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A Song For Ti Jean

Good grass always feels wet and cold under you, and sitting just such a green- clover and caterpillar and rye- in the before noon but not morning sun on a Surrat Saturday beaming out memories to the passerby. Eyes closed and the crisp spring light makes orange and red fire dance across my eyelids in blood song. But the grass is cool, deep blue cool, bleu comme noir cool under spine and legs. The hum drum thrum of city vein mechanisms clashes and clangs and roars away in living bop a few yards away, playing speeches of day off drifting through the streets. An old man in fedora and clean church cloth, Sunday best one day early, plays chess by himself at corner cafe table, staccato metal shadows dripping onto rumbling uneven cobbles. His brow slouching down in furrowed concentration, making Rembrandt of his wrinkles, and saggy jawed focus. Reminds me of grandfather, the old, sad clown Polish Jew, son of a haberdasher growing up in 3/4 pant brownstones of old New Jersey, and speaking with New Orleans black river folk twang- church is choich. The clean chess man having comically big ears like Grandpa, and like me one day. My memories sticking to strangers like ghosts of spiderweb, even when it's gone you can still feel it on your skin. Me drinking a cream soda from clear glass bottle, resembling beer, and making other travelers wonder as they witness. The golden vanilla liquid pouring down my throat like a wine made from starlight, tingling but cool and sweet. Birds and dogs rapping away from branch to bough lidded with a sky of cacophonous blue, so blaringly bright I can barely hear anything else, and have to drown it out with little music. The voice telling me to take off my cool down through dichrome phones, and just whispering of the molasses jive earthy love, all brown and resplendent and like rich sun-warmed soil. A music of soft bed and mint darkness, arms and heads touching in a quilted silence. Coming back to the cold, wet grass, the breathing grass, exhaling water grass into a world waiting for that breath. And I tied to it all through hands and thought, memories and dream, blue cool shoots and dances of flame on flesh.


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