Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Poems of Love and Longing

Latigo Flint leaned in so close he could feel her nostril exhalation dance lightly across his stubbled jaw and practically taste the mango in her facial scrub. Latigo Flint spoke then, his voice a low rumble.

"The soundtrack of my life
has not a single cheery tune.

They dirge and scrape and sigh

and feature haunted, grim bassoons.


But in your eyes a piccolo trills

joined by swing time on the skins.

Gloom recedes as the dance floor fills

where sorrow ends and joy begins."


I nodded solemnly and repeated the last line, my words little more than a whisper, "Where sorrow ends and joy begins."

The woman stared at me for a long time, then crossed her arms authoritatively across the case of beer.
"Okay, that's great sir but I'm still going to need to see some I.D. before I sell you this beer."

"Uh-huh, uh-huh, so you said; but," I took her soft hand in mine and placed it to my breast, "hear me out now:"

"Through flesh and denim my heart beats
each strike a syncopated cry.

Feel its passion in your trembling reach

and fancy never see it--"


She managed to wrestle her hand away.
"Sir!!! There are other people waiting. Show me some I.D. or leave the store right now!!!"

I leaned back and wailed my eternal anguish to florescent bulbs.
"GOD HELP ME MA'AM, I LEFT IT AT HOME!!!"
I could hear the rising strains of grumpy murmurs coming from the line behind me but paid it no mind. I leaned forward again.
"Okay Ma'am, how 'bout this--you let me finish the poem and if by the end you aren't literally moved to tears and willing to trust me when I tell you I'm old enough to purchase this beer, then I'll leave and never bother you again."

She rolled her eyes and sighed hard.
"Fiiiiine, how many more verses is it?"

I smiled warmly at her. "Thank you. You are an angel, there can be no doubt. The poem is actually exactly as many verses as it takes to move you to tears and let me purchase the beer... Now where was I? I believe I was up to: 'Through flesh and denim and my heart beats, each strike a syncopated cry, feel its passion in your trembling'--"

At which point the customers behind me dropped a four by six, glass pastry display case on my head and then took turns kicking me in the spine. When they finally left, the woman walked around the counter and kneeled beside me. I looked up at her through hemorrhaging eyes.

"Those fuckers dropped a pastry display case on my head, didn't they?"

She nodded sadly. "Yes, yes they did. I called the paramedics, they'll be here soon."

I tried to sit up and failed. "And took turns kicking me in the spine, by the feel of it."

She gently removed a shard of glass from the bridge of my nose. "Can I get you anything?"

"I wouldn't mind a beer."

"Sir please, I could lose my job."

I nodded numbly and spat bloody glass. "I understand."

She dragged her hands down her face, groaned in exasperation, then jumped up, opened one of the beers and brought it to my lips. I smiled lovingly at her between gulps.

"Marry me?" I asked.

"Sonny, I have grandchildren that are practically your age." She replied. "Besides, I don't give you better than a ten percent shot of surviving these wounds."

I took a long pull and mulled that over. "Okay fine, then kiss me at least."

At first I thought she wasn't going to, but then she slowly leaned in and did.

I felt her nostril exhalation dance lightly across my stubbled jaw and could practically taste the mango in her facial scrub.

12 Comments:

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Wulfenjarl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger Wulfenjarl said...

To boldly go where angels fear to tread....

... oh, wait. I'm thinking of something else.


So, was that a "yes"??

 
At 1:57 AM, Blogger greta said...

Beer, poetry, longing... and extreme violence. I think my ovaries just imploded. Beautiful, sir.

 
At 2:23 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

A fan of the older ladies, huh?

I can't say I blame you. Winston Churchill once quipped, "I love me some wrinkled cooter right after I smoke some Nazis."

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Nothing to do with this post Latigo, but I watched "Support your local gunslinger" on DVD today and was intrigued to find James Garners character was named Latigo, any relationship there.

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

The soundtrack of your life must be by Tom Waits. Suits you, Latigo.

I would say it takes the experience of an older woman to appreciate you gunslinger's heart.

Or maybe it's they have more patience. And wrinkles.

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

she's totally into you.

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

What a way to go!! Mango, no less. Not papaya, mango, by God. I bet soldiers in World War I would have liked to know about this, but I guess that was before you invented mangoes.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Ari said...

A moving palindrome, to be sure.

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

Bassoon = "barking bedpost".

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Kid Relsih told me that was your first kiss ever.


But I know better than to believe Kid Relish.

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

It was a qualified "yes" Wulf, for she fully expected me to expire within the hour.

Sweet Greta, I am Latigo Flint. These things of which you speak... well... I am Latigo Flint--did I mention that?

So true LBB. I believe he went on to add: "We will have no truce or parlay with vaginal dryness, or the grisly gang who work its wicked will. You do your worst vaginal dryness -- and we will do our best."

Well, it was a relatively common gunslinger name back in the day Peter. (Next you'll tell me you happened to pick up a Louis L'Amour book, only to discover the title character's name was Flint!)

I've rolled down the Ol' 55 a time or two Monkeypotpie, this is true. But don't tell anyone I like Tom W, it hurts my western credibility.

Slipped me the tongue and everything Ho.

Yes Old Hoss, I do remember the day I invented mangoes... that was a proud day.

Eve's name is also a palindrome Ari. I remember that from this other time I nearly died.

I'm going to agree with you there Ghost Dog. (Mostly because I don't know what else to do.)

Kid Relish is a filthy liar Trevor Record. You are most wise not to trust him.

 

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