Aidan Ryan

About the marriage, and Amiir
And the man behind the artist
And the boy behind the silence
But somehow leaving out
A little bit of everything
And every bit of a little thing
That hasn’t any name, which
Was a lot of him, Prince, the
Artist formerly known as
Alexander Nevermind,
Joey Coco or the black
Michael Jackson, a star
Sign O’ The Times that arced
Over the word “gender”
The way the word “sex” does,
Telling nothing to no one
But the sound of a thousand cellos ending
Ending a thousand concerts with
Another verse of Purple Rain

No, something else remains
Of me in Edinburgh, August
Under fireworks like fingers
Reaching for the moon and taking
Only crumbling chunks in
Chorus after chorus
Which explains the pause before
The Waterboys began to dig
If you will, the picture of
An ocean of violets in bloom
And a violence of violins
In pain, doomed doves with wings
Of horsehair, cooing
Another verse of Purple Rain
And another verse of Purple Rain
Still, something else remained

Which explains the pause before
I start another verse of this,
About a Hachette paperback
About a poet who res-
isted language, critics,
And executives with a sign
With a layup, with a glance
With a never-quite-there
Moustache, whose significance
Resists obituaries,
Tell-Alls, sketches, and poems,
Like the Rorschach Test of
Lake Minnetonka -- time

Stopped, in between the choruses
And then went on, stopped again
Searching for a genius
Or a genie or a
Satisfying image to dig
Just a little bit longer, like
Time stops between the end
Of one line and the beginning
Of the next, you and me reaching
For a word, for a reason,
The whole of the moon, for the whole
Of a life, like a rain, that stops, or
Just moves on, but a mind isn’t like
An ocean or a continent
Or a word snug in a language
And the celebration beckons
With an Alexander
Nevermind, Nevermind, Nevermind