The 70’s
—for Juan Downey
Even the miniature dachshunds were stoned
when they sank their teeth into our ankles,
and we were stoned, too, just riding 
the two floors up from our illegal loft

to Juan’s, where he was growing corn 
and raising bees for his museum show. 
His bees flew from Broadway to Gramercy Park 
for pollen—or that was the plan. Roaches

loved the rice and beans Juan’s table offered,
so he mail-ordered mantis eggs—he’d read
the mantids were formidable predators. 
But when their cases opened and the babies

hatched, the incorrigible roaches ate them
before they’d had a chance to prey. The bees: 
they were driven in glass vitrines to Buffalo 
for Juan’s retrospective and installed, the gallery

for the opening gala at the Albright-Knox brightly
lit. Too bright, too hot—next day, the curator 
switched the spotlights on, and every bee had fried.
—Oh, and John and Yoko visited one night.
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