elegy, on summer’s dark moon, for a friend who travels on

in the dark i lay body to 
body, a stranger to my bed much 

as the stranger in my bed who is
no stranger, man whose breath

i am able to taste when he’s away
who for two years sleeps aside

other in the dark sleeps aside
the child growing darkness of my 

heaving womb to his bare back he
is no stranger til we

together, are strangers in a 
strange house and intimacy is 

a phone message read by the soft
blue light in translated text 

instead of listening, mcades is….

and the news comes that the 
stranger i am to myself has

been roused, past currents of 
whose and who’s i’ve been surfacing

til it is dark moon, we are belly to back
to strange bed and i know him not at all

because i must now hold those parts
he doesn’t know

of me

these, the spaces that used to cleave
me in the center where already i had

already split
where already i’d let myself 

to the unfortunate rounds of 
disembodiment & outlands, 

of journey realms better left
untook, the trauma places of 

tar sludge and possessed shadows
the nightmare stuff that 

comrade, i know you knew 

~

To MCades, in the dark, dark moon 1st of summer, just before ella rae:

you were the one who told me once that the reason we get insomnia is bc society taught us that night time is time for sleep, instead of getting up outta bed turning lights on if or when sleep alludes us and actually doing what we want, say for example eating ice cream–those were your words! so to me mike your message i didn’t even think of right now when i tumble out of bed to catch these words has always been get up eat ice cream, do what the fuck we want

so i get up.  it is past 3 am when i check my phone. i’d been laying there awake w a giddy joy thinking about induction and i think, making the decision to go ahead and schedule it which means on tuesday i will meet my baby grl. after a while in wonderment the heart shifts and now i am thinking about you, mind rolling thinking about the numbers of soldiers lost since i started this path meaning since i was? 19, thinking about the reality of what i said to walsh anyway, you made it 41 good fuckn years, THAT’s a soldier, THAT’S some soldier shit bc listen man, fuck that i know about mental health and the tarlands, the soul darkness of addiction, i KNOW what you conquered and the bits of self, the —this is diPrima here not me, the parts of you metred out again and again across your chess board of light just to make it through some days.  41 years, fuckn soldier~ to you for making it that long

there is a pic that keeps surfacing of you that i want to find, it is from a party in philly in like 05? 06? and i am trying to make a mental note to get on to social media in the morn and find if it’s there when, after a while laying there in the dark feeling the clear sweetness that’s never made me afraid of dark moon, i’m like fuck it i’ll just find it right now~

this picture, party in philly 05/6, it’s always made me think of one single word:
King~

that’s when i pick my phone up to log on to fb and see that only 2 hours or so ago sammy sent me a pic, it is a top oldskool fave bc his fuckn nova’s in it and that car in my mind—i don’t know if this is actually true?  had a hole in the floor, and that is fuckn us, THAT is US, our tribe the ones i always called from college, my soul crew

w sammy g’s nova, opmd, may 2002

the fuckn artists. the piece’n together however n best we can tribe~

i said to tom in the kitchen the night i found out after i got off the phone with wife before brooks texted while i was standing there sorta propped up by the counter and he came and just sorta held me up, ‘you know how like you’re watching a movie and in the movie it’s 2021 real time but then they zoom in on the characters far away face and then next thing it’s fuzzy and now screen fade to a flashback of her life 20 years ago gone, well that’s what my head keeps doing’ and that was the first night after i got off w wife, no longer angry at you but instead flashing back to the upper shore and gone days of good friends and back then  

wifey n me, anngar farm spring equinox 2008

walshie playing kat collier’s wedding, aug 08; brooksie w the took and sammy g w the run off, playing a farm party, ctown, fall equinox 2009

three weeks ago when we first moved in and i was putting mammoth amounts of bath tub sized tupperwares full of photo albums into the side storage cubby in the wall in my loft, there ended up being this one random album that didn’t make it in there.  it sat around a week or so on top of heaps of other boxes and shit i’d yet to have the energy to sort through.  when i did get around to sorting it was bc it felt twinkly to me like an invite or reward to go get to work on unpacking but get to first open up that album… it was a compilation album of random loose picks i stuck together to have in one place when i’d moved from choptank back to op in 2010. 

you were all up in my life back then, friend, and tho the great wonder of that album for me and the kids ending up being that the only pic predating the 2000’s happened to at total random be one of me and their dad and a mutual from 1995,

christy, tom, me, the pier 1995 ocmd

what stands out tonight is that you were the only one the kids asked about from that whole album.  who is he?  were you in love?

mcades, chester river, fall equinox 2009

were you in love?

mCades n walsh, farm party ctown, fall equinox 2009

were you in love? i had to pause a while to formulate the right words. yes, i said, but no not how you guys are thinking. not romantic love, not like that but yes, love is the very right word~he was a good, dear friend. my friends from back then?

we let our imaginations and inspirations let go…were we in love?

my friends from back then? some of the very best

intelligence, tortured heart bound soulFULL imaginative had to be expressed intelligence. the fuckn artists. the likes of which, even coming from punk rock baldamore, i’d never before known or seen…

the fuhking purity of this, the power of this…SO MUCH to Hold…to Behold!!! that you made it 41 years w such weight?!? …Soldier?? nahhh

YOU A MUTHAFUCKN KING

so christ man when i see the pic sammy sends the memories already flooding back one on top the other starting w sam coming to wake me that morning of the nova pic, in his boxers w a spatula from cooking breakfast all like, sheriffs at your door. it was 02 we still wac students, me about to graduate, no one lived in the house in the pines full time yet it was before that and someone had forgotten to pay taxes on the place so the sheriff was there to nail a warning of seizure of property to the front door!

that shit still makes me laugh out loud, and the memories are taking me down… again into those flashbacks bittersweet and also, i am in that dark moon moment connected to when we lost molly e: i was on the road in oregon when it happened, may 2010, and i was struck by a pressing need to go south to where the cascades eventually dump into the sea and…i didn’t know it yet…but backtrack back up to the top of the mountain from which they came…so i know then…

you need us now like she did then

we are at the Bardo for you, dear ol tribesman, dear friend, Blessed King~

just the same like the first night after mols died and i was up all night unknown to me as of yet it was the early days of my mysticism and i was helping her cross the bardo, and did, she was a poet, a sailor as sam would often say, i burned candles read the poetry wrote the poetry did it all for her in frenzy til i knew she was with me, and saw clearly a parting ritual i’d do in her honor at the mouth of the sea for our sailor the very next day…

bardo crossing is a state of Witnessing, of backtracking, yes, but holding space for the Wholeness of Who Was~and that is just it, the fuckn artists, how is it possibly anything else in the world besides LOVE to feel so deep as to NEED to express, to make, to hold space for the Witnessing of that Need~

to See, and finally, to be Seen.

so at 3:33 am this eve to morn when I take my phone in hand to gather my own pics and i see sam’s been up til at least 1 looking over old pics my heart sprouts out blessed be the bardo, dear friend, towards sam, and now that now i am awake think to myself and it is my turn to take over that Tending

so i get on fb, and find my own pics~for you

mCades~

for us

mike, me, walsh, outside Andy’s, ctown 08

Love? it was. still is. family.i honor this duty here, tonight, for us, for you, for your own Duty to the Torturous need,

know you did not fail friend
you did not fail, King~

i, we, here~

we Witness
we Celebrate

41 years
in which your LIGHT

in spite of darkness

Succeeds ~

mCades, walking on. Farm Party, Fall Equinox 2008, Ctown

travel well, dear friend~