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Luftwaffe Snowshoes ffr Poems by Colin Sargent My first introduction to Colin Sargent was a brief phone call followed by a resume and several of his poems. At the time he was a Navy Lieutenant stationed in Norfolk Virginia. lf it is true that first impressions are lasting ones then it must be said that Sargent is one of the most talented young poets producing work today. His poems have appeared in numer- ous publications including Samisdat Dance Scope Dog River Review The Mill Ilindow Taurus Gargoyle and Diatribe. Sar- gent has read his works on the PBS Radio Pacifica from New York to California out of Washington D. C. and has appeared at the University of Rhode lsland the U. S. Naval Academy and the Writers Center in Washington D. C. along with several readings at the Arts Center. He is currently the editor of Greater Portland magazine and will be one of eight artists to present work at Maine Writers Live in 1984. Sargents work speaks eloquently for itself and needs no introduction. Suffice to say the Portsmouth Community Arts Center is proud to publish this his f irst publication. Suzanne Seidman Curator Portsmouth Community Arts Center Published by The Portsmouth Community Arts Center 420 High Street Portsmouth Virginia Printed by the Portsmouth City Print Shop Funding for Luftwoffe Snowshoes wos provided in port by o gront from fhe Notionol Endowment for the Arts. To Noncy for her love ond steooble ideos The author would like to thank the following people for keeping track of Luftw affe Snowshoes Frederick S. Bayersdorfer Jr. . . . . Director Portsmouth Museums Suzanne Seidman . Curator Community Arts Center Doug Pilley and Derek Nelson Editors Becky Aaron .Publication Designer Terri Barnes..... ... Typesetter Very special thanks to Dr. Allan Lefcowitz and Dr. Barbara Lefcowitz for their help from the very beginning. The Searching Party The Searching Party KEFLAVIK lceland AP - Shepherds have discovered the wreckage of a Navy P-2V aircraft lost since 1954 in a melting glacier here. The crew of l2 had disappeared while flying into a snowsorm over a northern mountain range 28 years ago. The bodies of the fliers were still at the controls and remarkably preserved . . . It was the ice in our voices that bothered us most. in the dead of night and such a long night it was the worst time of year for a search. Five nines and five black Everreody cats leaped through the eyes of our flashlights. Why should we care in deep hoods and wet fur bouncing sillily over the snow toward the Navy fliers we never knew several years too late to save ourselves much less the 2 dead grins in that P-2 Neptune shrieking through the Reyklavik wind the last Transmlssions jamming the chatter of stone martens lost in my mothers closet cloves and old dresses a Tufts diploma we were afraid she had died her dangerous high heels having slipped her mind or at least the tropical suSSestion of a glacier At 7000 feet altimeter 3005. We are flying into this room my sister Janie called between the venetians slit as if for interview we are trying to find you. Nurses move across the white levels. Tomorrow 28 years too late to tell the grownups downstairs will the snow have fallen through everything will Lazarus drop his flashlight and head for noon. stunning us pink with feverl Begin press release para NATO Base Keflavik lceland - The remains of what only appears to be my autobiography lost when their P-2V patrol aircraft crashed into an lcelandic glacier were recovered here today some 28 years later para. The scene of the aircraft accident I l0 miles away from government use only was quite different today from that fatal green December evening in 1954 when the P-2V was reported missing from a routine mission from this NATO Base. News reports relate the saga of rescue teams battling snow storms and candy striPers in their attempt to rescue my mother with injuries comma multiple extreme two eyes and a smile on lcelands rugged south coast. The rescue attemPt resulted in the recovery of one body para. That scene today was described as really cold by Mik Magnusson lceland Defense Forces casualty control officer and icy in the following sense covered with abounding in or consisting of ice skidded on the street exploring the polar wastes the cliffs at the glaciers edge b intensely cold weather n room para in the murderers stare the carburetors uP para The bodies were discovered by lcelanders gathering sheep north of Vik on Friday. lt was determined by third person singulars once removed that the flow of the glacier over the years along with the meltdown had brought the wreckage to the surface about 500 yards from the edge of a crowd about to fall off para. Remains are scheduled for transport to the United States for identification and interment. lcelanders gathering sheep north of Vik lceland first saw wreckage 2 eyes I smile on Myrdalsjokull glacier. Reynir Regnarsson Vik detective was contacted and dispatched dispatched and contacted detective Vik in the Ukraine Agatha a smile in his melting legs eye level eye s. to site perchance