Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Fresno Poems: "Secret Life of a Poet"

photo Ken Johnson

Secret Life of a Poet

Sometimes he claimed city
of it loved it
energy diversity creativity
but in the DNA of his mind
fields of cotton grape vines

cow patches orchards
in rivers of his mind
creeks ditches canals
was pleased riding AmTrak down valley
Tracy Modesto Turlock  Merced Chowchilla Madera
highway 99
Fresno summers
Grandma's hands
don't let me have to give you a backhand slap boy!
distant whistle freight train
devouring watermelons late night
D.D. brought from El Centro
ole cousin D.D.
walking hard in half Wellingtons
talking shit
James Earl Jones voice
classic truck driver
ever on the road
D.D. my dirt hero
cow dung man
chicken shit man
midnight sun man
110 degrees at 1am
Valley of death fog
let governor have ten car accident
just a country boy
lemons off trees
turn on well water at night
irrigate rows Mama said
don't be lazy boy
wouldn't have you for a man
you don't need no wife
you need maid secretary mistress
Mama knows best
Brother Tommy don't want eggs from chicken coop
wants eggs from Safeway
he Safeway ass nigguh
somewhere playing safe right now
me country boy
learned city blues.

from Love and War, poems, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 1995.

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