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IMPROVISATIONS CON ALCOHOL

 

WHEN I WALKED DOWN THOSE OLIVE PATHS, 

BETWEEN THE TREES,  

TO GET MY PAN OF STEW, 

AND I LOOKED AT THOSE BLUE SPANISH SKIES 

AND ALL THE DEAD BONES AROUND ME, 

I USED TO WONDER WHAT MY END WOULD BE. 

BUT I WOULDN’T ONLY WONDER, I WOULD PLAN. 

AND I SAW EVERY DAY THE PLANES COME OVER, 

AND I USED TO THINK WHERE WOULD I GO RAY DUREM, 

IF A PLANE WOULD COME FOR ME. 

AND I PICKED A PLACE, 

ON MY WAY DOWN TO LUNCH IN THE GORGE, 

AND I SAID RAY DUREM YOU’LL THROW YOURSELF THERE WITH YOUR HEAD UP  

AGAINST THAT STURDY TREE. 

THEN, ONE DAY 

WHEN QUITE FORTUITOUSLY, 
I DID NOT GO FOR LUNCH, 

THE PLANES CAME OVER. 

THEY DROPPED ONLY ONE, ONE POOR SICK BOMB, ONE POOR OVERLOAD THEY 

HAD GOING BACK, AND THEY DROPPED ONE. 

THE NEXT DAY WHEN I WENT FOR LUNCH, I LOOKED OVER AT MY TREE, 

TO MY SAFETY, TO MY REFUGE, TO MY GUERNICA, 

AND I SAW A GREAT CRATER, AND I KNEW THAT I HAD OUTWITTED GOD. 

 

I REMEMBER THE NIGHT THE MAN STOOD IN THE STREET 

WITH HIS HAND IN HIS POCKET ON HIS KNIFE, 

AND HE WONDERED 

SHOULD HE OR SHOULDN’T HE 

AND I KNEW MY LIFE HUNG IN A SPIDER WEB, 

AND THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO. 

THEN FOR SOME REASON, BECAUSE SOME LITTLE GEORGIA GIRL CROSSED HIS MIND, 

OR BECAUSE A HAMBURGER SMELLED FROM ACROSS O’FARREL STREET, 

THAT POOR THUG WHO IS NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU OR ME, 

HESITATED, 

SO I AM ALIVE ONCE MORE. 

 

JACKIE ROBINSON’S WIFE, RACHAEL, WAS A GREAT HELP TO HIM. 

BUT SHE DID NOT KEEP HIM FROM GOING TO WASHINGTON, D.C. 

AND SELLING OUT HIS BROTHERS, 

THOUGH HE’S TRYING TO CLEAN UP NOW,  

BY BEING MORE RACE THAN THE RACE. 

I NEVER CARED TOO MUCH FOR TOMS, EVEN THOUGH 

THEY HAVE HIGH BATTING AVERAGES. 

 

MY WIFE FOR INSTANCE, WOULD HAVE BEEN TEMPTED BY THE MONEY, 

SHE WOULD HAVE LOVED THE PUBLICITY, 

PERHAPS EVEN THE NOTORIETY WOULD HAVE AFFECTED HER. 

BUT IN THE HOURS WHEN THEY BEAT THE BUMS UP IN THE GREYHOUND STATION, 

AND WHEN THE POOR LOST PEOPLE ARE HOUNDED BY THE POLICEMEN 

AND WHEN THE WOMAN WHOSE HUSBAND HAS LEFT HER CRIES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT 

AND THE STATE AID TELLS HER SHE MUST GO BACK TO GEORGIA, 

AND SHE’S SO IGNORANT SHE BELIEVES IT, 

WHEN THE PG AND E MAN COMES AND TURNS OFF HER LIGHTS, 

THOUGH IT MEANS THE BABY’S MILK IS COLD, 

AND WHEN THE SALESMAN COMES FROM THE STORE 

AND TAKES BACK ALL HER STUFF AND LEAVES HER NOTHING FOR HER MONEY 

AND WHEN HE STAND THERE AND GIVES FIVE HUNDED DOLLARS FROM HIS SAVINGS 

AND THEY TELL HIM THAT HE CAN’T GET IT BACK 

THEN MY WIFE WOULD HAVE CHANGED. 

SHE WOULD HAVE FORGOT THE LIONS CLUB, 

SHE WOULD HAVE FORGOT THE ROTARIANS, 

SHE WOULD HAVE SAID THE HELL WITH THE SAINTS AND SINNERS, 

RICH JEWS WITH GUILTY CONSCIENCES. 

SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN WITH ME AGAINST THEM ALL. 

THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOROTHY AND RACHAEL. 

JACKIES WIFE STILL LOVES HIM THOUGH HE WAS AN UNCLE TOM, 

AND HE’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO WRITE IT OUT. 

WELL, SOME WOMEN WERE BORN TO LEAD 

AND SOME WERE BORN TO PLEAD THE CAUSE OF MEN WHO ARE WORTH NOTHING. 

 

I HAVE SEEN MANY THINGS, 

I HAVE MADE LOVE TO WOMEN SIXTY YEARS OLD 

LYING IN LITTLE DINGY ROOMS 

WITH WONDERFUL YOUNG BODIES UNDER THE OLD FACES. 

AND I HAVE SEEN FISHERMEN SANDWICHED ONE AFTER THE OTHER, AND ONE DROWN, AND THE REST KEEP PLUGGING AT THEIR PENN REELS, 

AND I HAVE SEEN STUDENTS FIGHTING FOR AN IDEAL THAT THEY 

COULD NOT VISUALIZE, 

TRAMPING, TRAMPLING, SMASHING AT EACH OTHER ON THE WAY. 

 

MY GIRL IS SMALL 

AND DELICATE 

AND BROWN 

AND NOT TOO ROUND 

AND SHE SWISHES WHEN SHE WALKS 

AND SHE MOVES ME WHEN SHE TALKS 

AND SHE’S SILKEN 

WITH JUST THE RIGHT TOUCH OF TWEED, AND THE ROUGHNESS, 

IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN. 

 

MY GIRL IS A MOTHER 

AND THE MOTHER IS BIG AND BUXOM, 

BUT AT SEVEN O’CLOCK, 

WHEN THE CHILDREN WALK, 

SHE BECOMES SYLFAN 

AND ELF-LIKE, AND AN ANGEL 

AND SHE FLITS 

AND THE LAUGH TURNS TO SILVER, 

THE EYES TURN FROM WISE TO WAYWARD 

AND THEN WE WANDER AND THE WE WALK, 

AND THEN WE TAKE THE PLYMOUTH 

AND WE DREAM OUR WAY YONDER DOWN THE LONG GREAT GREEN RAMBLA WITH 

THE OVERHANGING NEONS, 

WHERE WE GO TO THE LITTLE STORE AND BUY TEQUILA 

THEN WE OPEN HER ORANGE OR NARANJA 

THEN WE SIT 

AND WE PLAN THE FUTURE OF THESE LITTLE LOVED ONES. 

 

AH, LITTLE FILIPINO EYES, SO WISE, SO WISE 

THE LONG LEGS, THE LONG SLIM LEGS, AND THE LOTION 

AN OCEAN OF DESPAIR SEPARATES US, 

THE LITTLE BREASTS THAT HESITATE, 

THE LITTLE HIPS THAT TWIST AND WAIT, 

THE GREAT WONDERFUL DERRIERE 

THAT PROMISES THAT HEAVN IS THERE! 

AH, DOROTHY! 

 

WHEN I DRINK AT NIGHT, IN A LONELY ROOM, 

AND MY LOVE COMES DOWN, 

AND I THINK OF MY WIFE, 

SEVENTEEN HUNDRED MILES AWAY, 

AND MY LITTLE LOVED ONES, 

APRIL AND KENYA, 

AND I HAVE STRUGGLED SOMEWHAT IN THE DAY, 

AND AT NINE WHEN THE MOON GOES THE OTHER WAY, 

AND THE SUN SLITHERS, 

AND I HAVE NOWHERE TO TURN, 

AND WOMEN WAIT ME IN THE DEEP AND DEVIOUS ALLEYS, 

BUT THEY DO NOT APPEAL, 

SO I SIT HERE AND THINK ABOUT MY LOVED ONES. 

I THINK ABOUT… MY FILIPINO EYES 

AND I THINK ABOUT MY TREASURE. 

AND HOW MANY MEN HAVE SCRAMBLED, MANY MEN HAVE AMBLED 

UP THE DEEP DARK DAWNWAYS OF THE WORLD,  

WAITING FOR FORTUNE, 

AND I STUMBLED ON IT, 

AND I FOUND THIS PRESCIOUS (SIC) CREATURE 

AND I READ TO HER 

AND I SANG TO HER 

AND SHE PLAYED ME MUSIC, 

BIRDS MUSIC AND MOODYS. 

AND WE TAUGHT EACH OTHER, 

AND WE RENTED THE LITTLE PAD 

AND WE PAID THE RENT AND WE SAVED IT 

AND WE STRUGGLED FOR IT, 

AND THEN WE HAD THE BABY 

AND THINGS CAME BETTER, 

AND ALWAYS THERE WAS THAT ESSENCE OF RESPECT, THAT LOVE. 