to dream is about 400 meters below heaven on a Mercator projection approximately 98 statute miles north of distortion worse than Greenlands the absence expanding its forgetfulness beyond all recognition Skuli Siguardarsson angels Vik and the aircraft accident investigators unable to label the individual body bags and bury them with cloves old dresses and appropriate love multiple extreme. Due to the time interval between opening the closets door and our arrival in bear paw showshoes that made a luftwaffe sound against her soft powder and perfume always Joy and old Shalimar refractory against the glass mountains that were so far away you werent even sure you could steal them I regret that I was unable to attend the last hours of her life just a smile and 2 eyes still glittering in the alliterative land of the living I was looking for the Navy fliers but would rather have found her and they told me she said that Mimi and Bondaddy ty grandparents and everybody in the whole wide world amen and all of our dead relatives in various serious vestments were braving the importunate storms and coming for her from afar better thing they do in this the next world from very far away coming for my dead Mummy like the astronauts across the open slopes Canadian Mimi coughing in a space suit traveling through an immoderately black distance past the 60s and endless Kennedies and neckties and ask nots to this breathing world full of interns and televisions and the occasional glass of cancer free ginger ale chiming with ice like cold collateral or some expired chamoux smuggled in my me her son in uniform with the bubbles still whispering Priest Priest Priest until tired of lifes delightful slice of lemon she turned awayl And if we came after her with our five black Everready cats with bolts of acid spilling and black lightning for tails unlocked the closet with the glacier in it and with our fathers flashlight blind and steel and long as all Wyoming across the glacier past the Lycoming wreckage of engines toward Evergreen cemetery where she now rests lf we came all the way with the angels and their red-lipped accomplices all the way up to that luminous locked closet would Lazerus drop his flashlight and head for noon stunning us pink with feverl A nurse remembers the line and smiles. Sleepy we break the ice fall through a pause get swept beneath our breaths and while drowning amicably with commisserating relatives in Bermuda shorts. watch our spirits rise for air. Our original lungs are gone. We leave our lungs down there. The Mackerel These green nights hardly startle me. The meridians above uneven last eleven and possibly divine cannot startle me but the two men floating up there do coughing and scratching beneath Elsies dead heavens. Elsie if youll allow a mackerel to continue soon married the rower of the only boat Mr. Wendell Sargent who once studied to be my killers father at the New England Conservatory of Music and who once he said though he could not dance met Gene Krupa after a wicked fast set of those blank those pink evergreen-scented bing bong polkadots they really knocked out Casco Bay and who said to him now this is Gene to Wendell hey kid though he was 22 and he was not a kid but my killers father and the drummer was not Gene Krupa but Buddy Rich who could still charm the potato right outa the hands of a Negro who might have wandered all the way up to the grand State of Maine remember a mackerel is saying all of this hey kid do you know where a guy can buy an Orange Crush around here Mr. Sargent smiled sure carrying his blushing clarinet as he guided Mr. Rich down the boards to the end of the pier they were two figures in the distance they were far from shore they were Strangers at Noon near the beginning of World War ll close to U-boats and V-necks and A-bombs and huge brunettes in that new little room with the tired lightning and those noseless dimes that jinged through the thing like magicians in Chicago and Mr. Sargent turned around to look at not Mr. Krupa and the air bounced against che cold head of a freshly caught bluejay in Kennebunkport Maine and out leaped through the brains of the machine fully armed the astonishing bottle so the scory goes of White Rock ginger ale. Mr. Sargent then excused himself flew l7 bombers over France mailed letters from London with funnies and news. came home and fathered my killer who is 7 years old and far too shy riding in the sky above me who is falling with the rest of this lucky green twine bright with the hook of Colin gliding moist with insanity like Elsies blood and the white sexless bacon dangles haplessly before me as I swim up to it knowing the rest of this blood is Elsies sky and the whole shore ends at Kennebunkport Maine and all boats are rowed by Wendell P. Sargent who was damaged by tuberculosis damaged by the brightest mist and I flash my tail for the last time dive for the shade like a sunken kite. tuck my future into my left breast pocket this part is to be whispered reverently and bite my gosh my mother Im sorry lll bite my God my father lll die I love you lll bite. When Prints Were Sans