Traffic Misdirector

the greatest living poet
in new york city
was born in Puerto Rico
his name is Jorge Brandon (1902-1995)
he is over 70 years old
he carries his metaphor
in brown shopping bags
inside steel shopping cart
he travels around with
on the streets of manhattan
he recites his poetry
to whoever listens
& when nobody is around
he recites to himself
he speaks the wisdom
of unforgettable palm trees
the vocabulary of coconuts
that wear overcoats
the traffic lights
of his poems function
without boring advice
from ac or dc current
book stores & libraries
are deprived of his vibes
to become familiar
with this immortal poet
you have to hang-out
on street corners
building stoops rooftops
fire escapes bars parks
subway train stations
bodegas botanicas
iglesias pawn shops
card games cock fights
funerals valencia bakery
hunts point palace
pool halls orchard beach
& cuchifrito stands
on the lower eastside
the admission is free
his presence is poetry

Pedro Pietri, "Traffic Misdirector" from Selected Poetry. Copyright © 2015 by Pedro Pietri.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.
Source: Selected Poetry (City Lights Books, 2015)
More Poems by Pedro Pietri