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'Francisco Xavier Alarcon

Francisco Xavier Alarcon,
Learned from his grandmother
About peppers;
How to coordinate colors,
As in an illustrated children's story;
And how we may be kind to plants.

Francisco opened our 1998 reading
In the downstairs performance-space
Of the Black Cat Café on Broadway
In San Francisco’s North Beach
With an invocation to the Four Directions.
      He held a bowl upturned for the Rain,
      Shook his Rattle to invite Wind,
      Spoke ceiling-ward for Sun and Moon,
      And then bent for Blessing
      From North, East, South and West.
There, in the nouveau Black Cat,
Amid cushioned leather and cocktail-tables,
Young Hipsters born decades after Beats.
Repeated and acted out their honoring
Of Francisco. They said "Ah!" and "Oh!"
And clapped throughout our show
With Kevin Carnes on drums-set and percussion,
Richard Howell on saxophones
And dùndún talking-drum.

About Javier, Francisco was still marveling.
He told me at their house as we had drinks and tapas
The evening before our reading at a Gallery
in Davis, California, 2015
(Thank you, Andy Jones):
“Can you believe this happened?
I still can't believe it! Good luck--
A miracle I don't deserve....
I realized what I've always
Wanted is simple: Someone to love
And who loves me. I am blessed!
Blessed through the Want Ads!"

Francisco Xavier Alarcon,
The trio of your names
Rings a fitting Processionale!
You are round multiply!
Schedules distract you
From the fruit (yes, a fruit
May be, like Horton, a who)
And children WHO
Inspiring lines and memories
Of the women who taught
You--as you say and we know, Francisco--
Everything important.
Siempre, they moved you
To causes for justice.
You were and are the whole bowl and rainbow
Francisco Xavier Alarcon--
Colors, pools and rain,

July 22 and September 13, 2021—
                 first version February 22, 2016


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