Blazer’s Ask

Blaise was sure something would go wrong because something always went wrong even though he planned everything down to the minute he would be standing outside Shawn Stellar’s house knowing full well his best friend would be staying after school for a detention Blaise made sure Shawn got and would have to serve Tuesday, April 11.  That was the most important detail because Blaise could only be sure Shawn’s father would be home after school on Tuesdays and he had something very important to ask him.  But now that he stood outside the door on a cold and almost rainy and gray Tuesday in April Blaise couldn’t knock on the door. Maybe Mr. Stellar wouldn’t be working on his old car or had to go to the store for something that just couldn’t wait or maybe Shawn’s mother was going to be there when he really needed to talk with Mr. Stellar man-to-man and not with the whole family around.  All this was too important to be entrusted to Blaise’s very full mind that was getting more and more full by the minute when the door opened and Mr. Stellar asked if he was going to knock or just wanted to stand outside all afternoon long…

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*

Sea Wall with Mountain in Background

“Do you love him?”

We walk the Sea Wall.
He studies the sound,
Grouse Mountain, green-black 
cross-hatch of hemlock and fir.

      “No.”

“Sure?”

      He talks past water
      lapping round rocks,
      love near water
      breathing distant trees.

“Because it’s okay if you do.”

      A canopy.
      I love this place.

“I love that mountain.”

      He loves the mountain.
      Vancouver.
      He loves me.
      All that love.

“Two trees in a forest, eh?
You and me.”

      Side by side,
      friend I love; 
      side by side,
      roots entwined.

      “Yes, you and me.”

*

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Game

You know that game
where you walk
around chairs to 
music?

	“Musical chairs?”

and one is removed,
leaving someone standing?

	“Yeah?”

I’m the one left standing,
looking at this dumb game,
this violence-inspired
mirror of the human need
to hurt
and wondering

	“Why you ever 
	started to play?”

Yeah.

	“You think too much.”

*

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Beds

Come make love with me,
my friend.
Show me your self,
	whether you’re fast or slow
	loud or soft —
	curtains opened or curtains 
	closed —
let me know, if only
for a minute or more,
you’re just like all the others
with a few tricks up your sleeve.

*

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Upon Seeing the Hollywood Sign

“Did you ever notice,”
Tate asks as he pulls down his shorts,
“that when they ask,
‘What’s your dream?’
like they do in that stupid movie —”
he turns around to face the tall white letters —
“about the prostitute with a heart of gold —
what was it?  Oh, yeah, Pretty Woman —
that they never —
camera ready?”

I say yes, the camera is ready.

Tate opens wide his arms to The Sign,
hefted cheeks glistening, reflecting the sun,
flexing newfound freedom, a bounce…

“ — really let you choose 
off-menu?”

The phone makes the sound cameras make,
a sharp click, as if something real just happened.

“Know what I mean?”
he asks as he pulls up his lucky shorts.

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BackAlley Jack

Learning from the best. A new story.

“Our future’s so bright we gotta wear shades.”

Every graduation speech, ever

Everyone tells stories in high school, about what they do and who they get with.   The baseball team at Van Nuys High School, 13000 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys, California, was a great source of these stories.  Whether they were true or not — that didn’t matter. They kept our minds from imploding under the weight of Curricular Standards of Achievement. 

It was 1985, and we were all just waiting to get out into the world, any world. And when that seemed impossible, or would take too long, we took matters into our own hands.  It’s called in Educational Literature “The Creative Relationship to Boredom.”

Where would we be without boredom?  Probably still eating raw meat.

There was Toby “the Bat” Bauer, slugger, blond, a man-child who would eventually go bald and who, it seemed, could inspire quite a few of the teachers.


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