For Rilke                             

(Folk Life Festival)                                  

 

Wild: the Madras shirts, the bright plaid shorts; the faces

barred with dark glasses see black-clad staid forms; they

barely hear the sounds they came for. Yes, my daddy

and my granddaddy was all carpenters. The toughest

job in the sawmill? Wahl, dont know,

ts all hard work. Arms from shirtless

torso give shoulders massage.

Ah dont know about OSHA, sir,

but ah dont wear gloves; sure

get some splinters, but that saw catch a glove,

pull yew raht in too. Balding heads

nod, out of shirts tagged

with alligators, mouths open, speech displaced

from chewing ribs, feet in flip-flops

clenching toes.

 

 

I got a pig; now he runs on,

all I want is a little girl,

to feed him when Im gone,

sung to banjo counterpoint.

Headphoned ears

dont pick up higher voices. Honey, if I

didnt cut up the rabbit myself, it

wouldnt get cut! Now Joe

dont want me to kill

a black snake, says he watches over us. But I

dont see how -- so I kill em.

Watermelon

dissolves lipstick under punk haircuts.

Why, we cook all them little furry

creatures run around, coon n squirrel,

n possum too. Aint she

a real story teller? Course Joe and Ethel

still cook with lard.

Sodomy

is banned by court decree, its whispered,

as sandals with gym socks walk by.

See how she puts her finger in each

biscuit, dont want em to rise too much.

 

 

Yall ready to party? Lets have a hand

for a real Cajun band, direct from Madame Gayes

establishment, that is, Noo Awlans!

We play black, that is, creole music at days

end, and like, we aware, watchin

the wild colors whirl.

Deaf n dumb,

they dance with dark glasses, like panthers

pacin bout a point, where once there was

some consciousness, now all numb, jus become

a wavelength within the visible spectrum,

absorbed by polaroid.

 

 

(9/86)                                                             

 

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