jivey

i think of you often,  jives      each morning that i awake

after sucking and biting this tongue     to raw       during  restless sleep..

you           rail thin              dressed in black    you,  tower’s

tape department queen               another sf art institute refugee

with a rare        true        genius  mind..

it was the rapier wit  that slayed me every time, jives

the laugh, that incomparable. throaty  ivey laugh    

 the words    both spoken and written    your art  that shocked and awed most      

taking out those   who were never quite certain       who the joke was really on..

you ruled the early days of punk

lived it     dreamed it      wrote about it     created your own

fanzines and reviews             gave birth to

your jokes for jerks  calendar                  (that shoulda made you millions)

you explored the dark and dove      right in

drew the mab crowd  and the rest of

the north beach sinners into your world

feigned tough and edgy      perfect for the times

staying true to that City by the Bay that had captured your heart long ago…

(but we saw you, tender, with the little kids, when you thought no one was looking)..

you kept a bottle next to the mattress           on the floor of your room

wine, vodka       whatever could do the trick

like an errant mother’s milk                       you slept/entertained and held court

from your mattress in that  old north beach flat

beside the overflowing, filthy asthray         your face 

almost obscured through the constant smoke’s stream       still blurs with memory..            

 later, your beloved City betrayed you

high rents moved you further  up the hill

then a final plunge         down into the Tenderloin

when rents got high            and when times for you

got rough

i think of you often, jives           each thanksgiving day   you became smaller

pencil thin from lack           of the food you couldn’t afford

in order to keep the bottle        next to your latest bed

and in the end days, jives       i still stay shocked at

the universe’s cruel joke         for you

a direct hit meant             for one whose voice        words       had always framed her life…

i think of you often, jives     when my tongue swells for no reason        irritated

will the docs want to slice out      chunks of this tongue       

 as they did with yours       when the cancer hit..

i think of you often, jives    

and always, even now

its unbearable to think of you  at the end     

voiceless and mute

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About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i write...to release the gamut of emotion...to tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
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