And didn’t I see you, child-daughter of tyranny,
caught with your pants down in the streets of
abandoned luck tonight?

And didn’t I see you in the Garden of Heaven
where the preachers warble as if impaled
by their very belief?

And was that not you on the promenade,
Guitar case open and empty of coins,
wailing The Wind Cries Mercy
into the market stalls?

Was that you I saw?

Or just my own horrid feedback in the
structureless wasteland of
Too Far From God

“Once you find your own way you can
really leave home…”

Was I deluded to have believed that?

In this, of all impossibly foreign cities, I think
of you often, and feel your questioning,
your frustration.

I am moved by the genius of your simplicity,
just as you are wrapped to me like a favorite
and flattering gown.

Can you touch me one more time? Will we ever kiss,
like old burglars, the shackles of our own freedom?

Will we, will you, will I accept, accept the accepted
conditions of life do you think anything besides the
gaps in your own attention span will deliver you?

Where were you the first time you heard this song?

Losing your virginity in the upper berth of
a sleeper traversing Poland?

Had you known your flashpoint would you still have
combusted, still have thrown yourself headlong into
that frying pan? Regardless,

Do you feel like I’m wasting your time yet?

Waiting for sunset in some sleepy little dive
on the shores of antiquity,

refusing the comfort of family and friends
in favor of naked revelations as to the
depths of your self-loathing?

There’s a wind.
There’s a friction in the Garden Of Heaven
where I’m hunched in my familiar posture.

Were it not for my beloved afflictions I would seriously
hitch a yacht and blow this graveyard.

A street peddler trundles his cart through the flower
beds. The excited cries of shine boys obsessed
with curbside one-up-manship.

A wind. A light rain in this downtown, like
miniature golf park.

I wish it could have been more.

A soccer ball winged within inches of this woman’s
veil. The loveless cackles of the homeless warping
into Bronchitis.

Children wrestling in the fresh, green grass of their
Golden Years is all I have to give you.

It’s all I have.


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JEROME DUNN (aka jerry the priest) (or not) is counted among a core of Los-Angeles-based, pre-slam-era street poets. A master of oratory, trained architect and musician, art critic and avant garde theater director, he has performed somewhat intermittently, with varying fortitude, at clubs and galleries all over North America; as well as in Central America, South Asia and the Near and Middle East.

He received his MFA in Theater from California Institute of the Arts, his BA in Performance Studies from Naropa University, and has lectured at Loyola-Marymount University, CalArts, El Camino and Rio Hondo Colleges, and William J. Mulholland Middle School, as well as at The September School in Boulder, Colorado.

In addition to being radically bi-polar, Mr Dunn is an active scholar and teacher, conversant in Spanish and feeble in Turkish. He's all over the place. It's no big secret.

7 responses to “defrocked and disenfranchised”

  1. Ducky says:

    Fuck yeah. I love this.

    • Jerome Dunn says:

      Thanks ducky!

      We’ve all been there, am I right? I was stranded in Istanbul.
      Which is a pretty glorious place to be abject.
      RSVP x./j

  2. Megan DiLullo says:

    First of all, this is kick ass. Gritty truth. Nice.

    Second of all, we went to the same high school. September School. Weird.

    Third of all, I’m looking forward to more.

    Fourth of all, welcome.

  3. Ducky says:

    I also have to ask – the tatt – ballet? Does that say pas de change? Just curious. I’m a dancer. Regardless, it’s righteous.

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