Sunday, May 15, 2011


I have left the room where the pencils are, with their erasers.
Here I am dependent on pens with ink you can’t wash away.
I forget to cap them and they ride in my shirt pockets for days.
The front of me, even my skin, is covered with ink. Indelible
was a word used in its adverbial form yesterday but should
have been saved until today, Sunday, when God is resting,
my best time for working. Or is it fucking I always loved
on days similar to this one because they had the same name?

Writing and fucking have never been foreign to my tastes,
I was never very good at either and so I need paper to write
and a woman to fuck, and women do not care to give me
what I want, for they must want the same as they say and mean.
Paper has no say. As I age I write far more than I fuck.
My wife, the last one, wants to walk over the Golden Gate
today. We do. I escort her to the Trident, the Valhalla
closed on the Lord’s Day, Sally Stanford’s proclamation.

We eat, she drinks, I talk. I talk what I would otherwise
write. I talk rather than keep her on California Street
where we fuck best, although Lagunitas has a bigger bed
and it is in the living room, so fucking is the way to live,
I say. But writing is a way to justify entering your house,
as Joel McCrea tells Randolph Scott, dying in Peckinpah’s
Ride the High Country. I also watch movies after sundown.

Even now, living at least part time in a city . . . Westerns
entertain me. Once in a while, educate. All the time, put me
to sleep. Horror films populate dreams. Musicals make me
lust for her, and she enters my arms with her clothes off,
she does everything she has always done and even more now
I have satisfied her every wish by moving from New Orleans
back to San Francisco. She satisfies my every loving whim.
What more can either of us ask when we have no questions?

We will walk in the park later, much later. It is a long walk
back, she loves to be a little tipsy, it gives her a polite excuse
for being silly, laughing far more than she feels like laughing
other times. I still remember her here the first time. She was
happy to see me, she wanted to walk with me and have a drink
with me at the Berkeley Square in easy chairs by the fireplace.
Her husband was working and she wanted to be home when
he returned. We were too happy, it was not the drink, it was
so long since we had sat this way and shared our lives like this.

By Juan Flores . . .

sitting next to my cane,
my knee resting a moment
before beginning to ache
when I walk on it, slide
to the side and it burns
with pain, I should use
it more, the doctor says . . .

All poems are not the same.

(15 May 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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