He stalks young women at night
like Jack the Ripper or Jack the Poet
or maybe he's but Jack the Dreamer,
obsessed with sunsets and rainbows--
I do not know...
I often see him, watching the
night life in a place where he
knows he doesn't belong--for he
would rather have the sky in
his wallet of stars, and his
visions are of no interest to
the passersby who stop and
look at his crazed eyes filled
with longing...
I saw businessmen reading Hustler
magazine, leafing through
Business Weekly--but he just sits
there like an idiot watching the
license plates of cars with
young women carousing with
horny young studs...
Oh to feel young again and to hide
like a cat amidst garbage cans,
persecuted for having dreams...
So Jack the Dreamer sits for
eternity and the common folk
don't like him 'cause his
coat is dirty and his pants
are torn, and pretty young women
get shivers along their spine
as they feel his piercing eyes
upon their girlish forms...
But he'd rather paint the
ocean on their foreheads and
mountains on their shiny white
teeth and he swims on their perfume
and dreams of wild flowers and horses
and planets and strawberries...
Jack the Dreamer, Jack the Ripper,
Jack the Madman, but mostly
Jack Himself without words or fancy
pretenses, without degrees or a job,
without anything at all but
that silly grin on his face that
seems to know, seems to care...
Perhaps he's Jack the Lover--
I do not know...
I met him one night and I
couldn't keep myself from
crying--perhaps he's now in
prison or in a hospital--
I do not know...
There's blood on his hands--
that pure blood of humanity
that no longer cares if he's
alive or dead, that blood of
red and white corpuscles and
deadly viruses that turn
a brother against brother
and a husband against wife--
the same red blood that
unites and divides us all!...
Yes! I screamed, yes! yes!
Wherever you may be at this
time, O Jack the Saint, O Jack
the Murderer, I throw my heart
out to you into the darkness,
into the ocean of silence...
Yes! Yes! And may Love one day
take root in its ventricles and
pump wisdom and knowledge
into that ossified brain
of humanity.

                            July 16, 1991
                         --Alexander Shaumyan