Saturday, October 25, 2008
My Tisha Mae, My Favorite Jersey Chick, On Her 46th Natal Day
Dressed down in all black, our berets cocked at a deadly tip, our cool is
heading towards ridicuous and our swagger is becoming the stuff of
legend in this city. Hey, Tisha Mae, in the moment, I am quietly digging your
sway, and how sometimes you'll move in this smooooove unutterable elegance, I
become so impressed by the essence of you... that I almost forget you
know me, know my name, shared my secrets and heard my dreams, and you
even “LOVE” me a li'l bit... that way you Jersey chicks do… or so you’ve said
on a bold or giddy occasion or two… though it seems it’s always me who says it
Night blows by like a hit of good cheeb... and we sit, lit in pink bistro
light. Some slight scatting jazz chick croons from the juke... and jazzoid that
I be I think it’s Rosie Clooney, which is sweet though Nina Simone would’ve
grooved and wooed and taken us home in slow motion. Slowly, we eat, talk, laugh
some. We speak fluently of horny evenings and current sex machines and of poetry
readings in Brooklyn. We each secretly want to be Real Poets kissed by stars of
adoration and acceptance. Yet we only admit this in deeper whispers when those
voices of our inner perverts come gleaming from our eyes. Funny how we become
two groggy victims from this Italian wine with the world "swhirling" and the
traffic sighing around us as Rosemary Clooney serenades us.
"Happy Birthday, Tisha Mae!" I raise my glass and sing in Stevie Wonder style,
as waiter brings a single red cake cupcake and you smile like the sun.
Later on, 27th Street sits all over your shoulders like a navy shawl with
moveable glitter in it.
You want to visit a psychic. You want to pay some mystic to feed you
good news and divine you some brighter future… But I nix this idea. Psychics,
scare me. Besides, I say: 'I’m all the clairvoyance you need, baby! Let’s see:
You still dream to be kid-free, Jersey-free soul-free to write and Be
Heard or maybe if not prominent then at least a cooly popular cult figure.
See? I know your dream. I even share its sheen with you.
No need for juju nor tarot reading mojo-slinging mystic women summoning up
Voodoo, at 1:22AM. No need when nothing but the swoosh of traffic and Cool York
City noise comes on strong in this shrouded voice of Love and yet-to-be poetry
speaks best for you and me.
Hey! Tisha Mae, have I told you lately how your smile paints me softly in
colbolt blue plumes and downtown moonlight? Hey! Maybe it’s infectious, too.
Makes us giggle like junior high fools and beautiful, if profoundly retarded
people do. You smile and it reminds me how I haven’t really smiled from
deep inside my soul in a week (or was it a decade?) or two. Well, at least
since my last time hangin' out with you.
The night turns a cold 59 degree shoulder to us. I walk you in Stagger-Lee mode
to your train, and we wait for its arrival. And it comes in a slow gust of foul
air, and I kiss you goodbye. And you grab my ears... and you smile that smile
you do. "Thanks for making this one a memory, Lin." And you kiss my lips, and
you kiss my cheek. And I back away as you board the train. And I turn back
to see you in the windows. You are moving through the cars… just moving with
this Grace, with such quietly dignified, with such unutterable elegance that
your swagger becomes legend… and you make a new memory... and it's times like
this that I almost forget, you know me, know my name. I forget we've shared
each others secrets. I forget, you know the weight of these dreams I’ve put on
hold… Hell, you even “LOVE” me... a li'l... or, so I've been told…
Seems I'm always the first to say it, though.
Sometimes, inside my mind or in the back of my throat, I find myself
humming it, in a happy-to-be-nappy tune of strangely transforming notes
all the way home.
Happy Natal Day, Tisha Ma. I do… I really do love you, yo.