After delivering regards from Madame Peggy,
Sally said little about the old days.
She knew why I was there. Anne McConnell?
She shook her head. She went up and asked
her bartender. He shook his head.
She chatted him up a moment. Quick style
for an elder, older than my mother . . .
Said, He knows the names of the blues singers
in New York. Says she must be known
only by Gothamites. I hadn’t heard
that word in years, maybe not since Batman.
I smiled, she smiled, I said I loved her place.
She said, I remembered you, you’re married
to that black Irish beauty. Are you still?
No. I thought of Adore. No need to say
more, she flounced more than walked me to the door.
She gave me a kiss on the cheek, I gave
her a kiss full on her mouth. Less makeup
in her lipstick than her powdered, rouged cheek.
She said I should talk to this old black man
in the Fillmore who kept up on such things
since the blues were ageless. His name sounded
like B. B. King. G. G. Carter. I walked
to his address after parking, passing
two hookers and a pimp two blocks away.
The pimp sized me up after I said no
very graciously to the hooker who
asked me if I’d like to go down with her.
And I said, Where’s down? She said, Down on me.
I laughed and smiled at the same time.
That’s when the pimp gave me the once-over.
I always loved life wilder than normal,
Cathleen liked to say, as did Leila
in Chicago. G. G. Carter was home.
I have no idea how old he is.
By now he may be was, that was a week
ago. Cathleen just called to ask me in
to sleep with her tonight. She has her way
of saying. She too wilder than normal.
G. G. Carter said he’d heard the name Anne
McConnell, called herself Irish Mama.
(10 June 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander