Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Fresno Poems: "Date with my Son"

Again the vines orchards
Amtrak to the valley
hesitation fear
the love the hate
return to old battlefield for righteousness justice
battle I didn't need to fight
death of warriors who battled beside me
Pat and Barbara, mothers who blessed me
disciplined children
never raised my voice with them, ever
never whipped them
wives now gone from my life
girlfriends growing fat like myself
insane from valley heat

again the vines orchards
coming winter
my sick son
calls me to valley
Nadar Ali my "fish" for the NOI takes me
to find my son
he is not home
strange signs in window
jesus and others
Later I taxi back to find him with candle burning
blows out candle
we go to motel
talk all night
surprised at his sanity
talks of Fulbright days in Egypt and Damascus
Syrian secret police question him five times daily
was he a prayer rug
visits American embassy
was he spy for the devil
did CIA take his mind
was he Manchurian Candidate
do not take his mad rantings serious
have a sense of humor he says
bear with him he pleads to all who love him
we all love him
we know the power of his mind
refuses help from my doctor friends
they're sick too he says
they need to help nigguhs in the Bay
I listen learn
he drifts from sanity to insanity
night turns day
he lay beside me
my 35 year old baby boy
snoring beyond loud
I dream of someone snoring
he is up again
ranting into the sunrise
the Syrians interrogate him
one smokes a cigar
looking like Saddam Hussain
what did he do at the American embassy
why is he studying books about Syria
what does he think of President Hafez Asad
Does he support the views of the Baath Party
Why is he hanging around those filthy Palestinians
It's morning now. He wants to go home
Wants money for child support I missed 35 years ago
He wants trust fund
If I leave him one he will seek healing
he promises
for security he packs stack of my books and CDs to sell
promises not to give me any money from the sales
will keep it all
calls me bitch
more properly bee-ach
says I taught him to talk like this
I say we must stay on father-son plane
not brother/brother
he laughs
says shut up beech
we embrace
he exits
I love him
I know he loves me
yes, even in his insanity.
--Marvin X

from Land of My Daughters, poems, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2005.

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