Serif The camels were confused. The deserts bold intaglio promised no relief. They marched upon the sand their hooves were sans serif. God they were tired. At night they dreamed of cool breezes wafted from offshore from some blue dark evening in Baltimore. ln Baltimore. a brunette with colorless green eyes jazzed the print of last years dress. In blue dark night a cigarette burned the edge of Conrad Aikens green typhoon. In the land of holy domes and divine fire those Japs were instamatic the brunette said snapping her violet eyelids beneath a newscast sky. To think of what America Below this poem ends with something like seven eleven unbroken minks. Under the minks coalminers are trapped in a vault gasping for air. Someone lights a match and says The wind burns its own sad footprints nice line break. He wraps a black shawl around his shoulders contemplating suicide. Colorless violet. Why cant I finish this says the youngest of the coalminers dislodging a rock and climbing to daylight hoisting himself above the cigarette. I agree the end sort of dissolves. I move from desert to Baltimore to the coalminers pretty smoothly and the minks connect brunette and dark underground well. I get some conflict between gasping for air and contemplating suicide 5 lines later. The climbing to daylight seems too casual or offhand. lf they are really going to escape There should be something there - not necessarily elation or cheering crowds but something tangible either emotional or physical. Youve got the camels bummed out the brunette also seems somewhat dejected. I guess you could leave them down there -the one guy could dislodge a rock but not necessarily the crucial one. Perhaps his or their imagination could move to some image reflecting the camels dream. I guess thats pretty wooden. break. He wraps a black shawl around his shoulders contemplating sunlight. Colorless violet. Why cant I finish thisl says the youngest of the coalminers dislodging a rock Maybe you could do something with the glowing orange coal on his cigarette Boy that sounds amateurish. I keep thinking the youngest coal miner is going to be down there thinking of sleeping on the beach at Croatan checking out the honeys in bikinis. Attack bombers appear above the Seventh Fleet. That first brilliant hush hush hush hush of white light atop the tropical island. No sound is heard. Noiseless flashing blue water then visual rip white rising white silence leaps into soft clouds paced with fire. A lapse of silence seconds between the sound and the fury for a moment we were ageless before the deafening click One thousand two thousand and the stars finally began leveling with me. Those very coalminers would never escape allthoughts would remain unwedded and unawed in the stereo twilight. Were there ships in the desert were there chicken in the sea were there oceans of dead in the blue tumulil Yes I guess we could just leave them down there. Yes. Five Essential Moments For the sake of sadness she held balance in her white hands. Something softly was happening and in her body all the blue logic began slowly to move. Far offshore she heard the audience applaud she swept quickly to the surface her feet turning and pointing her old rosin squeaking unthundered dark floors. For the moment it was Vienna. for the moment rooftops swirled below her for the moment she flew from fifth to second a la hauteur to seventh for the moment her grandfather was alive again smiling and she knew shed live forever for the moment. Knock Knock Knock Knock Its a bugaboo like any Nobodaddy might expect when the streets all cool and your minds italicized with wine. With your hands shoved miles deep in your pockets like any Nobodaddy might expect you wonder how Hecate you wonder how the roaring green of a lemon slice could make such an attractive racket. When the streets are as cool as the hands in your pockets when youre coughing a bit and everythings not fine its a bugaboo like any Nobodaddy might expect when the streets all cool and your minds italicized with wine. Das Blitzleben I have no life in lightning. That lightning business was just a sort of trick to get you in here. lf I live in lightning at all its a sad lightning a hometown lightning not the big city lightning that lives on the revolving 72nd floor of the Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta eating African lobstertails Lets put it this way. Pete and Repete were in a boat. African lobstertails fell out. Who was leftl And Im not talking about Klees diaphonous black hockey sticks Bluto Nobodaddy did it. Bluto Nobodaddy did it. Bluto Nobodaddy did it. lf Bluto Nobodaddy were to take a piece of lightning not my lightning of course because I havent any but a real piece of Aziza snapshot lightning with Bluto Nobodaddy did it printed on it you know like Gods Louisville Slugger swing and hit a bluewhite shot that would send Pete Reiser fading all the way back haa before crashing into the left field wall the big green one at Fenway fading all the way back into Norman DeHarts painting over there the one I want to buy the one thats excruciating Michigan - Evaporation. Thats rhe key. Wheres that scrap of paperl Ah Your recipe for convenient no-bake fruitcake mentioned both evaporated and condensed milk in fact the recipe calls for no condensed milk at all. The last line should read Evaporated milk is the magic ingredient. Yes that and something an old man told me while sitting on Sartres park bench not my Sartre of course because I havent any but the real Alaskan King nightmare the one with thoughts of dirty crab and lobster in his mind if youll turn up my lightning if youll turn up these burners I can show you what I mean. This water has to start boiling before the crabs begin to scream. Down to Earth contains instructions on how to make a good pair of work shoes The black skidmarks from somebody elses bad dream disappear over the guardrail. Speeding through the mountain darkness like nothing else in Tennessee wed swear to the atmosphere we were going only 55 we remember the bloody deer we left 2.5 miles behind us the deer who died like Uncle Cordis died the Williams College graduate who tied fraternity antlers to his head and without tellirrg Aunt Patricia or the bridge club jumped over the highway right beside the yellow diamond sign with the deer silhouette jumping at the same time as Uncle Cordis. and was nailed by my fathers dark Hudson Leukemia will do that to you sometimes so here we are gliding through the Blue Ridge Mountains thinking about ice skates. Theyll do you no good in Tennessee. Snap the blades off your Conodion Flyers. Bust up the double lutzes the triple spins and ice shooshes the glassy televised camels the Russian splits and flyaways disintegrate the box of clicks evaporate the swirls and tuxedos the Sonja Henie curls the Dick Button je ne sois guoi and what youve got is a tolerably good shoe. Now strap the goddam things on. Get out of the car. lf you start walking right now on your stupid flat soles it may take you the rest of your life but youll find your way home. Letter to the Other Gentleman Dear Andrew Lynn suggested that lwrite to you. The idea of my writing to you was provocative enough for me to readily acceDt. I sense an energy associated with my wricing to you and lll try to add some matter to that energy by relating several incidents that have occurred within the last year. Let us. chen. for the sake of argument say that Jackie had cameo skin and dark glossy hair. Toward the end of their first date Martin began to drive her home. The evening had run smoothly until now when both Martin and Jackie were thinking about whether or not there would be a kiss. The kiss was in parenthesis because it hadnt yet happened. No one had spoken of it but the kiss was hovering overhead unseen breathing in a cool darkness that was hiding angry Atlantic sparkles beneath an otherwise Pacific surace tension. Somehow this kiss was alcering the atmosphere and it was gaining power precisely because Martin and Jackie refused to mention it. Finally with the date at an end Martin put his face near Jackies moist eyes and wet red lips. Suddenly He didnt kiss her. On the second date the final minutes grew closer and the kiss or perhaps just the thought of a kiss was hovering even more directly overhead. Of course there was no question but that Martin and Jackies first kiss would occur on that second evening. This time with the idea of a kiss torturing all anticipation Marcin drew his eyes within Jackies personal circle closed in on her beautiful skin and again he didnt kiss her. Not even once. Martin could feel an incredible energy beginning to take possession of him. To not kiss Jackie was as exciting or even more exciting than kissing her the idea of a kiss was parenthetical in itself because it didnt exist no one had even mentioned it non kiss equaled kiss Martin then began intentionally not kissing people this is my first encounter with sensual parentheses not touching people not talking to people To lick the greasy sweat of sweet desire Not to lick incandescent water. Snows of fire. Dark escapades of light. I have not seen Lynn in over a year Martin had to get away from the nihilist possibilities of kissing not kissing. Once at home at his cottage on a beach in New Hampshire Martin tried to clear his mind of all thoughts. Then one morning on Labor Day Weekend he awoke to find black and white squad cars flashing outside like brand new ideas. Policemen were outside with their electrically reproduced voices painted visibly on the summer air Bullhorns gray plastic A warning AN 8O-FOOT WAVE HAS BEEN SIGHTED TWO MILES EAST OF BOONE ISLAND BY A COAST GUARD CUTTER - EVACUATE THE BEACH - LESS THAN FIVE MTNUTES REMATN - THS rS NOT repeat as necessary - CWS A DRILL People began running out of the water like in Jows l and as they brushed past Martin he heard the bits and pieces of absurd information that started to congeal and finally hemorrhage in his imagination. A huge earth upheaval in Germany -not an earthquake - cransmitcing across Europe and the North Atlantic an 8O-foot wave mountains of crashing coldness a green avalanche of tumbling water. Martin looked around. Somehow everything was