Now once great events fading into seamless history,
I am mother proud. My native numbers are few. In my heart digs many
memories forty-one relatives left in 1937. Decay is all left of their
bones, memories. I pinch my dark skin. I dig earthworms farm dirt
from my fingertips grab native Baja and Southwestern California,
its soil and sand wedged between my spaced teeth. I see the dancing
prayers of many gods. I am Cocopa, remnants of Yuman family. I extend
my mouth into forest fires Colorado rivers, trout filled mountain streams.
I survive on corn, melons, and pumpkins, mesquite beans. I still
dance in grass skirts drink a hint of red Sonora wine.
I am mother proud. I am parchment from animal earth.
Memories of Winnipeg
And Crazy Eight Bar (V2)
I am drunk, isolated, and horny, I stumble into "The
Crazy Eight Bar" and it was not my lucky charmed night. Flirting with
Indian women, delusional with my white ass superiority, I am doing card
tricks, end up getting my guts rib cage kicked out. Métis
Indians circle me in a corner no facial war paint on no Indian war
bonnets on. I am down eating floor dust of native history, and the
steel needle toe boots keep coming up fast, heavy into my ribcage.
One-half lung is out, the other half collapsed. I am seeing vision of
Jesus Christ. I am crawling to my car half-dead, barely breathing.
Collapsed lungs, head lying on that steering wheel somehow, find the
nearest hospital. I spit blood. I puke Apple Jack wine on surgeons. My
tan suit jacket is ruined; I piss my white pants. Life is shaded like
purple summer daisies. So I learned, when a stranger is in strange town
find a place where your color fits your face, never cheat at cards.
Busy at Work
Busy at work,
after the bad news:
memo: your daughter died-
I see her words
scattered in silent
over the desk
Old Irving Park, Chicago neighborhood Jasper lives
in a garret no bigger than a single, bed. Jasper, 69, smokes Lucky
Strike non-filtered cigarettes. He dips Oreo cookies in skim milk. Six
months ago the state revoked his drivers license- between the
onset of macular degeneration, gas at $4.65 a gallon, and late
stage emphysema, life for Jasper has stalled out in the middle lane
like his middle month social security check, it is gone. There is
nothing academic about Jaspers life. Today the mailbox journey is
down the spiraling stairwell, midway, he leans against the wall.
Deep breathes from his oxygen tank. Life is annoying with plastic tubes
up his nose. Relief, back in the attic, without the tank, the Chicago
Cubs are playing on the radio.
Enjoyment at last, Jasper leans back in his La-Z-Boy
recliner. He reaches for a new pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. Jasper
grabs a cool Budweiser beer from his mini-fridge.
Goldfish rolls over slowly like an old tanker
or retired Navy vessel about to sink - belly up, bloated,
bug-eyed, tail kick sailors last solute- flush, passes on.
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