Friday, August 16, 2013

Two Poems by Bill Jansen


on the beach
one day
gulls became the sand

the same day
a soccer ball
gazed at us
from 7 waves

salt & light

in flagrante
on flocks of dunes

stoned kimono dragons
in kudzu

conscientious objector
took the 5th
and half
the wine

we are social animals
but not
I reply
to something I misunderstood
her say.

Crime tape 

The used bookstore has moved a few blocks
from where I remembered it.  Used bookstores
make me tough/potent.  I become Charles Bronson/
Charles Bukowski in film noir fedora and suit.
The slim volume of poetry has no chance to escape.
A woman who looks a lot like Rita Hayworth
in tweed flounce/glasses, giggles uncontrollably
as I pay her for the book.  Nice kid.  But I got
that appointment with Nike rep at Guantanamo.
I have some difficulty with door, but stumble outside,
change direction a few times to throw them off,
then move south like something lethal in Bermuda shorts.
The book is by some smart dame I never heard of.
I assume the photo on the cover is her, sultry, cool.
She's sitting on a sidewalk, tambourine tip jar,
her back against a concrete wall tagged by Rimbaud.
Everything points to summer in Berkeley, 1972.
About 20, fake Hippy, fondling pill bottle in left hand.
Minoan eyes, closing.  Elizabethan smile.
Something about the set up reminds me of dead Jews
in Poland, 1940, or the gaping corpse of a Nun
in Madrid, 1936; some sneering anarchist with his arm
in a sling blowing cigarette smoke into her dry face.
As I look for my Mazda in Hillsboro, Oregon, 2013,
I shuffle past her in betrayed revolutionary sunlight.
To disguise my shortness of breath I stop frequently
and feign interest in my surroundings and thoughts.
A strand of yellow crime scene tape tied to a meter.
Dissembling, inquisitive wind is blowing the tape,
like fantasy hair of stoned free love goddess
panhandling in front of a KGB cafeteria.
I throw the book in trash can.  Unbelieving. Just in time.

Bill Jansen lives in Forest Grove, Oregon.  Work has appeared in various ezines and journals.  A poem is scheduled to appear in Gap-Toothed Madness in September.

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