different. Before the idea of an 80-foot green avalanche had been introduced there had merely been a sort of outside outside. Outside there had been a beach white sand blue sky peoPle as usual and of course the water calm and consistent. Now everyone was gone and the tidal wave was pre-eminent among landscapes although Martin couldnt even see it. Whereas before there had been sun surf sand and skynow the suggestion of an B0-fooc green avalanche lust the idea of a wave had altered the very characcer of the New Hampshire topography. Now it was pre-8O-foot-green-wave sun pre-80-foot-green-avalanche sand pre-80-foot-green-avalanche surf p80ga sky p80ga people But it was all a hoax. Or else the wave died down before coming within visual range. And Yet the presence of an 8O-foot green wave had altered the visual historY or at least the conceptual historY of Martins subiective beach. He began to see that there was energy associated wich imminence. In other words there was in a persons pachological or psychological reality just as much energy in no 80 foot green wave as there was in a real 80 foor green wave. Andrew Youve got it kiss non kiss 80 foot green wave nothing. Where was l Martin began not experiencing B0 foot green waves solid sea water did not hit him squarely on the face and he started not loving people And when Jackie discovered he did not love people with all his might she left him for someone who did. Martin was alone poor soul. He drove to work each day. On the highway by the side of the road there used to be was could be a deac dos. Somecimes Martin would watch the scintillations of light playing against the dogs black fur. As each day passed and as Martin got more depressed he noticed that the dog was approaching a more advanced state of decomposition. Martin thought of suicide but decided it would never bring the dog back to life. And then the dog was gone. For the next two months Martin would drive ro work anxiously looking at the exact place where the dog wasnt. Each day he made sure the dog wasnt there. He began searching for the nadir rather than the zenith of physical possibilities. And it was then that Martin discovered he yearned for the electricity of no Sreen wave no kiss no dog no lover Most people want the big sensory experience the big I so to speak. But Martin was more excited by all the non tidalwaves all the non kisses all the letters he didnt receive from Jackie He must have been crazy you say no avalanche no kiss no dog no lover Andrew I bear no animosity toward you. Believe me on that score please. Kiss A Detroit sort of silence. Steel shafts screaming at the suns edge and that green wave rhat waits invisibly just over the horizon behind oceans of other non coefficients No noise at all. So what does the future hold for the painfully ironic and tiresome young Martin I Well lll tell you Recently Martin has decided determined beyond a shadow of a doubt in fact not to murder the Vice President of These United States. And to this end after months of careful research he will become a Georgetown graduate Wear blue blazers grow a beard become a Senate Page find a way to enter the offices of thc VP. and beneath his overcoat in a sad and f aded reinterpretation of Crime ond Punishment he will carry a glittering belly knife -the vicious hush of a sharoened axe - beneath his white overcoat and he will not watch the Vice Presidents blood run red and spoil the steel surfaces of the glittery icy knife axe greenwave kiss. He could not ever hurt anyone. Anyway what are your favorite colorsl What do you think of Peter Frampton Did you know that I had a tuna salad sandwich for lunch today Please write Sincerely When They Said Jr-p We Asked How High Chick when diving over bamboo had been a champion coughing up sawdust. Boston College knew no finer high jumper in 1939 what with his dreamboat crewcut and seventh eighth ninth step to the bar he once leaped zarimby rinso six feet over Canada it was an away meet and the evergreens were sharp in the gray cinders and Gus with her cheerleader swilly hair ran to him introduced him to Elsie her friend and stood with him a laugh a minute a Christmas card each year until my mother Elsie zarimba no astronaut died cinderless in blue finery tenth step to the Chicks a doctor now lost in Massachusetts I jump over bars like Chick mY gaudy coughs dredging uP stars in my eyes and way away in Maine alone my father Wendell Composure Your sea is green and even. A whale rises with this line its dark longitude running toward the gunwhales. Even your dreams the gray waves in your brain Have a Sunsplash a snapshot a mackerel swims past the limits of vision a certain sort of glossy composure. And still I know youre calm Still I know your sea is green Sifting listlessly smoothly over the wreckage the last storm iust a year ago Until thoughts orange kapok life jackets popping up in a green sea force your mind to deal with me. Xylum she fled she charmed him. When the leaves catch You theres no turning back. lt doesnt particularly hun you know you feel the bark climb your thighs watch your hands disappear into