Body Magic by Rich Quatrone


The body is a magical instrument
after Baraka had you laughing
in bed with his wondrous verse
you lay there with the world
inside you

the happy world spinning
while the ghouls
and their Main Ghoul in

what is now the whitest of White Houses
shits on you, your mother, father,
the memory of your ancestors,
on your kids, on the planet, the children,
the poor,
okay, look, let’s just say on everyone
not white and wealthy

so, yeah you know all this, because
for some god’s sake, you’re
reading Amiri after your body
wakes up in the middle of the

while even your own little black
cat is still asleep with more sense than
you’ve ever had

and bango bingo your body wakes
and your spirit follows

and the body this spirit lives in
for now
wants to do its magic
wants to reconnect with the jungles
of the world
the rainforests if you’re still
into hugging trees

because your body is a tree
and wants to be hugged too
and wants its magic honored
worshipped even
listen to your god
it says, listen even when you’re not
supposed to be listening
even when you’re supposed to
be paying the rent
even when you’re supposed
to walk in a straight line and smile
and accept your white privilege
even as you know in your southern
Italian blood this is all shit, all a big

the body says, WAKE UP!

and it’s at that exact moment
of presto change-o!

that you are one eternal motherfucker
who seeks the eternal mother to fuck

all you’ve ever really wanted

to be with the mother

and the body knows this

no, no, not some minor incest
but the Great Incest
the Grand One

the Mother of all mothers sons
daughters even fathers
go back to sleep says the landlord
you owe me

but the magic never sleeps
it only gets ignored or buried or

Rich Quatrone

RICH QUATRONE is a poet and playwright living in Spring Lake, NJ. He was educated at Rutgers College and Mason Gross School of the Arts, both at Rutgers University. He and Lorraine Quatrone founded PASSAIC REVIEW in 1979, inspired by Lunch magazine and the groundswell of poetry that was then in the Passaic-Rutherford area. Other mags to come out of that period were Footwork and Lips. Footwork became the current Paterson Literary Review, headed up by Maria Mazziota Gillan. Quatrone introduced Gillan to the poetry world by having her read at Passaic High School, publishing her first efforts in PR, and by having her interviewed on EYES OF THE ANGELS, the cable television poetry show, produced by Paul Juscyk and Rich Quatrone. Gillan turned her back on those who endorsed her and has made some kind of mark on the poetry world.

Rich eventually left north Jersey and the life and wife he loved there. Much of this was brought about by a rigged prosecution of Rich as a home instructor in Passaic and Lyndhurst. Some people knew the truth and encouraged him to fight the bastards who set him up, but Rich knew he’d been tried and convicted in the Herald News by people like reporter Steve Marlowe, so he accepted a very, very unjust plea bargain. This is a decision he has regretted often in his life, since he allowed the State to strip him and his family of every cent they possessed. He has never really recovered from the financial poverty. He received an expungement in 2006.

After the infamy of September 11, Rich began an all-out, six year campaign of reading hard-hitting poems, poems to educate, poems to connect personal love and world love, at the Java Hut, which later became the diluted Coffee Blue, in Belmar, NJ. During these six intense years, Rich founded CHILDREN OF SEPTEMBER 11, along with Timo Scott, as a guerrilla theater group taking on social issues often left unaddressed by too many others. Online Rich resurrected (actually the third incarnation) of Passaic Review, following the original magazine, then Passaic Review Millennium Editions. The new PASSAIC REVIEW EZINE, published some 1600 online issues, covering every conceivable part of Rich’s political, social, and personal imaginative landscape. Joined in this effort were scores of poets, including Bob Quatrone and Amiri Baraka. Rich kept the Ezine going until he abandoned it after the invasion of Iraq. Rich felt the country was no longer worth the risk involved in speaking so honestly publicly.

Rich is also the producer of PLAYWRIGHTS ON THE RISE at Lakewood’s historic Strand Theater. He’s done this series into, now, its seventh year under his helm. This is a staged reading series of new plays from predominantly new playwrights. Rich has two sons, John and Eric, both poets, musicians, and athletes. Their band THE LYRIQS is on the rise.

Rich Quatrone

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