Seven Flowers

by Steven Hughes Purkey
& Deirdree Prudence 

The mimeograph machine whirred as he fed paper into it…torn paper…crumpled paper…he had to get this done. He had to get this shit printed, as many copies as he could, & distributed to the masses. He had to get this done.

He’d already been working for several days straight, day & night, with little to no sleep…he’d lost track, his mind a blur…he just knew that this printing was urgent.

Darryl Allan Levy pulled the final page from his hand-held copier & begin haphazardly stapling the pages together…printing, collating, folding, staples flying, he loved it. He had to get this done. It was his 1st book on his own Seven Flowers Press—poetry, collages…art that transcended definition…just as d.a. did in his personal life…He had to get this done.

It was 1967…he’d been on this Earth just 25 years, but felt his time was limited…he thought of suicide most days…when he wasn’t blowing his brains out with drugs & sex & art & poetry…He friends gave him stacks of books. He read every one of them. They kept bringing them, books of all sorts, it kept him here. On this planet. They knew when the books were no more, d.a. would be gone…

But right now he just wanted to print, to publish his & his friends’ works & enlighten the city of Cleveland, his hometown…the love of his life…

A few years back, in Mexico, the smell of adobe, the stink of loss in the dry air,  the realization occurred to him that he was, in fact, a poet…not any ordinary mad man, but a real poet…an artist…& he felt it his duty to bring it to the people…on the streets…for free. He had to get this done.

He stood in the freezing cold of a Cleveland winter, snow falling hard against his body & face, as he enunciated the words of his works…sharing his profane poetry with the masses, most of which ignored him…hurried by on their way to here & there, pulling their coats closer, tighter, as they scurried away from him, narrowing their eyes. He was dressed in a tattered coat, pants too big & his dark hair & beard a mess. The residents of Cleveland looked at him, thought him homeless, a beatnik they’d heard about on the nightly news over their tv dinners. He was one of them…

d.a. passed out his passion to the strangers as they walked by…a few taking the time to stop & read a line or two…some dropping the hand-printed pamphlets to the icy frigid sidewalk, trampling over them…& trampling over him & his hopes & dreams…

He had to get this done.

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