Hiding in Librairies and other works by Jimmy Ross
Jimmy Ross was born during World War II. His writing career began late and has continued at a leisurely pace. He has been a resident of New Orleans since 1968 and has plans to remain there unless someone leaves their yacht parked with the keys in the ignition. In that event, he will emigrate to Jamaica.
Hiding in Libraries
Man with a voice
like a taught hawser under immense strain
still sane enough to remember
look at the book, look at the book
or they'll know.
Don't fall asleep
or they'll throw you into July
and the sidewalk will tan
your heels and soles.
No need to turn pages
just stare at the book
mumbling, not so loud.
Click on this, a face falling apart,
a lone black man at a table
hoping to hang on till closing,
Monday, August 27, 2007
Was a great day
for the small lizard
from the rusty iron steps
of the fire escape
during the first shower
after a long hot dry spell.
Its pink tongue working so delicately (good manners!).
Once upon a time when I was very young,
it may someday tell it's grandchildren,
it didn't rain for so long
I forgot what rain was.
The caterpillars, ants and flies all
turned to powder,
and I knew I would die-just
rolled over and waited for my time.
When-plink-something cool and wet
hit my shriveled belly
and I jumped up and sang a hymn
to the wizard of the waterworks
who breeds the bugs
and chases the cats inside.
it may simply prefer
to eat or fuck its grandchildren.
Hard to tell with lizards
what they do or don't do
in their green secrets.
Moving to Clio Street
How confusion in the present
red shifts into certainty about the past
is the most amusing anomaly
in this outburst of universe
how even the most meticulous observers
can forget to notice
what they wish was not there
as if Walt Whitman, patriot,
for instance, never had to dash across the street
to avoid Boss Tweed's onrushing horses
how, though no one can agree
who said what to whom
to start the fight at last night's party
theologians can give assurances
about the words of a carpenter's son
at a wedding, in a temple, at his murder
how words disappear without notice
while stories live on though they might be lies
encourages the old elaborator
to take up hammer and level
and build a memorial to
those things which should always have existed.
The cat jumps
from the cement floor of the shed
to the beveled edge of the metal sink
to the water heater
to the top of the cinder block wall
to the 8 by resting on the cross beams
and flops down, one paw dangling
into the abyss, and stares at me
as if to say-You think you're bad?
You think you're bad? Let's see you do that.
I have attempted to replicate these maneuvers
with limited success
hence the large contusion on my forehead.