. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blue Moon Blues

A Cajun story ends in heartbreak...

On the back porch they dance a Cajun two-step,
one two,
one two they turn,
covered by an old wooden roof that is the
floor of a wandering hippie all smiles
and feminine,
he plays his guitar downtown
while his friends sing,

The younger kids crowd the bar,
they're loud and posh and don't seem to belong,
but this is their Louisiana too,
it's too jammed,
their ultra bodies make it impossible to reach the beer,
so I order a drink at the side-door,

Troy breathes into the microphone a heavy voice,
against strings that echo in the old wood,
against thick night air and sultry aromas,
he bends and shakes his cypress knees,
complaining of all that is lost,
crying to us with a harmonica at his lips,
with his shoes kicked off,
inches from dancers dripping and turning in each other's arms,
stringy hair and clothes that stick,
beads of moisture on their foreheads,
nothing moves except
bodies and music and magic,
his forearms glisten and reflect murky shadows,
orange porch lights,
the noise carries into the neighborhood and
everybody sings along,
everybody smiles or feels alive,
listening closely to Troy's poetry and surrendering our
souls to the South,
to the moss that hangs in the rafters and the mother Oak trees,
thunder always in the distance in pregnant brooding clouds
that makes me feel childlike,
muddy water hiding catfish and muddy toes,
the blue moon that watches over us all,
Troy at his pulpit making the crowd spin,
preaching, preaching, preaching,
the ecstasy of midnight on the back porch where
everyone breathes the same warm air,
slaves to the same conniving breeze,

Old men dressed in fancy clothes dance with their old dates,
a sloppy overweight woman swishes around a
young boy who doesn't know any better,
two professors from the local art college are married and
have danced together for years,
they do it perfectly and stare into each other's eyes,
everyone moves, turns, moves,
does what Louisiana has taught them to do,
children of the South weaned on nights like this,

The porch vibrates in the carpentry beneath me,
in time to the noise coming from the amplifiers,
spilled beer and empty cans sit beside me,
dark girls throw glances in my direction and wonder why I'm still,
there's something missing and
only I can see the ghosts who dance through the crowd,
ghosts of you and I,
this was the way we danced,
close hips and flip-flops,
wet clothes that fell away,
a beer balancing in a free hand,
this was our music too,
our thick nights and our city,
you moved for me,
sometimes fought against me,
but never let me go,
Troy played the sad tunes of his world and your smile
was light to me,
grey eyes,
the strand of hair that clung to your temple,
black against your pale moon skin,
so we danced,
one two,
one two we turned,
to hear you laugh when I spun you in my hand,
ghosts now and gone forever,

Troy taps his leg crying "Hey Richard!",
yet I am the only one sitting alone,
lost in my memories that sway and move,
turn and spin,
sweat as they dance,
only I see two people who were once
but now disappeared like the early morning fog that
will close this night.


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