AN AMERICAN BIRD WITH IRIDESCENT BLACK PLUMAGE
Pollen is in the air & blowing everywhere on a breeze that carries the smell of just-cut grass & a thin chartreuse film of pollen spreads lightly over the car & it’s springtime & brushfire season & my fingers are burning forward to the time when they will touch hers & she is a silver-plated woman sunk inside a saxophone & she comes out only when the sax man hits the high notes & I’m sick from swallowing the same used air—
She looks Italian or maybe Portuguese, possibly Greek or Turkish, could be Spanish, who knows & anyway I get gloomy when she looks right through me with those dark eyes under heavy lids & lashes & blinks & black flashes & what’s worse when she sees me she always fixes me with a basilisk gaze & runs away & it makes no difference if we meet in a club or abroad in the street—
She runs between raindrops & she runs hot & she runs cold & she runs her stockings & she runs handsome freight to the moon & did you notice that she carries the news in her pocket that she picked up off the ground dropped by the blonde behind her & it makes me move from chair to chair & it’s musical chairs played by the tone deaf & what does that mean?—
She used to be a simple song & in my key but now she’s become a melody I can’t even sing & she’ll thank you for your concern & smile & say “Don’t worry, sir, the only one I mean to hurt is me” & some essential hemistich broke inside of her that you could never fix & I didn’t know Dennis Wilson could sing like that Pacific Ocean Blue & sand in my shoes & the parking lot blacktop will burn your back in summertime—
& the sun slants slowly down the sky & the Tupelo streets turn into honey at seven p.m. & it’s late for admittance to the Elvis Presley birthplace & that’s just a tiny two-room house, just a kitchen & a bedroom-cum-living room & do you suppose the Presleys had Saint Joseph buried upside down in the backyard like a good Italian family?—
But that was last year & now I’m typing wearing nothing but boxer shorts & a sheen of sweat sticks my back to the dark vinyl of the chair & I’m staring at the desk & in a knot in the wood, in the way the dark lines come together in curves, I see Edvard Munch’s “Scream” & I can see clearly the hands pressed to the cheeks & the upside-down pear shape of the head & the gaping mouth & I don’t even like that painting—
So Corvino & Corbaccio, tell me that a raven is a crow is a jackdaw is a grackle & the difference between journalism & writing is that one tries to give you information & the other tries to give you the truth & now the night is coming down like a guillotine so let me stretch my neck.