David Trinidad


A Poet’s Death

The first time we talked was in the rooftop
cafeteria at Cal State Northridge.
Misplaced poets, we sat amidst a crop
of clean-cut freshmen while, round the college,
smog-smudged San Fernando Valley beckoned,
panoramic and bland. I’ d just returned
from my debauched year up north — sad, drunken
sex at the baths, in dark parks. You still yearned
for St. David’ s, your stint as a foreign
exchange student. In Wales, something fearless
woke you up: you drank, wrote, fucked. Now, stuck in

Gloss of the Past

Pink Dawn, Aurora Pink, Misty Pink, Fresh Pink, Natural Pink, Country
Pink, Dusty Pink, Pussywillow Pink, Pink Heather, Pink Peony, Sunflower
Pink, Plum Pink, Peach of a Pink, Raspberry Pink, Watermelon Pink, Pink
Lemonade, Bikini Pink, Buoy Buoy Pink, Sea Shell Pink, Pebble Pink, Pink
Piper, Acapulco Pink, Tahiti Beach Pink, Sunny Pink, Hot Pink, Sizzling Pink,
Skinnydip Pink, Flesh Pink, Transparent Pink, Breezy Pink, Sheer Shiver
Pink, Polar Bare Pink, Pink Frost, Frosty Pink, Frost Me Pink, Frosted Pink,

James Schuyler

I went to his sixty-sixth birthday
dinner: sixteen years ago this past
November. I remember that it was at
Chelsea Central (his favorite restaurant:
great steaks) on 10th Avenue, and
that Ashbery was there, and a few
others, including Joe, impeccably
dressed and gracious, who picked up
what must have been (I thought
at the time) an exorbitant bill.

I remember him saying more than
once, “Joe always picks up the bill,”
then smiling a slightly wicked smile.

To Arielle and the Moon

The night reduced to a siren, a sigh:

Beautiful boy on the treadmill

Glimpsed sweating through sweating glass —

My new moon.

Sylvia’ s moon: a smiling skull

Snagged in witchy branches; fossil

Brushed free of blackest earth.

My last moon: an orange ball at rest, for an instant,

On the grey lake.

Wish list: dining set and dresser,

Boombox, thin black tie, boy-

Friend à la Madonna’ s “True Blue”

La la la la la la la

Your moon (tonight): a clouded X-ray.

I stand at a corner and stare up,