The Sea of Troubles Hamlet spoke of
Is, in fact, a real place
And I have been stranded upon it
For the better part of a year,
Desperately seeking solid ground
And a remedy for madness.
Standing on a corner in Union Square
On a bright afternoon in August,
Frank O’Hara calls for poetical reform,
Handing out pamphlets about the oral sex
That goes on in the back rooms of the fraternity house.
Backed by a chorus of Hare Krishnas,
They sing their praises to the Hindu deities,
Who occupy their time observing human trivialities
From the skies above the South Asian communities
Studying Kabbalah by lamplight,
High on its divine wisdom,
The elevated train zips past my window,
Dousing the room with flickers of illuminated holiness.
Sitting in tableau
In the apartment building across the way,
The tenants resemble the saints and apostles
Of a medieval manuscript.
O faraway Jerusalem,
With your maze of alleyways and twisting streets,
Procure for me a place within your holy city,
So that I may be assured eternal peace.
© Chester Sakamoto