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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

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.