Everybody’s missing poem is with the shirt and book of Curtis
photographs in the O’Hare airport bar. Has been there since
January 1973. From there to Minneapolis, bagless, borne aloft
by United, the couple in the next seat see me writing and ask
what I’m writing, and I tell them my Ancient Mariner story.
They share my flight-size ounces of (I think it was) Jose Cuervo,
and listen to me tell about how I was headed for Santiago
when I learned my soul-brother John had shot himself in L.A.
Why were you going to Chile? To meet Neruda, that’s before
the Kissinger coup, as I’d come to call it. A euphemism, of course.
They take me to their home where I can call Irish Cathleen
and sleep on the couch. They wake me and drive me to the airport
to catch the plane to Spokane. In the sky I write about Paula:
She’s with me in L.A. and we run into Jim Morrison and Pam
in the Whiskey A Go-Go. In the Spokane airport bar I meet
Vine Deloria’s brother and we are having a good talk when Irish
Cathleen comes up and says, Finally! and we’re off to South Hill
to fuck the rest of the day and wake in time to drive south to San
Francisco, buy a week’s supply of hot pastrami sands at Solomon’s
on Geary, and head out across the desert sharing one another’s stories
of venery and lust, conversations in bed and in bars, more lust, more
venery, and when I reach the part about losing my poem "Death"
dedicated to Miguel Hernandez, she says she knows I will remember
what was there and put it on paper again someday, when the time
is right. When the time is ripe, I reply. She loves me every night.
She left the day Ezra Pound died, and here we are two months later
on earth turning north somewhere on the east side of Albuquerque,
going home, we say who have no home, and nothing has changed.
(15 October 2010)