the branches. lm just basically going to go through the highlights of the program. lf you have any questions please feel free to ask. As youll see on the transparency . . . Apollo knew Daphne was in trouble. Scarcely had she spoken when a stiffness seized all her limbs her bosom began to be enclosed in a tender bark her hair became leaves her arms became branches her foot stuck fast in the ground as a root her face became a treetop retaining nothing of its tormer self but its beauty. Apollo stood amazed. Youll see in parenthesis career promotion. We strongly feel that under our merit staffing program the position description must include identification of the critical elements in the position and a standard for 2 levels of perormance. Without warning we fall headlong screaming 120 calendar days into a category that most prepositions eventually fall into into bits of enchanted photosynthesis. lt might have worked out hmm maybe March of this year but it wont be until March of next year that well prove ourselves in terms of quantity quality and adaptability into bits of enchanted . . .. When to appraise performance. Civil Service Reform act of 1978 SCRA Title V of the U.S. Code requires establishment of a new and very comprehensive a very comprehensive and new appraisal system requiring that each supervisor prepare a written performance evaluation when the employee Daohne l . Performs below the marginal level. 2. Makes the mistake of working with the old appraisal form. And 3. Fails to complete the probationary period after initial appointment. OK the next item concerns within-grade increases. You mark 7 on the new form. and I believe its 4 on the old - Does that include the new 9O-day-notice rule OK we have a question Daphne allowed. Theres no time limit involved. Now you can grant a general salary increase. Well talk about QSls a little more in a minute because were coming to the end. In the end In a minute In a little more In the burning filaments In the darkest forest For the rest of your natural ln the end were coming up to In the darkest forest It might have worked out hmm For the rest of your natural Dont try so hard Apollo Let xylum override your fear. Its easy to be wooden. Enter month day and year. for the rest of your natural in the darkest forest for the rest of your natural Norman and the Forty Thieves largo Norman Saunders Julie a Dark Table Norman Saunders placed the golden bowl on a dark table. The room was familiar. oiled by a thousand hands. All Norman Saunders could remember was something about a golden bowl and a dark table until Julie ran down the blue stairs all the way to the rooftop. The same old Thieves huddled beneath Normans table waiting. Beneath his dark table. Julie examined the golden bowl turning it carefully in her hands. The girl had never seen the bowl until this ven moment thought Norman Saunders. Norman Saunders in a Crowd In the rumour of voices only Norman Saunders was unconfirmed. The rest of someone elses Chicago was cast iron gowns at night bloody robes of white light. The pawn shop was dark enough to hide that Scandalli accordion the rich silver inlays and the red plush beautifully clamped shut in a corner. In one window Norman Saunders saw the flash of a forgotten axe the green fir wallpaper a couple of antique standing lamps and the European blue nightshades. Outside. it was 1960 and wives still clung to their husbands like reflexive pronouns. It was a bright gray day. In the second window Norman saw a golden bowl and dark table the only things unnamed. In the third window Norman Saunders saw the golden bowl sitting atop the dark table stripped of its white tag. The rest of the skyscrapers were ashen statues. leaned over Norman Saunders like concerned grandparents. The pawnshop rose steadily as Norman Saunders approached the door. Norman in a Mirror Confronts a Thief Norman Saunders had always expressed a desire to meet one of the Thieves. He walked cautiously into the room with the dark table and golden bowl and spotted a likely suspect one of the younger Thieves gulping down cans of celestial soda. The Others were more valuable with their bourbon. The Thief was a little edgy at first and started accusing him of owning the golden bowl of owning the dark table and last of all. Of being Norman Saunders. Norman Saunders began to repeat his own name. He held an identical golden bowl And began to Julie it thoughtfully while Thieves Normans and even golden bowls watched Norman Saunders hold his body at arms length lust barely above the dark table. He looked again at the golden bowl. lts a stranger to me smiled Norman Saunders in his red blazer. Words Have this Nasty Habit of Carrying their Discursive Baggage into the Otherwise Pure Regions or Norman Saunders in Literature Class It was jet black outside the silver liner. Norman Saunders the last passenger had long since lost his red set of American Touristers still revolving on the concourse. National Eastern big ideas crowded viciously for the same terminals. The girl In the first row was soon aluminum aghast at the atmosphere. Norman knew only too well