Friday, April 23, 2010

Ever Ready to Draw
for D.B.A.

i.
today I let the barber do it
used to or used to think to
swipe off my beard

when I had to see you
when I had you to see
when sweet opportunity arose

decided today to let the barber do it
to visit Cliffie's, to put myself in expert hands
to convert me to pretty

like how I look in the mirror, in the rest room
in Central Bank

peaceful here, able to reflect and to connect
little time for conversation

this peace of hand towel, pulled with two hands
from this dispenser which turns and cuts
and my pen

these instead of cell phone
to talk into, to hear you on
hear you clearly nonetheless

asked to be let in, allowed through
I thought to pee and to freshen up
turns out I needed in here to be with you

this timeout to show you me
before hardly anybody else sees
sees me transformed, made pretty

pretty for my baby first
anybody else, comes after, don't matter

ii.
always going around
to avoid who would beg us

always going around beggars
beggars always going around
coming around who they would beg

would seek to avoid them
would seek to avoid being confronted
seek to avoid having to say, no
and again, no, without end

seek to avoid being made uncomfortable
having to say, no, again and again

I avoid going by a woman, sitting, waiting
to beg who comes by

I avoid going by, go around instead
the round about way and wonder,
are there those, similarly, avoiding me

though I ask, not for pittances or for sixpences
I ask $100 in exchange for a slim book

there are those who ask for all you’ve got
with gun or knife

gimmie your wallet, your jewelry
or give me your life

iii.
able to have you with tea
should I have you with tea

added about 8 packets of honey
squeezed them out

honey from heaven, missing from tea still
or missing from me

needed you added to the life in me
to the me of me, more me
the more love I’m filled with
more me with whom I’m in love with, added

thrust of this, gist of this,
is what I’m writing, insisting upon
coming into being or am I forcing it,
with forefinger and thumb

force honey forth, force honey out
into hot tea, hot hot hot,
the water Starbucks serves
must exercise care or burn your mouth

what lingers inside, in mind
are the politicians off the wall

House in session
and they out of their frames
walking about in the lobby

down stairs of the House of Assembly
they shake my hand

give the impression that I am well known
that I am well liked

you with me there, but not available
to be introduced

meet D’Anthra, I’d have said
if you were with me actually

who would I have told them
that you were, would I have needed to

would they not have known, right off
from the outset

seeing us, you and me, you with me
how we acted

to explain, redundant
I’d have said possibly, she’s a poet
instead of, I was getting married

because of her, I am not any more
not to that woman

wish this woman and I could wed
instead

what to tell who and what not to

had a talk about you
with my barber today
told him who it is
for whom I must look pretty
he dolled me up good

did you like my beard or didn’t you
you never commented
one way or another

song playing, here in Starbucks
at present, I’ll let you hear later

I’ll find it on YouTube, “Hallelujah”
same singer/song writer who wrote
“There’s a Crack In Everything”

including you, including me
enabling us to get in
without the back of a cutlass
across a coconut to break open

husk it, what’s left in your hand
as bald as a head

iv.
want to tell Vanessa
that the skin is the body’s largest organ

want to ask her if it is malfunctioning
like a kidney might

want to help her to get a handle on it
an understanding of why
her face might be filled
with awfully large pimples

or are they bumps
from something other than acne

is she abusing something
possibly some drug or other
marijuana or is she dependent
upon something else that’s bad for her

enter into conversation, she says,
“Obi, you see, I am having a baby

she shows me her stomach
protruding behind, protruding within
her green, Starbucks apron
and it is all clear to me finally

v.
gat ta keep your head up
gat ta keep yur dignity intact
come what may

whoever comes, whatever comes up
or whoever goes out

whatever they take with them
must be left with dignity

John Proctor, in “The Crucible”
at a high point in the drama
possibly at its very pinnacle

says, take my life but leave me
my name

I can see Daniel Day Lewis
even now, in agony

his mouth wide, screaming
this to the firmament
to everybody listening

I struggle too to keep
head up, dignity intact

do this chiefly
with poems I pin down, pen down

in another place, in another time
this one, that one instead,
to gun down

guns on two sides, ever ready
to draw


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2010
Written on Wednesday, April 21, 2010
between 2:30 p.m. and 6:53 p.m.

3 Comments:

Blogger jobitek said...

That is particularly lovely and poignant. Your lyrical poetry tugs at my heart every time. Leonard Cohen: There's a crack, a crack in everything/ that's how the light gets in... Thanks so much for that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

Girl, Julie, how divine it is and how coincidental it is - your having left this precious response. Just before she fell asleep - just a little while ago, I was telling DBA, about you. I'd sent her "Hallelujah," as I'd promised and she was playing it. I had to explain how Leonard Cohens' significance to me is tied to your significance to me. You can tell, from "Ever Ready To Draw," how significant she is to me. You are so special, Julie. Hearing from you makes me aware of just how much I had been missing you. Love and hugs for you and all yours.

Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:05:00 AM  
Anonymous D.A. said...

Obi if you need to sweeten your tea, sweet teeth, just say "honey please".

I thought yesterday, about begging, about how I dont think Id survive as a broke poet.

But its when we ask nicely and are refused or rejected neglected -by people who have it that I think about the violence, gunning down with guns up, just to get a trip to China or D.C. I ask: "help me". I could get the money in other ways but Id strip myself of dignity. And that my friend is priceless.

I am very excited about poets and writers in our govt. I feel that so much more work can be done with creative minds like those leading our nation.

I like your interaive poems. I always feel that I am there with you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010 10:19:00 AM  

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