is a mandarin ORANGE
tonight / covered by clouds
we peel the skin back & there
it is in jagged lines
the blind man’s mouth
opens wide to receive the taste
his eyes remember

it’s too early for a poem
it’s never too early for a poem
it’s too late for a poem
it’s never too late for a poem
“READ THE POEM” – the blind man
says harshly hoarsely
with a brutish love for the POEM
there is no poem – then be the poem
i think he must be thinking
as i wish for clemency for the

the blind GUY remembers everything
from his childhood
from yesterday
from tomorrow
the texture of paint as he touches
the canvas
he remembers the colors
remembers the image
from before he was able to touch it
hears the music in it
hears the music in everything

he is unrefined
yet sophisticated
educated lavish gruff honest
has taste – like right now for this
mandarin orange of a SUN
as we pull back its skin

he can sting you with his truth
embrace you with his humility
he can spin you never ending stories
BEEN THERE DONE THAT – this happened
WHEN – didn’t you know that guy too?
sorry i was barely born yet

the blind man peels back the skin of history
reveals the gathering forming about its edges
the bitterness of the rind
the sweetness     at times dullness
of those sometimes not-so-juicy slices /
the stringy mess that often gets in the way
the parts & their WHOLE
the beauty or futility a poem
can produce / READ THE POEM
there is no poem       then be the poem
as you describe the tops
of trees to him
his thumb parts his lips &
rests on his upper right teeth
his eyes close & he is poised for
 listening & he listens deeper
ever deeper to the music that
the peeling creates
he knows from years of
experience how exotic & chaotic
the afterglow can be
he pushes the upper lip up a bit more
smiling a quiet naïve AHHHHHH
of a smile   a child’s smile   a wise man’s smile  
a wise guy’s smile
as he peels away the layers to get at the JUICE.



The BARD  (A Perfect Day #2 – for Allen Ginsberg)

the Bard
is  Dead
yet 76 yr. old Marvin Shapiro
still walks around  shouting
“…Cyanide metal poisoning. Cyanide metal
poisoning. The Surgeon General blew it in my

it’s a cold-for-this-time-of-year
& tonight i’ll make another
attempt at looking for the be-bop

We all arrive as free “MEN”

slaves to breath
       to food
       to money

slaves to mothers
       to children

cat slaves
dog slaves

slaves to windows
        & sex

bicycle riding our broken hearts
from egypt to africa to rome

jesus was a slave  &
moses a slave to his god
Leadbelly  the Son of Slaves
& me too   probably me

we are slaves to Evolution
to the System
to Natural & unNatural History
to Industry & advertising & our

it’s a cold spring day
& the Bard is Dead
& our  bodies are for rent
& Marvin Shapiro
the lonely plague-infested jew
wanders around day & night
with his pockets stuffed
& his umbrella close &
swinging –
            just in case

the chinese gave the japanese
including their respect
yet ended up their Slaves

epictetus taught aurelius
all he knew
yet he was his  Slave

cowboys & indians   Slaves
slaves to religion & music &

many sold their kith & kin
as slaves

gypsies  poets scholars & fools
were slaves
concentrated & killed


we all arrive
slaves to sorrow
sickness &

slaves to Weather
flower  &

to Life

the Bard is Dead
but his poems are not
& his spirit set free
now resides with the ghosts
who charge aimlessly about this Paterson sky
this impossibly perfect Paterson sky…



About the poet:

Steve Dalachninsky was born in Brooklyn after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book “The Final Nite” (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the 2007 PEN Oakland National Book Award. His latest cds are “The Fallout of Dreams” with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014) and “ec(H)o-system” with the French art-rock group, the Snobs (Bambalam 2015). He has received both the Kafka and Acker Awards and is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres. His poems “Particle Fever” and “Giverny” were nominated for the 2015 and 2018 Pushcart Prize respectively. His books include: “Fools Gold” (2014 feral press); a superintendent’s eyes (revised and expanded 2013/14 unbearable/autonomedia); flying home, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schmidt (Paris Lit Up Press 2015). “The Invisible Ray” (Overpass Press – 2016) with artwork by Shalom Neuman; “Frozen Heatwave”, a collaboration with Yuko Otomo (Luna Bissonte Prods 2017) and “Black Magic” (New Feral Press 2017). His column “outtakes” appears regularly in the Brooklyn Rail. His most recent books are “where night and day become one” — the french poems (a selection 1983-2017);  great weather for media 2018, winner of a 2019 IBPA award and “The Chicken Whisper” (Positive Magnets Press 2018). He has read his work throughout the U.S. and in London, France, Germany, Japan and elsewhere.