JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT EXHIBIT, BROOKLYN MUSEUM, 2005

21 Jul 2017 | Under Writing | Posted by | 0 Comments

I was only seventeen the year you died of a heroin overdose.

Fab 5 Freddy read a poem by Langston at your memorial.

I was just a hustler at the piers you stared at weeks before.

I had no idea how I could have saved you or who Hughes was,

let alone that I would survive to become a self-destructive artist like you.

You had such incredible talent.

Vibrant, violent, beautiful imagery.

I wonder if you noticed the same anger in my eyes

that emanates from these paintings.

You might have imagined me hopeless, without a future.

It was only when I saw your picture on the cover of the newspapers

that I discovered the voyeur I had warned

the other pier queens about was you.

They cared more that you had dated Madonna.

You looked messy and high but I would have still sucked you off

the way she did and I might have only stolen an art piece

(or two) on the way out.

Not that I would have known what to do with them.

Perhaps sold them to a trick to hang in his living room.

He would have thought it was some street artist knock off.

Years later, he would have sold it for millions.

I would be here at this same museum admiring the Basquiat

I practically gave away

for food or a place to crash or some new sneakers.

I wonder if you contemplated approaching an underage boy for sex

those times you watched me,

if you would have fucked me

on the floor mattress on Great Jones Street,

if I would have remained Untitled or simply unspoken of.

 

from Radiance

by Emanuel Xavier (Rebel Satori Press, 2016)