The Imaginative Mind, upon walking the dog on a Sunday morning
We overslept… rather… I overslept, and Henry bit my finger to announce the time.
Walking out, then, in a haze,
the cool air was fresh, a hint of salt lingering in the inhale exhale
and my feet seemed to feel the dew through
the inch of thickness of my uggs
the parade roses were in bloom, booming whiteness,
while what was left of the night blooms?
The jasmine hung, slowly turning away, the sad girls at the prom.
Approaching the broad expanse of green in front of the Zen Temple,
a deck of cards scattered about, as if
the morning sun had interrupted the court jesters at poker,
and here, a card face down in a puddle, red with two men on bicycles.
I picked it up, expecting to see a Jack of Hearts
and was surprised to see
it was blank!
Ah, the sweet assurance of conquerance,
the laughter to one’s own self
as around the table made of pavement,
the others’ eyes, beady and black in the moonless night,
life in curiosity.
I’ve a blank up my sleeve! I’ve a blank up my sleeve!
Oh, the rupturious joy, they could never know-
those jesters from all corners of the world,
so proud of their lineage.
“I’ve come from His Majesty’s in Francia,”
he couldn’t even say it right, that one,
sticking his tongue too close between his teeth to
render his ess as effectual as a dehydrated peach.
“I’ve flown in on Pegasus from Atlantis,”
announced the one with the crazy fish eye, green and hanging
next to broken blood vessels and
the smell of rotten kelp all round him.
“Atlantis isn’t real,” snarled another one,
a surly fellow but who at least had brought bagels.
I laughed to myself, for
they never had a chance! They who had flown in to MY City of Angels,
MY world of subcultural subterfugistic delights…
And the games continued and bagel boy was out, and then
mandolin playing troubadour with a lisp was out, and
it was down to me and down to the self-proclaimed magician
of the sea, and I am sure I saw him hide a fishbone behind his ear,
although in the darkest hour before dawn, how could I be sure?
Until at last,
shifting the point of my red and green hat from left to right
and left again, the jingle bell jangling in the silence
as deftly, my blank, I withdrew and replaced
to lay down atop an Ace
and I was about to take it all, winner takes ALL
The God of the Morning! From out of nowhere!
That be-damned golden orb of secrets revealed
emerged from the swathes of black silk
and foiled our game, with such tremendous force that we,
in uproar, fled in a swirl of dirt and trash and baggies,
leaving the effects of our game flying into the sky,
the sound of tinkering bells as we jesters fled
turning back only to notice the cards, floating down like feathers.
But it was 9 am on a Sunday, and I had places to be.
“Come on, boy,” I muttered. “Let’s go.”