Cheryl and I went to listen
We learned of the $5 cover.
I watched one or two others
walk away also.
We met Natalie and
her friend Faith with
her own faith journey.
Another friend Beth and I
went on similar journeys to this but
she was on a journey for a love.
Cheryl, Natalie, Faith and I went to
Safeway and bought chicken strips,
Chocolate bars, parmesan Cheetos, and
“vitamin water for Cheryl’s health.”
I ate M &M's or
raw cookie dough with
her young daughters. Beth
worried of the raw eggs.
We sang of
Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
I thought of
I'm being followed by a moon shadow,
but forgot the words.
Beth and I sang how do you
hold her close to where you are?
how do you talk to an angel?
Faith drove us through
Mount Angel, Gervais, and St. Louis,
past my old friend Carrie’s neighborhood,
playing leap frog with the vehicle ahead and howling like wolves.
Sixteen, seventeen years ago
my friend Beth paid
for our cover and our cocktails
between dancing, rocking out,
between dancing to a Rooster song and
we were singing at Bart's or the Brass Rail,
Yeah they come to snuff the rooster.
Young nephew Alec
and I walk
the Devil's Lake beach.
He tells me about
the fantasy characters
He tells me about
the SIMS game characters
and their lives
and the female suitors.
It is so easy
to get married
in the game,
he tells me.
MORE NEIGHBORHOOD ANNOYANCES
Snoopy, the adorable but sometimes
yappy neighbor's dog.
The lonely pit bullish neighbor's dog.
The pinkish metal door slams downstairs.
High heels on low steps.
Squawky city black crows perching
nearby on a lamp on a lamp or fir branch.
Noisy sirens of emergency vehicles
racing up 12th, a City of Salem Fire Department truck.
Four beeps for a neighboring vehicle's broken alarm.
The laying of horns, loud and rude.
Forgotten summer plums among the bark dust.
Forgotten wind tossed jack pine branches
among snow and ice. We hope for the return of
a City of Salem Parks Department truck.
ENGLISH IVY AND WILD CUCUMBER
(Hedera helix and Marah oreganus)
Hedera helix and Marah oreganus
is the Latin for the invasive English Ivy and
Wild Cucumber. Four hours I widely prune
English Ivy that is killing the several Douglas Firs
in this yard, plus pruning some wild cucumber
plant and soda cans.
“I want you to cut my ivy and you can write about it,”
weeks earlier at our combined family Mother's Day party.
Four hours on cliffs of two residential streets,
cliffs of ivy and fir.
Three fire trucks race across the two branches
of Salem, uniting this west community.
Two pedestrians leave the dark refuge across at
Eola Bird Refuge, where Robins, Starlings and Swifts
sometimes reside, and many homeless.
Three bicyclists race east, toward shopping at Safeway or
Reader's Guide Books.
COUNTING AND TIMING THE BAND
At least I arrived early,
with no plans after
a cancelled open-mic event.
I was avoiding another event with
a Valentine's theme. I arrived
before 8 PM, early enough.
I avoided the $6 cover by snacking
and watching from the pizzeria
restaurant, above the bar and
performers. The band arrived
at approximately 8:40 PM,
Mike Dillon's Hairy Apes BMX.
My dinner arrived, salmon fettucini
with a nice pinot noir. The dark red
bass appears from the young man's
bass case, the young man with a
reggae look and "Jamaica" jacket.
Then another musician enters and
the drummer, in his Oklahoma t-shirt,
removes and sets up his equipment.
Then there's the large vibraphone. They
arrange the mic, speakers and many
equipment wires. But repair is needed
on the vibraphone. So they walk up to
retrieve "Super Glue," as indispensable
as duct-tape now. The band started at
10:05, 65 minutes late. The "punk rock" band
who lives in three states and larger cities.
They sing "All Fucked Up on An Acid Trip"
and the Seeing Eye Dog song.
At 10:40 three ladies on the small
wooden floor, barely large enough
for many dancers. I reminiscence.
I think of another Italian restaurant
where I worked, danced and drank
on a designated floor to modern
hard-rock, NW bands.
AN OLDER COUPLE WAITING FOR AN AMTRAK BUS
With her gray bun
in a patterned brown scarf,
she sits on a bench
reading a mystery novel
I'm sitting inside on a wood bench, watching
ominous clouds and increasing winds.
He sat beside her
reading geographical quizzes
to us over his striped glasses
matching her other scarf, paisley.
I think of how couples grow
so similar in appearance.
She offers him a piece of a homemade
cookie and smiles at me briefly, peacefully.
She watches him
as he walks to the men's room.
She watches over
their four matching black bags
with pink straps.
I think about a winning poem
of living peacefully.
I think about a sit-com episode,
an Everybody Loves Raymond episode
of the grandparents
eating and arguing peacefully.
After I notice the luggage I think of two friends asking me
"What is your favorite color?"
Thanks to Nicole Taylor of Eugene, Oregon, where we have several Snake Pals, for today's poetry! Nicole writes that she currently has no MFA's but many hopeful projects, a varieties of styles and a wide variety of subjects. She is an artist, a hiker, a poetry note taker, a sketcher, a volunteer and a dancer, formerly in Salem's DanceAbility. Her poems have been accepted in BareBack Journal—an online Canadian journal; Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac; Camel Saloon; Cirque Journal; Denali Journal of Lane Community College; recently Eugene's 150th Birthday Poetry Collection Anthology, Four and Twenty Journal; Full of Crow; Gloom Cupboard; Haggard and Halloo; Just Another Art Movement Journal—New Zealand; KenAgain; Kerouac's Dog; Miller's Pond; Outlaw Poetry Network; Pemmican; Sketchbook; Snow Monkey; Symmetry Pebbles; Tiger's Eye; Watercourse Journal; West Wind Review; Yes (an anthology of the Silverton Poetry Association) and others. She has won bookstore gift certificates, workshop scholarships, a small online Beatnik contest, and respect from many Oregon poets. She blogs at facebook.com/ntaylortoo, and at oregonpoeticvoices.org/poet/312, a collection of Oregon poets with written and audio poetry available online through Lewis & Clark College in Portland.