that clouds had abandoned their bouffant hairdos and that enamel blood was being ladeled into golden bowls only to be thrown from out of someone elses thunder. Thieves guided this lecture with silver haired assurance. Forty thousand feet below old porters in distinguished wigs agonized over the Samsonite. Nervous the stewardess smoothed her skirt resumed her Audrey Hepburn. They say that when it did become aluminum against vacuum Gregory Corso was fighting Norman Saunders for a window seat saying Mon if I dont get red every night its ike stee bonds right here in my heod. Norman Was really getting embarrassed now everything was truly going to nail polish when the student in the first rows skirt started getting blacker than the whole sky and suddenly it burst all of it with those horrible yellow oxygen masks dangling from Normans cabin roof like surprised genitalia. Under His Skin Norman Saunders stood in front of the mirror in Whiteys Fish Camp beside himself with Julie. The moon amazementwas in Whiteys Fish Camp and the stream in Whiteys Fish Camp was a blue hush so cold you could feel it against Norman Saunders face. The woods outside green with rain. Whiteys Fish Camp was in Louisiana. On the walls of Whiteys Fish Camp was a fish named Billy Taggart 12 yrs old Ozzes 2 lbs and a board shot by one Ron Blatt also reputed to weigh over obs. Julie said Norman Saunders in Louisiana if I seem indifferent to your misfortunes its only because I know how well things are going to turn out in the end. The Thieves were srill in New York City looking up at The Sparkling Kings of Terror buildings overlooking a forgotten stream. Norman Saunders got tired of all the hoopla the fish were too much like chrome in the rough and then Norman Saunders clambered on top of the red checkered tablecloth like an agnostic mackerel. A little further south than thirty ought six in Buenos Aires they called them the Avenues of Dream. l Norman Saunders had catfish had all of Louisiana under his skin. 2 lt was only then that Norman Saunders began to fear for his baby blue liver. 3 Thieves ran in with zip guns. Murder Carbon 14 Norman Chanel 5 Normans scream to the Thieves began advancing casually up the stairs dark a flashlight the scarlet carpet blue flash in 1954 when this mystery began an unfinished room a photo album a scream on blue tissue but. to begin with a long red swim to him and the dancing the lunacy the subsequent advance another blue flash nothing but a skylight fast in the attic. a last window a chance The white laughter rose budded from Julies blood Berlioz And the sharps darkened as Julie dreamed of her birth of the long red swim and the dancing the lunacy the frantic advance Normans scream to the Thieves having long since curled up beside Julies fire and gone to sleep When Normans Sorrows Began Dancing About Him Like Las Vegas Showgirls Evening splashes blue folds across the table a change of settings and Norman finds hes sitting with an oceanic chicken white Titanic l9 2 chickens thickly rubbing chubby wings Debbie And Normans Auntie Pat once glamorous in Bermuda shorts engulfed across blue oceans ah the glamour of a Debbie romance words over a chicken is it you or the music Last call and the drunks lower the lifeboats rowing slowly down fatal canals. Veinal incisions. Darkness in the alleys Norman Saunders on the Road to Rio Pink wings flamingoes and Norman Saunders looked again at his Brazilian skeletons still warm in the snow. Normans Thieves were silver Normans tables were silver and even Normans golden bowls were filled with only the most express scintillations of black coffee. Actually the Thieves had stolen dark red Hudsons Bay trader blankets were completely absorbed in Normans latest copy of fhe Scorlet Whole. Inside Those radiators were still gossiping with the blood bunnies gossiping about all that Nazi jazz until a man ln a white blazer approached Norman Saunders from snow. Pink again The pink wings of insanity. Normans toaster returned these letters white rectangular unburnt. No Bourbon No Celestial Soda Norman Saunders stepped into the golden room with the dark bowl and blue table singing the name of Henry James. There was no wind inside. Normans straight raiments a stolen Thief costume fluttered a little As Mr. James himself srrode into the room with the golden bowl and dark table solemnly intoning the words needlessly phantasmagoric. Meanwhile the Thieves ran with the scarlet threads. it seems they had reformed at a moments notice And were discussing Walpoles book fhe Costle of Otronto. Norman Saunders waited politely for the Thieves to leave for the subsequent departure of Henry James for the golden bowl and dark rable to begin shining again beside the dark purple gown and the air behind the blue mountains the cold streams to blow fresh against his face Soon mountains began thundering in Normans auditoriums. The sea shifted nervously in its seats. When Norman Saunders burned the rest of these brides they wore cast iron gowns bloody robes of white light. They are all grown up now. At No Great Distance When Norman Saunders was magical when