Monday, September 5, 2011


a little extra from the old boy
languishing in memory’s garden:

he was teaching Heart of Darkness
and Camus’s Caligula . . .

reading aloud “Do Not Go Gentle”
and hearing it echo through the hall

among other texts with names
no one, not even he, had heard before:

Julie Jackson, his most dedicated student
but quiet until she had something to say

(and walking Central past the Frontier
with a friend was coaxed into a ride

with a young man their age who drove
to the Manzanos and stabbed her to death

though her friend clawed her way down
the mountain and later identified him,

who told a jury his mother tried to flush
his head down the toilet in his childhood

and last we heard he was spared death
for what may be worse, life without parole),

and one whose name he will not remember,
who asked to see him after class one day

and told him how Catholic school ruined
her life–“that nunnery!”–and confided

she was getting wet listening to him . . .
Stunned, he told her he was a happy man

with a woman not only beautiful
but brilliant, while she was alluring

certainly but would be happy someday
with a man who thrilled her far more,

and that year Kurtz murmured, as ever,
“The horror!” of his own mad enterprise,

in time for Coppola’s Apocalypse Now
to reach Albuquerque, the first version,

and Caligula, after so many defilements
of all Rome, ended with his agonized

“And still I live!” though wretched,
having hoped to include himself in his toll.

And “into that Good Night” his father
went first, then his mother, eventually . . .

The Rio Grande flowed under a bridge
Irish Cathleen drove to the South Valley

where so many lived who suffered daily
and frequently also smiled sincerely . . .

In New Orleans she saw so many faces
she compared with those in Paris

and never forgot the barrio Barelas,
where she was the only Anglo lover

(5 September 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Gang murdered Jimmie
down along the wharf
on his way to, or was it from
the store . . . Smoked his last
cigarette. His blood soaked the walk.
Moira and I left New Orleans
where my papa was the Jew
feared for his rulings
from the bench, and Pierce
was a name of no worthy note
but how he could love . . .
He knew how to play
my drum with his tongue,
ease me up and over the top
of that little churn of desire.
We spawned the daughter
whose name meant Fate.
In San Diego she died
while I drank grief’s dregs,
bashing heads with beer glasses,
rolling on the slippery floor
pulling hair, going for the eyes.
My bones bear too little flesh
for a lover to stay long there.
He hires a cab to deliver
me to be on my way home,
but I fear the sky.
I will miss this air.
I will die by the deep blue sea
hunting my daughter’s killer.

(4 September 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Days purge the nights.
Sun follows rain,
Sleep love,
Death life.
Never find enough needle to fill your arm.
Fuck, doesn’t matter, long as it enters,
how easy the cock slides into the cunt
when it’s hers.

(3 September 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

Friday, September 2, 2011


She tossed his bones and ashes to the Gulf
where in another life they would appear
mortared with the inevitable oil,
and rode home in the taxicab quiet,
where Juan already waiting at the gate
followed her into the courtyard, silent
until she gathered him with her embrace,
and they talked late in the afternoon light,
dined at Antoine’s, where she told of the death
of Roberto only she had witnessed.

Roberto had purchased the house for her.
She would not need to return to Athens,
she could wait till she tired of New Orleans
and go home for a visit, which she would,
she assured Juan before the night ended
kissing goodbye, seeing him to the gate,
watching him walk off to be with Adore.
Adore woke when he slid into her bed.
Juan’s tongue traced, lips to toes, her body’s length.
Who is not glad to be alive to love . . .

(2 September 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

Thursday, September 1, 2011

End of the Vigil

Roberto went the way of Big John and Ray Fox.
Eleni Rallis walked with him as far as she could.
She waited with him for the boat to dock.
He was loaded with care, the coins clinging to his eyes.
When the boat was gone around a curve in the stream,
she walked back the way she had come with him.
and at home the birds flew his soul away
while she finished the retsina and the ouzo.
The boat would be empty now and she was happy
watching the wings flutter and glide and disappear.
She would walk down to the river and watch
for the limbs of trees to wash ashore and take root.
Sitting on a bench with her long fingers
laced in her lap, the tears flowed quickly then.

(1 September 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander