Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Of Once Being Down and Out in Marin

The change in weather slaked his thirst, rain falling daily.
He could think of long ago here, in his late youth,
down and out in Marin, he would say and laugh
in those days, watching the band of men shoot up
in the tool shed, listening to Jim Gronzeski
tell him how to panhandle, Juan walking away
saying: Like the lady in Seattle told me,
Hold your own damn pan! Some girls in Fairfax
eating natural food thought he was a good-luck charm,
and sent one among them, beautiful as ever
even in her rimless glasses, and in the front seat
asked if he would take her to his bed . . . How could he?
a cot with bedroll wide enough for one only
beside the dry creek in back of the house . . .
No sleep inside since leaving that long ago town.
She said she wanted him in the car, and so
the love life went. Was it life? What was it now?
Cathleen let him have the house, driving the Morgan
back to the city white when the sun shone . . .
Now he was thinking of Adore again, and would have
hitched to the airport to catch a plane for New Orleans,
but he was too old now. Though not too old to see
Judy Ewing, who lived across the road and down a piece
by the river flowing out of Bonne Chance! she was naked
in the water, sitting on a boulder with him
when he asked her for something to write with
and without asking why, got him her lipstick
and with it he wrote across her breasts and around
her nipples, her chestnut-colored body lean
with children and marijuana on her breath
and his, "This is for Judy Ewing’s body"
and continued to her navel, "from Johnny Flowers
whose hunger stops here and thirst begins"
going down her thighs, writing around her vulva
and with a kiss she stopped him from going on.
And she let him carry her to the soft grass. Yes,
Juan Flores ne Johnny Flowers would go
through the rain today to call on Miss Judy Ewing.
But first was the work he had come here to do.
When his hand had emptied his mind he’d go . . .

(26 April 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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