Finding Milton

He sees trouble never ends.

Swallows chase swallows
zigzagging beak to zigzagging tail
above angry talk.

Living both left and right,
he says,
“Life is contradiction.”

He has tasted too much his own blood
and finds it difficult to keep sober.
Al’s suicide talk echoes his own:
living is a problem.

Night is a river,
cities put on timely necklaces.
Love and lust are
hard to keep distinct; all men caged,
he sees the bars.

He, the poet, passes out many times,
but still roots free speech in the ground,
and spreads it beyond threats.
Over the thorny crown of the People’s poet
he carves his tough and fearless shape.

Life and death, both are cruel;
his lines rise high to toast the People.
Handcuffs block his movement,
but words pour like fountains from his throat.

He shouts love into pain,
shouts thunders of poems?
each like an atom ascends to the sky,
to the timeless.