The Beacon

Down there, by
the Old Red River

in the woods
by the darkened elementary

school, out where the

people shoot up wan drugs and shiver

all night,
empty cans sparkle like mirrors.

The moss on the roots
grows damp and hairy.

Look, a small statuette of the Mother Mary,

the paint rubbed off.
Bare branches flutter.

Out in those woods
there’s a quiet lamp, perched on a post.

Unlit, the lamppost – galvanized,

hateful and stubborn,
panes of glass

at its meager feet with
the stinking compost

of leaves and crabapples.
The scene forebodes.

A spring goose, pushing back air, careens over water.

Jimmy Stewart in Limbo

Jimmy Stewart had blue eyes.
I see him in the hall shuffling
Sometimes, eyes smoldering,
Seasick, the scene green tinted,
Chasing dark doubles
in their long, slim dresses.

Jimmy Stewart addresses
the dice, rolling snake eyes.
The player will double
Down despite the shuffling.
Put on your rose tinted
shades and suddenly everything is smoldering.

Around the pool, cigarettes smolder
On tendril-tips stemming from cocktail dresses.
Jimmy Stewart’s skin is orange tinted
Like his mimosa. All eyes
On him. He starts shuffling
to the beat. Double

Time, now. A doubles
Match in smoldering
Encino. Jimmy is shuffling
And panting, his racquet’s redresses
No match for the empty eyes
Of the Grim Man with tinted

Ray Bans. In limbo, everything is tinted
With a tincture of Jack, so Jimmy sees double.
He struts with a swagger, cross-eyed
Down a block full of smoldering
Piles of glass and melted wire, addresses
Inhabited by rags and newspapers shuffling.

Now Jimmy’s ghost is shuffling
Like an addict past the jagged, tented
Roofs in Beverly. Notice he is dressed
In a tutu and a scuba mask. You would double
take, but instead you think it’s the smoldering
California air playing tricks on your eyes.

Your pastel dresses and Sunday best in Glendale shuffle
In the valley air, your cool eyes marking the Double Burger,
Where in the tenth booth on the left, Jimmy Stewart lies a-moldering.

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