I don’t write like Charles Wright

By JW Drake

I don’t write like Charles Wright

writes, he will look into the night sky and see

past heaven, or at the ground and hear a metaphor,

he will make old myths live again in Mississippi

and mix razor-sharp tin with flowers

to make his deck of recollections.


he likes the outdoors and foreign

places like Italy and Arkansas,

milky cats and birds, nature and

weather, self-singing landscapes where a soul

will try to find itself

and fail.


I don’t play like Miles Davis plays, in fact

I do not play at all that way, but I did like

the way drugs made me feel I could play,

amen Sugar Ray.


and meanwhile Miles hits high/muted/real mute notes, man,

the horn playing itself while Miles plunges ahead,

hey boppa re-bop!

bess and bitches, blue to hot to always

cool in his own key.


and yes of course I do not fight like Rocky or Ali

or mighty Joe, give and take leather


in black/white trunks

and symbolize the eternal zerosumness of the universe,

or maybe

just two guys beating the blood

out of each other

for money blap, pow!


I do not preach like Paul or lie

like Peter, or sling like David,

or save like Jesus

but walking into another of death’s valleys,

and fearing evil, I can always

wish amen I did/do.

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