Bill Yake

Chorus from an Isla Mujeres Cemetery

- after Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues

Even the unconscious have reputations,
words with histories

for objects with histories:

all histories have histories too.

The exact word

isn’t, isn’t, isn’t

precisely exact.

The correct latitude, longitude, rectitude becomes -
available? Attitude, altitude, platitude, shock.

Palms bob in the wind-setting sun. Shhh…Shhh…

Gabriel’s white and repeated on shrines -

his plaster immobile
long, mobile long wings fixing and fixing

to fly like some smart, upright fatherly bird.

Permits are required to rewire these shrines.

Reputations repeat, sing, rise and sink.


from the all the upright callused

and trellised, phalused and fallen

ones. Trailing dust, comet slush, glory,
debts, stories -
shadowed, mirrored, disguised and blatant.

Drawn on the white roadside walls: bright political rally dates.

Painted statues on the shrines inside: a hot pink Christ, a jet black Christ.

a jet pink Christ, a hot black Christ.

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