On the seventeenth day of the year's seventh month, in the year nineteen seven
Times seven ... oh yeah, and the seventh day of the week,
Church bells were waking up northern Manhattan, ringing high heaven
The birth of a boy, unfashionably early, but chic.
His mom was a sea-captain's daughter, his dad's name was LeRoy, the king,
Folks prayed the prince would quit playing with his little thing.
He was raised in the heart of Harlem, and on North Carolina's coasts
South of Wilmington, a Cape Fear River port
Where gray Spanish Moss hung on great old oaks like ghosts
The sea-breezes swung, like the skirts of the girls he'd court,
Catching hell for his devilish eyes, to his big-city-boy surprise,
For conceit in disguise often leads to love's demise.

Had the usual share of ups and downs, paying his dues,
Worked a whole mess of lousy jobs to get through school,
Turned-on, tuned-in, dropped-out Fredonia, one of NY's State U's,
Got busted, drove cabs, wrote comics, stayed broke, stayed cool.
Then Len Galiulo, his mentor, his poetry prof, kicked his ass
Back to college -- he finished with honors, a head of his class.
Sold-out as soon as he could -- he wanted new amps and a bass,
And a star. Nine-to-fived it, bored, but real cute and cocky.
His dad, a musician, said, "What, are you crazy? Get out the rat-race."
His mom told him, "I never raised you to be a desk jockey."
His prof taught him, "Go see the world. Grow. Broaden your vision."
Fools learn their lessons the hard way -- he made his decision.

He landed a photojournalist gig, his ticket to ride,
And he took to the clouds. No time for stardom or poetry,
Loving his life on the go, living for love on the side,
Writing his ticket and loving it, so much to see,
Have Nikon and notebook will travel, but a near-death encounter occurred.
Concussion, unconscious, the song of the Muses he heard.
Bringing us up to a year's seventh month, and its seventeenth day,
As a comet came crashing to Jupiter, he found the net,
And a group called "rec.arts.poems." He was near-born again, right away,
Falling in love with a love he forgot to forget.
Now he thinks he's the outlaw of love, quite the dashing, poetic outsider.
Fools learn their lessons the hard way, Jesse Rider.


Jesse's chapbook: Torch Songs

Chapbooks: Return to A Small Garlic Press Catalog

A Small Garlic Press book author profile. Last updated on 2002/7/1.
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