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Maire & K. – May 2011

Cathy Maire and Dave K. traded artwork and poetry. Dave shared this drawing, “Suit,” with Cathy:

In response, Cathy wrote this poem:

Ricky

It’s what I do.

On Saturday nights I put on my sharkskin suit
with the grey satin lapels, gel my hair to an
acceptable level of dishevel, cram a
toothpick between my lips,
and hit a dark club.

I blur in inky backstage darkness, talk tunes
with dudes from the band, and slide
my grey suede shoes to the
bar, generating
sparks.

I loved a woman, once.

She curved to my angles, soothed to my jangles.
We fit like lost puzzle pieces found
and placed into the big picture,
never knowing what
that picture was.

Saturday nights we swung our personal jitters to the
notes of small bands playing big tunes. Smoked
reefer in the alleys. Shot tequila with
lime, then drove home with two
wheels on the curb.

We lived sharp, and fast.

Man, we were silk between the sheets. Slick
sliding till the booze sweated right out
of us and we slept innocent sleep to
wake dry mouthed, morning
shining, and birdsong.

But see, vision is not the truth, it is merely a
deformity of the eye. Two dimensional
sensation in a three dimensional
world. In the flatland of
our own making

we never saw it coming.

That lance from the third dimension,
the cosmic outcropping that
pierced her side. Bent
us both out of
shape.

How a woman can expand and contract simultaneously
is still a mystery to me, but that’s what happened
to Rita. She danced a little less and
slept while the sweat dried
on her skin.

She crumbled.

She softened. I angled out my angles, my
edges, my slick sharkskin suit.
Then Rita blurred and
dissolved like
melting ice

I thought it was me.

dumped out with the soggy lemon
slice, washed away,
so the glass
can be                                                                                                   

used again.

* * * *

Cathy shared this piece with Dave:

­Media Memoir

Howdy Doody was before my time, but I believed in Mr. Ed. I flew with Sky King and rode with The Lone Ranger. Tonto was my friend, too. I knew Superman would keep the creatures inside the Earth where they belonged, but I figured he couldn’t really turn back time. I thought I could be Judy Garland and put on a show with Mickey Rooney, if I only had a barn.

The Mousketeers were never my crowd. Though I liked life scripted and staged with laughter and music applied in all the right places, there was an undertone to their over-cheerfulness that made me jump up and change the channel to Popeye cartoons.

All was well by the end of Donna Reid and Father Knows Best. Even My Three Sons never missed their dead mother. Lucy and Ricky stayed with me when I was home from school with the tin pail next to the couch to catch the vomit, my mother at work on the long end of the telephone line. I thought I could be Judy Garland and put on a show with Mickey Rooney, if I only had a barn.

Then Jimi asked if I was experienced and initiated a life-long quest. I watered down my friend’s parents’ liquor while Peter, Paul and Mary wove new meanings from old stories and Bob Dylan searched the wind.

The news showed images from Vietnam. Blood in black and white. Burned villages and children, grimy soldiers and helicopters, always the helicopters, with that noise, that raging doom of beating blades, the premonition of Miss Saigon.

MASH brought the war to prime time and I watched scalpels and alcohol, bandages and martinis, and the helicopters, every show, the never ending flow of choppered-in damages, a scripted slide to acceptance.

So I tuned out and turned on and picked up my picket sign. Four dead in O-hi-o. A Buffalo Springfield background blowin’ pacifist leaflets through the smoky air. Nixon on TV. Johnson. MacNamera. Crime and Archie Bunker fear. Static in my airwave nerves.

I dreamed Jeannie blinked her eyes to make it all disappear, but men had walked on the moon and atom bombs were lined up to destroy the world a hundred times over. TV landscapes became a dangerous place. Even as Bob Hope entertained the troops, you kept one eye on the sidelines waiting for the bomb to drop.

Three-letter words. I gave up God for Sex.

So my mother sat alone at night, nursing Jack Daniels in front of the Panasonic, while I cruised the streets with the radio and crashed concerts with Crosby and Stills, and broke my ears on unfiltered amplifiers and The Grateful Dead.

But the shadows of happy endings followed me around, and I looked for them in corners and strange beds and studied for them in college and one time a happy ending seemed within my grasp, but it turned into a sad beginning like the never-ending plot of All my Children.

Now I hang out without a script or soundtrack. Improv was never my thing, but it’s better than reality TV.

In response, Dave made this photographic collage, “Media Collage:”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jen permalink
    May 23, 2011 11:28 pm

    Really enjoyed both pieces but favorite is Father Knows Best collage. Nice work, both of you.

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