Steve Dalachinsky

In Issue 1 on May 1, 2008 at 11:45 am

Pray For Me

Pray for me
For I have been ambushed

Pray for me
the way he played for the head bobbin kid in the first row

Pray for me
Because the older I get, the less tomorrows there are

Pray for me
for I am what I was before the world came into existence

Pray as if the prayer you are praying was
the quirkiest blues ever intoned

Pray for me, in jagged voice and broken tongue, in
soft lament, complaining moan and joyful agonizing
shriek, pray for me, jagged stone that I am until I am
withered and gone and even after that, pray for me

Pray for the zig-zag lines of my life
for as long as they remain a patttern on your less than shiney skull
& when they’re gone pray for me anyway

Pray for me, pray as if my life depended on it, as if
your life depended on it.

The mirror is a shore surging and receding, your voice
can be a part of the breaking.
Pray for me lift me out of the bedrock with my wedlock with the dark
Pray for me, embattled jackel that I am.
fruitless searcher rooted in a swamp of self-denial & complete disquiet

Pray for me
as I am forced to strip & made to walk down the naked highway

Pray for me on those cold nights and summers too.

Pray for me. The way ecstatic peace-seekers raise
their voices in jubilation. the way a group of not so
holy lovers of death have prayed together for centuries.

Pray for me as I vanish from the plains of geometry
preparing to regroup and rehearse.

Pray for me when I am struggling like a peach blossom
for satori

Pray for me as I ingest a drug whose side effects are suicidal thoughts,
suicidal attempts & suicide

Pray for me, my private affairs of the heart impaled
and imploding within the body of a thief.

Pray for the ruthless way I thrust the homeless from
my door.

Pray for me for it was my prayers that killed my brother
& god exists only to judge us.

Pray for this inhibited near rabid stereo-type
the engine that starts the fire

Pray for me. I like to take, I don’t like to give.
Pray for me for that reason alone, if for no other.

I realize the insignificance of your prayer but
Pray for me, pray for me just the same.

Pray for me for little I do is ever understood

Pray for me for iam a creature of this island & shall never get off

Pray that my foul thoughts might some day be made amicable,
my foul mouth washed clean
Pray that I never become a consultant

Pray for me as my place of dwelling becomes more domesticated
speak blood bone & soul the poverty of words
Pray for your once & only uncolonized son

Pray as if your prayer may be overheard, take shape
and rise like a spirit on an upward path. Pray, pray
that the lights will never be extinguished.

Pray for the false threat that i am
for the toothache to go away
for the smile to return to their faces
for the clear bottom boats that allow us to see
for my generosity toward those on death row

Pray for me for I have abused substance
Pray for my partner, for the sutures in my heart, for
the narrows to widen,
for the fuzziness of ownership & cheap sentimentality that my
departure will cause & the genuineness, the

pray for me
pray me



steve dalachinsky was born in 1946, Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared extensively in journals on & off line including; Big Bridge, Milk, Unlikely Stories, Xpressed, Ratapallax, Evergreen Review, Long Shot, Alpha Beat Soup, Xtant, Blue Beat Jacket, N.Y. Arts Magazine, 88 and Lost and Found Times. He is included in such anthologies as Beat Indeed, The Haiku Moment and the esteemed Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has written liner notes for the CDs of many artists including Anthony Braxton, Charles Gayle, James “Blood” Ulmer, Rashied Ali, Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp and Roscoe Mitchell. His 1999 CD, Incomplete Direction (Knitting Factory Records), a collection of his poetry read in collaboration with various musicians, such as William Parker, Matthew Shipp, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Thurston Moore (SonicYouth), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) has garnered much praise. His most recent chapbooks include Musicology (Editions Pioche, Paris 2005), Trial and Error in Paris (Loudmouth Collective 2003), Lautreamont’s Laments (Furniture Press 2005), In Glorious Black and White (Ugly Duckling Presse 2005), St. Lucie (King of Mice Press 2005), Are We Not MEN & Fake Book (2 books of collage – 8 Page Press 2005). Dream Book (Avantcular Press 2005). His books include A Superintendent’s Eyes (Hozomeen Press 2000) and his PEN Award winning book The Final Nite (complete notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook, Ugly Duckling Presse 2006).

His latest CD is Phenomena of Interference, a collaboration with pianist Matthew Shipp (Hopscotch Records 2005).

He has read throughout the N.Y. area, the U.S., Japan and Europe, including France and Germany.

  1. I was blown away by your poem. As I got deeper into the sway of it and the sound of the rolling plea, I did begin to pray. My heart went out, hoping to touch you for a moment. By the end I was praying for us all. Very moving.
    Be well,

  2. I wanted to pray for you, but found myself preying on your poem. I think someone has to pray for you to pray for people like me who are inclined to preying on your words. I like this poem, Steve, mainly because its spirituality is beyond Logos.

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