(late) poem for Sunday

Yesterday (Sunday), we went to EarthDay at Balboa Park. They’re saying that there were 100,000 people who attended.  I am not one for huge crowds like that especially when we need to get somewhere.  You see, Han’s Rock Band was playing at one of the stages so to try to maneuver the car through the throngs, unload the gear, and then face the nightmare of finding a place to park was making me anxious just to think about it.  Thankfully, a friend who had gotten there earlier in the day offered me his spot when he was leaving, but then, even better, there were spots near the stage.  Bonus.  So then we hung out and listened to music (all our friends), which was cool, except that it was so bloody hot!!  Significantly hot.  Plus we were still tired from the night before when we’d stayed out silly late (but fun!) to celebrate Joey’s birthday (the same hostess as the NYE party – mucho fun).  After Balboa Park, it was time to head to El Cajon (about 15 degrees hotter than the park) for Han’s Acoustic Duo to play at a fundraiser.  When we finally got home around 8:30pm, it was cold showers, lots of water, sitting in the dark, and watching baseball.  It felt great.

But now to the poem for Sunday, another one for Han, really, because as we were making our way to Balboa Park for the festivities he remarked how it was really the first hot day where the ladies could show some skin and he was appreciative of it.  It made me think of this poem by my former professor, Quincy Troupe, who I admire so very much.  He was one of the first people, one of the first poets who made me realize how it was possible to bring poetry to life off the page and perform it.  It was a revelation.  And as it turns out, he & Han have a similar admiration for women who enjoy warm weather. 🙂  warning: this one’s kind of ‘racy’ so if you’re easily offended, you might want to skip it

Male Springtime Ritual
by Quincy Troupe

for Hugh Masekela

it’s hard on male eyeballs walking new york streets
in springtime, all the fine flamingo ladies
peeling off everything the hard winter forced them to put on
now breasts shook loose from straitjacketed clothes, tease
invitations of nipples peek-
a-boo through clinging see-through blouses
reveal sweet things the imagination needs to know to fire up mystery
in our heads, these cantaloupes jelly-roll, seduce through silk
short-circuit connections of dirty old men, mind in their you-know-what-
eye-mean young men, too, fog up eyeglasses, contact lenses, shades –
& most of these sho-nuff-hope-to-die lovers
always get caught without
their portable windex shades-cleaner bottles
& so have to go blind throughout the rest of the day
contemplating what they thought they saw

eye mean, it can drive you crazy walking behind one of those sweet
memorable derrieres in springtime, when the wind gets cocky
& licks up one of those breeze-tongued, slit-on-the-side wraparounds
revealing that grade A, sweet-poontanged rump of flesh, brick-
house, & it’s moving-sweet jesus, yes-like them old deep ladies
it to do & do-have mercy-eye mean, it’s maybe too much
for a staid good-old-boy christian chauvinist
uptight, with a bad heart & a pacer
eye mean what can you expect him to do–
carrying all that kind of heavy baggage around–
but vote for bras to be worn everyday-no bouncing breasts jiggling
the imagination here, peek-a-booing through silk–& abolish any
cocky wind
whose breezy licking tongue gets completely out of hand
lifting up the wraparound on slit skirts of fine young thangs
eye mean “there oughta be a law against some things,” eye’m sure
he would say, “reckless eyeballin'”

eye’m sure he would say

anyway, it’s hard on male streetwalkers in springtime
liable to find your eyeballs roaming around dazed
& crazed in some filthy new york city gutter
knocked there by some dazzling sweet beauty–mama–who hap-
pened along
crossed your scoping field of vision–who knows, next thing you
they’ll be making portable pacers for eyeballs
there are so many who have lost their way & fallen into gutters–
& who cares if your eyeballs go down for the whole ten count
& never pull themselves back together again
running around & around trying to find
some fine flamingo ladies they thought they saw–
a teasing invitation, perhaps, that shook them
everwhichway & never turned them loose–
it’s springtime, in the old big apple
& all the fine flamingo ladies are peeling off everything–sweet
jesus, have mercy–the hard winter forced them to put on
now, breasts shook loose from straitjacketed overcoats
tease invitations for eyeballing nipples

it’s all a part of the springtime ritual

& only the strongest eyeballs survive

– from Avalanche


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