Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fields of Satchmo, the new book of Wild American poems by Michael J. Vaughn! Only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle.

An Author Talks with his Protagonist

Bubba Heinreid, please take note:
I see what you are doing and
you should know that I disapprove.

The fact that I made you
up is no excuse. I have
spent far less attention on
real people and for that
alone you should feel flattered.

Come with me to the sidewalk.
Have a beer.
Tell me about the girl.
The one you wished you loved.
Because she deserves it.
Because you don’t.
I’ve been there.
That’s why I wrote you.

Think of that first chapter,
when your friend snuck up
behind the two of you in the
bar and managed to
photograph your third kiss.
Two people falling toward one another,
lips just that far apart.
The avalanche begins with a pebble,
ends with a confused man,
standing before the rubble,
one hand on his forehead.

A lifetime grinding at spiral notebooks.
You would think, once in a while,
a clear-cut notion would show its face.
Instead we slap the after-shave,
tie the blindfold, stumble for hours,
a miracle that we manage to
arrive back at our beds.

I saw
Nigger Jew
scratched into
the metal above a
toilet. Remembered a
piece of sandpaper in my
pocket, reduced it to a gray
smear. Things can be
taken back, things
can be made

You’re alive.
And though we often don’t
even know what that means,
we’re fairly certain that it’s a
higher state, because someday
you won’t be.

Thanks, Bubba.
I chose you well.
And don’t worry,
I take care of
those who work for me.

I picture you in a swimming pool,
on a cruise ship, west of Baja,
catching the eye of a
three-year-old who thinks you’re God.

First published in Rose & Thorn Journal

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