As usual, they arrive
by forks with missing tines
or scribbled in longhand
on crayon wrappers—
and always in the vernacular
of the Artful Dodger:
Hello my covey, what’s the row?
They’re like an old mansion
where a string quintet performs
Schubert’s chamber music
in a yellow-wallpapered
anteroom, pig-footed clouds
dappling the north face windows
with extemporaneous furniture.
And sometimes they resemble
plastic Buddhas sitting legs
crossed atop the refrigerator,
waiting to play a game of jacks.
They’re better at counting sidewalk
cracks than cat whiskers, favor
myna birds, and spread like kudzu.
More often than not, they mimic
quixotic crows elbowing their way
across backyard phone wires.
And when it rains they transmogrify
into French spies wistfully humming
Django Reinhardt tunes over a dusky
bottle of wine the sommelier insists
carries a very long finish.
//Renoir Gaither listens to jazz on vinyl, dreams what a hip, post-postmodern negro eats for breakfast, and wonders what Jayne Cortez meant by fermented mud dreams. He misses Ted Joans/Amiri Baraka/Bob Kaufman/& all funky butt things in Chi.