Thursday, June 7, 2012

Orphans, Widows, Clowns

Anna said, Use my car, Bobby.
They left for L.A. in the gloaming.
Paula’s voluptuous friend Lucy
came along to keep Paula company
during the abortion in the crevice
of a canyon called Topanga.
Bobby stayed outside by himself
fiddling with his nerves.
After it was over Paula asked to go
to the Whisky A Go-Go
to see The Doors. By chance, they sat
next to Jim and Pam’s table.
They met and talked between sets.
L.A. smog was worse than ever,
Jim said. Bobby invited them north.
Jim said he’d like to hear Bobby sing.
Though these were their salad days,
with margaritas, chile rellenos,
conversations around Vietnam
widows and orphans, no one’s death
was news, just part of America’s air.
Nor did anyone discuss money.
They smoked good dope. The Doors
jammed for them after hours.
Bobby sang, Jim sang, then said
Bobby was better than him.
They hoped Paula would travel well.
She and Lucy got along with Pam.
Jim sang a song called Strange Days.
Bobby wrote down the way it went.
There was a street full of clowns
in a dream that followed him north.
Later, in bed Paula said it felt
down there like a penis was lodged.
That night he bolted from the dream
for the first time. Paula cradled
his head. Orphans, widows, clowns.
Off the freeway, bodies littered towns,
war-torn towns. She said Jim’s song
reminded her of the dead, the young.

(25 May, 7 June 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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