AND I SAW HER EYES GLANCE TOWARD ME WHEN THINGS WENT WRONG, 

SHE WAS TRYING TO GAUGE THE DEPTH OF THE HURT 

AND ONE NIGHT ON EIGHTIETH STREET WHEN SHE TURNED SAD 

WENT OUT INTO THE YARD, 

MY HEART TWISTED INTO MANY FASHIONS FOR HER, 

AND MY LOVE WAS…. 

DEEPER THAN SILVER 

GREATER THAN SAINTS, 

AH, DOROTHY! 

 

WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN AND HE LOOKS AT HER AND HE THINKS, 

THERE GOES….    BETTER THAN MY BROTHER 

       STRONGER THAN MY FATHER 

       SWEETER THAN MY MOTHER 

THERE IS A WOMAN FOR HIM, THERE IS A WOMAN HE WILL KILL FOR, 

CAUSE SHE’S MY FINE LITTLE GIRL AND I WOULD SHOOT A DEAD 

TREE STUMP FOR HER… 

AND IF YOU TOUCH HER, 

YOUR BULLET BETTER BE FASTER OR YOUR BLADE SHARPER 

BECAUSE I LOVE THE BREEZE THAT KEEPS HER COOL. 

THERES A WOMAN YOU CAN LOVE, MAN 

THERES A WOMAN YOU CAN TREASURE, 

THERES A WOMAN WHO MAKES YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER. 

AH DOROTHY. 

 

AH, BUT DARLING, YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER,  

GOLDEN GIRL IN A GOLDEN TOWN 

TURNED HEAVEN AND GOLDEN BROWN, 

SWEPT YOU DOWN THAT LONG GREAT RIVER, 

YOUR MOTHER IS THAT FOCUSED PATCH OF SUNLIGHT 

THAT THE WORLD HAS GIVEN US FOR AN ESSENCE, 

UNTIL WE PERISH. 

ALL THE WHOLE GREAT WORLD WAS BORN HERE, MOONSHINE, STARSHINE, 

AND THE SUNSHINE TOO 

AND IT ALL CAME DOWN THROUGH A GREAT MAGNIFYING GLASS 

INTO A SINGLE ESSENCE AND THAT SPARK BURNED 

AND THAT GIRL WAS DOROTHY. 

 

ONE TASTE AS SWEET AS MANGO AND PAPAYA, 

WOMAN WHO TWISTS AND TURNS, 

AND WHEN I WALK, SHE WALKS IN THE SAME PATTERN. 

A WOMAN WHO FLUTTERS WHEN I FLY, 

WHO SLUDGES WHEN I SLITHER 

A WOMAN WHO SITS AND WAITS WHILE I WAIT AND WANDER, 

THOUGH WE WALK TOGETHER 

AND WE FLY TOGETHER 

AND WE RUN AND WE JITTER TOGETHER, 

AND WE ARE LOVERS. 

AH, DOROTHY! 

 

BECAUSE SHE WAS SWEET,  

AND SHE WAS SVELTE 

AND WHEN HE WALKED WITH HER, 

HE FELT THE SANDS OF SAHARA ENCOMPASSED HIM, 

THIS WOMAN DIGNIFIED HIM, 

THIS WOMAN GAVE SIGNIFICANCE TO ALL THAT HE HAD GONE THROUGH, 

ALL THE TWISTINGS AND THE TURNINGS, THE CHURNINGS, THE WATCHINGS 

AND THE WAITINGS AND THE OBSERVATIONS THAT SEEMED SO SENSELESS 

AT THE TIME, SEEMED SOMEWHAT POINTLESS, 

THE HOURS ON STREETCORNERS AND WAITING IN STATION WAGONS, 

DRIVING BACK AND FORTH ON THE ARIZONA FREEWAYS 

LOOKING FOR THAT HARMONY, 

THE COLD NIGHTS IN SEATTLE, 

THE FOG, 

THE DANGEROUS BRIDGES AND THE BOATS AND THE BAY; 

SHE MADE ALL THESE SEEM USEFUL AND SIGNIFICANT. 

SO ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF RANDOM SELECTION, 

I SUPPOSE WE HAVE ONCE EVERY THOUSAND YEARS 

A WOMAN WHO HAS SIGNIFICANCE FOR ONE MAN, 

AND WE FIND THIS POIGNANCY….. IN DOROTHY. 

AH, DOROTHY! 

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