“Sitting in the Cell Phone Waiting Lot at the San Francisco Airport, Awaiting My Father’s Arrival, I Write a Poem on the Day of Prince’s Death” by Dean Rader

Every streetlight is a slightly different hue
of white the squares like the blank faces of robots

offer the Hondas and Toyotas idling in the lot something
like hope and yet I am thinking of all of the people on the planes

landing and taking off the twin miracles of arrival and departure
each of them singing “Take Me With You” whether they know

the song or not they are all singing: the pilots the flight attendants
the air traffic controllers the baggage handlers the men and women

with those colored sticks that look like little light sabers
guiding the planes out to the runway where everyone on board leaves

everyone behind and lifts once more into darkness
which is to say that the dead are tired of all the dying and yet it seems

never to stop the most recent plane crash was only seven
days ago when a Sunbird Aviation plane slammed

into the ground just before landing killing all passengers
when I fly I often think about what people do or say

seconds before impact no doubt believing they will somehow
survive that this can’t possibly be the end not me not now not like this

but not my father who is I believe asleep on the plane as the complex physics
of lift keep his steel machine of 75 tons buoyant in the blackness below

God’s feet and even though my father has never heard a song by
Prince Rogers Nelson he finds himself mouthing I don’t care pretty baby

as the jet is slapped by turbulence and he begins to fear for the first
time on this journey but mostly because he starts to believe that flight

is a metaphor for life and that just like dancing or loving or even
riding in an elevator we never know what determines if we fall

Dean Rader’s Works & Days won the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize. The Barnes & Noble Review named Landscape Portrait Figure Form a Best Poetry Book of the Year. Suture with Simone Muench (Black Lawrence Press) and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon) are forthcoming in 2017.

poem and bio via The Awl though I did add the links to Dean’s site and his books at Amazon.

“Take Me With U” performed by Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by Kevin Young (RIP Prince)

Don’t dream it’s over you don’t
know what’s it’s like it’s like that
& that’s the way it be near me be near
close to you crazy for you got the look
what you done done a do run run
run away run away she was lying
in the grass & she was it something
I said I know what boys like a prayer
a virgin girls just wanna boys
don’t cry don’t don’t you
want me don’t fall on me O
what a feelin’ more than keep
feeling fascination hush hush
voices carry too shy too shy close
to me & you don’t you
forget about hold me now don’t try
to live your life in one day it’s my
life nobody walks in LA woman
every breath you take you take
my breath away there’s always
something in the water
does not compute no new
tale to tell me if you still care
computer love went to her house
to bust a move & had to leave
real early tell me tell me
how to be you & me when I’m alone
in my room sometimes I stare at where
are you calling from call me
tell me fall on me let me be your time
will reveal won’t give me time I’ll
stop the world shut your mouth
on mine I can’t I can’t I can’t
stand losing cause this
is thriller thriller night fine
young pretty young thing is ooh
I like it sends chills up you gots
to chill party up you got to let
me know nobody loves you I am
only human & need you back
in love again bring on
the dancing let’s dance let’s
stay together & dance this mess
around dance dance dance
see how we are family I got
all I need to get by your side
to side back & forth word up for
the down stroke me everybody
wants you let’s go crazy let’s pretend
we’re married let’s wait awhile
again spin me right round baby
I’m a star under the milky way

“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by Kevin Young from VQRonline.org

(Originally shared here on 7/20/14. Reposted today in honor of Prince and his ever-lasting impact on music.)


RIP Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)


(and since Prince’s music has a way of getting removed from YouTube, below is one of my favorite Prince covers: “She’s Always in My Hair” by D’Angelo.)