Poetry Ch. 3

pump island lights
(original form)

i’m glad i live in desert center with it’s dry heat and vast stretches of empty views since i face west most of the time i get to see the sunsets and if the color is just right my color returns back oh i’d say five years ago or so i was facing east and the glare of the rising sun used to cause me to turn down my visors so i wouldn’t go blind a few years ago though they came in and paved the lot and since then i’ve been up on blocks facing west finally there’s some rest for my tired springs just after sunset jim goes and turns on the electric lights for the pump island the red sign with it’s flying horse is suppose to remind me of pegasus in the night’s star light i guess i remember running a few gallons of that brand of juice in my day good stuff it got me going in the mornings now i just count the days until jim gets up the courage to tackle the job of restoring me i’m in pretty good shape still even if i did just have my twenty-first birthday a little rust on the running boards but not much before jim came along there was vito sitting on my lap smoking those havana cigars and acting tough i got tired of his tales of how it was in the good old days in chicago and i didn’t want to go all the way into indio with his voice rising above the wind so i threw a rod jim bought me for a song and vito drove away in an old flat-bed yep i’m a 43 dodge with suicide doors fluid drive a magic bar radio and a grey mohair interior i’ve still got all my glass and that suits my occupants just fine for now it’s winter and the wind off the flats can get mighty cold at night little patti sue doesn’t complain much after she snuggles into my back-seat in order to go to sleep but come summer why my fabric will burn and rub her raw from sweat during the day she loves to play with my dash pushing buttons on the radio and turning my steering wheel it’s kinda funny to feel her hanging there with all her weight to get it to move acting like her and rachel that’s her mom are going to paradise jim’s got this guy billy that swears that paradise is just down the street a ways some place called desert center cafe where they serve the best sour dough pancakes this side of the mississippi or so he claims rachel says they’re just okay maybe she knows different but she doesn’t let on where they might be better billy’s still young and wet behind the ears living with his mom and spilling oil during the day he keeps telling rachel that in just a few more weeks he’ll have enough money to take her and patti sue to paradise he’s got dreams you know of being a mechanic on some ocean-liner sometimes late at night he and rachel sit up and dream together she’ll be an actress and he’ll be a mechanic and patti sue will finally get to wear that frilly pink dress she gets promised when she gets cranky it’s mostly to keep her quiet so jim don’t run them off sure he knows they’re here has from the first day they moved in but he knows how it is with these gypsy types of today he told billy though that at the first sign of trouble from any of the three of them they all had to go scatter like mice in the field it’s been months and billy hasn’t got a dime saved cause he spends all his pay on friday night’s with rachel rachel well now there’s a sharp one for sure she cleans the office once a week for jim and fills in down at the cafe when it gets busy saves most every cent she gets cause she knows all about guys like billy that’s how she got to have patti sue here today gone tomorrow but not old green faced george washington he’s stuffed up under my head-liner just waiting for the time to come when he’ll be laid out on the counter at the bus station a ticket to paradise waiting in the wings sure she’s using billy kinda the same way i used vito stop gap entertainment something to fill in the blank spot’s of a day vito got me here and somehow billy will get rachel there i don’t really look forward to the day when they leave on the greyhound i know it’s coming there’s not much frost on my glass in the mornings anymore any day now i guess i know jim’s busy with the station and i’ll be on these blocks for a spell more sometimes i feel like a grandparent they come and stay for a time filling my days with their wonderment and pain and then they leave not really hearing what it is i have to say but they listen politely to my groans anyway then they go on about their business soon it will be pegasus and me sharing the desert air silently waiting for the sunsets to make us shine



To toot my own horn for a bit. Many years ago I took a 3 day writing course over the summer from a poet who’s last name was Silex, I don’t remember his first name, sorry, but a very good poet none the less with many works published. He compared me to the great poet Pablo Neruda, not by style or content but that he could only read one or two of my poems each day because of what they said and how I said it, to him they had a profound impact. Of this I am quite proud, it’s quite a compliment. The best I’ve ever had, thus far.