NYU Black Renaissance Noire Spring 2015 - Page 97

“Funny fellow. Like Diane once said, there’s nothing funnier than a hung, Zock!” “Ho. Ho. Alexander Pope couldn’t have made a fool sound more wise.” “Much appreciated; it loosens my vanity muscles.” “Not too loosely, Cal, I’m sure.” “Never. Never. Never.” “Well, with this new side to Laura, is she still working in Ballard? What’s the place called — The Lamp?” “Not anymore. She now works at ‘The Blue Half Moon.’ A seedy and funky place, but Laura makes her choices.” “Seedless is more like it, yet sometimes the bands are good. Awkward left-footers can get a toe in the scene. Maybe we can go watch her peddle the bottles one night. And dance our shoes off. Dancing’s a perfect way to shake out of one’s dreaded routine.” “Sorry about Diane. That’s a slap in the face. But I’m with you on the healing virtues of dancing, Zock. Remember what Roethke said: ‘And everything comes to One, As we dance on, dance on, dance on.’ Speaking of the ring-around-one’s neck game, what have you written lately that’s sparked your journal?” “There’s a story rolling in from the far northern islands, but it’s caught in an undertow. The old problem of going over it too much without a break. I put it aside the other night when the last nightmare promised a re-run. So I’ll give it a week or two and then let it beach itself. What about you, Cal; any new poems?” “A few lines start to spring but end tripping over themselves. Fortunately I managed a strong quatrain recently; could develop it into a tough lyric providing the theme draws out the remaining quatrains. It knows I’m waiting at the desk’s edge. It doesn’t like to be rushed. As you know yourself it’s one of those literary hazards that follows you around like a shadow with burial on the mind.” “Does a crow know the weather writes the blues? The writing desk is a big sweat-box. The other night I think I lost pounds sweating before the blank page. My skin felt like it was turning to rice paper. It takes you half a dream to get yourself unstuck, then you’re never sure it’s where you wanted to go in the first place. But enough of me. How’s that play developing? The one in blank verse. It looked as if you were getting somewhere. The old masters rubbed off on you their magic dust.” “Glad it spoke to you, Zock. It needs more work of course. Remind me to show you what I do have the next time you’re around my place.” “Sure, let me see what world has chosen your play.” “So before I forget, it’s an open party, Zock? You can integrate at your own risk?” “That’s what I heard from the grapevine, Cal. But let’s have one more for the road. We’ll leave the cars here and walk over. Hey, Perry! We’d like two more. Incidentally, I wonder if you’d care to zip on down to Portland next weekend for a night of bar-hopping and toe-tapping, Cal? I’m feeling like getting on that open road for a while.” “Sorry, Zock. Can’t. Laura wants to rendezvous in Vancouver. She wants to see how well we travel together, so maybe next time it’s New York, New York! Laura’s an adventurer so we’re going to explore as many of Vancouver’s secret places we can in the short time we’ll be there.” 95 “But speaking of Laura. Dare I ask how you and Diane are doing? Last time I saw her and asked about you, she blurted out, ‘I don’t know that guy. I really haven’t a clue who he is. And that’s why I’m not looking to see where he’s at. Did you know he wrote a story about my parents? If they ever read it, I’d be permanently barred from their home. Can I really be blamed for merely being born in Suburbia? Give me a break!’” “Sadly, things haven’t changed with Diane and me. We haven’t taken off the boxing gloves yet, but we’ve put off the next match. Corny as it sounds, Cal, we could be a miss-match.” BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE “So Cal’s eight bars of heated wax?” BRN-SPRING-2015.indb 95 3/29/15 11:42 AM