Norman Saunders was an Air Force Captain he looked up at Venus through the sunroof of his fabulous blue Buick. Night was a car with power and sound with slow black curves encumbent with chrome and white wall tires flown all the way from Ohio. Venus the evening star was bigger than the whole sky bigger than the great airplane that Norman Saunders was flying through a crazy salad above Gloucester. Le bomb. Le bomb Le Bomb. counted Norman Saunders as he watched the streamlined French curves of the Atomic Warheads while clouds buffeted softly below in white laughter. Nazi Jazz. Nazi Jazz. Norman named Nazi lazz the bombs Antwerp Paris Brussels Venice Schenectady A Brash Kind of Jazz. The sky began to roll over the Thieves in that fabulous black Buick. It began to snow bright red in Louisiana. Vanishing Point lf you work your way slowly up one of the 1500 stringers of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City ruining your leather gloves on the wires traveling so high you almost disappear the Hegelian synthesis of strings singing like a giant harp far above the angels and God above Cocteau and Science youll find scrawled at the toP on the rustproof green paint two seagull spattered pieces of graffitti. The first says Vote. The otherl Youve come a long way baby. Now go all the way. JrmP . .. and fly. Campo di Van Gogh Volo di Corvi The same dead corn a road curving now and forever and the sky still flying through a disappearance of birds. The black V of their black V wings is threatening. They zoom comfortably around my kitchen. The toast burns the parlor door swings shut I eat dark blueberry cakes and orange pie and the window steadily off balance which the green wall plans to overthrow its no mystery has planned on it for years everyone knows it to throw down to the floor to smash throw up to the sky in a bloodless coup the darkening birds to the floor in a dozen sleepy girlish moments well the windows open dozing. Ha Did I say the sky had disappeared And in between the Vs of those Vless sleepless sudden night birds the blue-black Vs the window is burning dangerously toward the floor laughing I think away the situations gravity. My wife is miles away blonde wind on a lavender sofa asleep. I think thats enough for today. The other items falling these shrill dreams these black roofless cities will surely keep. Nyali Beach Hotel BOX 9058I MOMBASA KENYA PHONE 47 I55I 2 CABLES NYALOTEL TELEX 21241 I am for the moment alone beneath these trees under the great dark and pink Kenyan skY but onlY for the moment. On a slatwood white lawnchair beside the clipped British shrubbery coloured godawfully with flamboya trees you cant imagine The sky isnt from here. Its from Flint Michigan or lpswich Massachusetts but not from above the white sea of NYali. Small boats Nagobi red Zarimba blue are moored offshore like belated concerns. The men from the EmbassY are absolutely. It is cool out here pleasant is a word Ive long since meant to use. There is starshade on the embassy lawns. Two trees slam dunk the sun great white flowers on dark ponds and abrupt green shade. The sky is black and heavy with rain. Embassy lawns. White legs beneath her skirts. A gaunt bar shattered and laughless. A man with a nightstick l0 feet away and I am afraid of him. dark trees He stands a shadow behind my back poised and silent. I do not look at him just as hard as he does not look at me. Kenya the Arrow of Tomorrow The sea of Nyali was so smooth You smooth you could see the reflection the reflection of white of giant white clouds on the water the water where the white sea the sea of Nyali white because why because of that mans hatband yes and because of clouds hidden so softly in the hidden mist of the sea yes the sea of Nyali was so smooth you smooth you could The old man in the outrigger stopped looked at me forbidden bolt upright dead in the shimmer he had a soft hatband and he left me so softly forever the sky that hatband began to rise far above the dark sails that so smooth you forbidden Fleet Landing lndio he said fingering the cheap weave of my jacket. I om ofroid my friend he said at 7 oclock in the evening to me and the other Navy lieutenants who shouldnt have been trading for illegal ivory in Kenya that night thot your jocket and it was getting darker now and there were sailors there too and forests of eyes were watching us and natives were murmuringlndio lndio and the hills were murmuring lndio lndio and the continenc was murmuring and below the continent his hands and between his skies the lines. diagonal and charcoal of my lucky jacket plaid and certainly the jacket of a liar and not worth a carved rhinocerous of this quality or so he maintained pulling his eyes up to meet my camera trying to smile while I snapped his perfect British ancestors his blasted ebony soul into the aperture trapped his spirit in a silver box he started running away before he tried to kill me but thats another story at least I think it was 7 oclock in the evening in Kenya that night and I swear the storms that followed while all the sailors were running were as beautiful as uranium.