Belly–dancing Friday & Saturday nights Ask about our cakes and pastries together on the hookah menu It feels illegal this fantastic peace–pipe imported from a distant land where — I imagine — it is the usual mouthpiece playing the timeless tune of friendship in some tent with cushions and languishing heat We talk of brownies as we inhale deeply blowing dragon’s breath from our nostrils attempting Gandalf rings We talk of communism and kibbutz as the silent flat–screen entrapped in its frame trails on pitching capitalism Abruptly comes the belly dancer sword balanced on head smirk balanced on lips a knowing corniness goes unheeded tables laugh giddy with defense It feels illegal this brazen display with its own language it speaks fluently That middle–aged Persian to whom I earlier beamed glares at her — all the women do — not enviously at beauty speaking its truth which all possess and most mostly murmur All part of the act dancer coaxes handsome man to mimic her poorly in happy embarrassment revealing the difference between babble and eloquence Then the young, curly-haired maiden stands and with so natural an expression on her face silently undulates a state of grace echoing phrases of child’s play the staff see her and she is suddenly attired in native spangles Everyone understands the dance now the entire table of Persians join them the Africans on the other side of us, too And me, I wax on about the bump and grind with a generous tutor A beautiful woman entreats to dance with the dancer and share in the speech O happy buzz, good–natured delirium The things we are saying this Saturnalia I am always hearing them Thank you, hookah, magic lamp, who cleans the substance’s impurities and turns smoke white for the young maiden’s sweet grace and a pleasant night
We all partake in that sacred ritual To learn that craft takes sun and moon bird and bee for so much cloth through which to thread our hearts and fashions a garment upon our soul to rest Each knowing so much flair decorates so much unseen
I’m living in a spacious apartment. It’s beautiful and well appointed. It’s also expensive and many of the rooms go unused, making it a bit lonely.
Next, I find myself talking to some developers who are roommates with one another. They share a classy apartment in a skyscraper. Rob Lowe is one of the lead developers. The rent is surprisingly cheap: only $430 a month. The lingering caveat is that developers come and go: there is a high turnover of developers moving in and moving out. To confound my considerations further, I had already moved my things into a small apartment across town.
Such a pleasant day I would have you both going your wild way in this idle neighborhood only circumstances have tethered us together Such eagerness pulling so hard you choke yourselves weezing in recovery only to choke yourselves all over again Never realizing I just want a pleasant walk I ponder the cure: Abrupt turns fore and aft Until your ears remain half–cocked on me Never realizing my purpose Just wanting a pleasant walk
Barely able to contain herself her militant stature holds back not understanding why just some vague remonstrances of the past create a tension so when she braves again to steal a kiss her grimaced forbearance some biting and tasting is either far away or hard–pressed lashing out in a constant stream of lacerations The other: clever, laid–back, self–possessed never seems to want for affection till her eyes betray her Only the tenderest kisses will she take and over and over, so deep her reception Perhaps, one morning on a Tuesday after such an audience one unsubstantial half of tongue slips in tacit return So when clever black stays home to rest her lame leg And bold blonde bolts through the forest to terrorize squirrels again I'm lost — yell and yell and yell with no recourse Only when I whisper do her sensitive ears melt her heart and she comes bounding back out of nowhere
Universe how is it that I am the privileged participant? Your beauty sings with each subtle movement Shall we not be friends? Let us walk Each passing creature you know so well your sentient beings with each their kingdom introduce them to me And I shall be so well received thanks to the auspices of my acquaintance
Universe of the stars and the silhouettes of trees The delicate rain of new life on leaves The chorus of whir from frogs in the stream Nightingale, who beckoned me, twice I echo your somber call Only when I quit you does the pretty fluting of another appropriately answer your question
It’s very nice here and nothing changes other than an occasional here or there I forget now who had whispered in my ear “out of place out of time” Well, now, where are we? Back to doing whatever I do in this timeless atmosphere only a word or two and we are now on the same page Late afternoon, early spring
Why so far from your path my little man? Rest your head in my bosom Lay your tears upon Mother Earth Take sustenance from my teat Be my lover for a time Time for your medical training Time to build roads and buildings and fascinating devices of engineering My, so busy Not too busy To dance and play guitar and sing with a gathering every evening In knowing celebration of harvested humanity Tasty food from the hearth Long discussions of politics and mirth One day your hairy legs will itch Your hooves tap and your tail twitch One evening you’ll silently fade back to me To coax budding women into the forest and sow boldness in them so generation after generation humans in wilderness and wilderness in humans
I close my door on the descending darkness A smile gently clings to the afterglow of youth’s sun–soaked pageantry Lonely eyes take in their new surroundings tired limbs prepare to embrace the night The incessant call of a solitary nightingale sings so close to despair as innocent as a heartbeat