Issue 6,  Poetry

Have You Been Reborn Yet? by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Are you alive? I heard 
the poet ask, speaking 
to me, my ear bud 
as it started snowing 
as I walked inside 
the gates of Père Lachaise
cemetery? Is everybody in? 
the ceremony is about to 
begin? Embracing
his American Prayer
an ex-patriot in Paris has 
been my guide since 
the moment I held that 
45 vinyl record when 
he first lit my fire, age
seven, thirty years later
after transcribing his words
from my Walkman, the time

to hesitate was through
Jim had been there when 
the gun was pointing at me,
some nights as the Parisian
police and ambulance sirens
would howl, keeping me awake
I would reach for his poems
remembering exactly where
I was where my dream stopped, 
uptown New Orleans Garden 
District St. Louis Cemetery # 3
Now walking under the snow 
falling, before this moment
I was lost, Morrison was there
every step of this journey inside
this strange famous cemetery
where other devotees had followed
before me, but my pilgrimage 
was different, as I felt the flurries
fall from above feeling like 
frozen flakes falling on me
I could tell, I was close

Passing Piaf, Chopin, De Blazac, 
Molière, Wilde final resting 
places but I wasn’t there for
these giants, gently they stir
Gently rise/ The dead are 

new-born awakening
with ravaged limbs
And wet souls
Gently they sigh
In rapt funeral amazement

I went looking

for you, my ghost
song that harmonized
me and my carmello
skin, when no one would
speak or see me invisible,
your words reached inside
speaking to me, making me
grow, now under these large
trees, I am still looking 
for you, I have assembled
inside… to propagate a lust
for this life. I always
imagined you sitting, 
with torn angel wings
flapping, still floating
on stone immaculate—
but all I find are wrong
graves, this is when I follow
you— remember your advice,
Hot on the trail of the woodvine

a newborn awakening. Follow
the words, graffiti directions
as I walked up past so many
turns, finally, gasping tears
I find you. As I lay my rose
and the poem I composed 
for you, this is when I press
pause on my discman, but
I still hear the poet speaking
to me. Amidst all of these 
strangers, you say, Poet,
write, ignite, don’t hide 
We live, we die, and death 
not ends it. Be immortal 
on your own page. I turn
up my own volume, as I walk
away the snow blizzards
feel like I am walking inside
my own personal snow globe
frozen in time, because 
of his sage wisdom am I
afraid, no longer, Jim 
still guides me, slowly, O’ 

great creator of being, 
grant us one more hour 
to perform our art and 
perfect our lives, at that
moment near Morrison’s
grave is where my future 
was made. Flashing forward 
I could see my stuttering 
voice becoming the spotlight 
of my only stage, the once 
trembling boy with so many 
lines to engrave, strolling  
away, feeling my own fear 
melting into ink, for the first
time I was ready to leap now 
gripping my sword, the pen 
voice I became

____________________________________________________________

Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press So Many Flowers, So Little Time from Red Mare Press, Between the Spine published with Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar, inspired by Sylvia Plath’s 1963 novel, will be published by CLASH Books in 2020. 

Adrian is an LA Poet who lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold. Connect with Adrian on his website: http://www.adrianernestocepeda.com/

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