Poems of Place & Displacement

She spoke of

Paul Klee and dripping bones and the guy with the buildings
with the buildings, you know, you must know Rene Rene
Margarita? I can’t remember, this is ridiculous, I thought
I’d memorized all her routines, wait, please, it’s important
Maggette? No, he’s a guard for the Clippers
Magritte! Jesus Christ Magritte She spoke of

Hard-boiled fiction getting laid not getting laid The
Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Her high school tv station degradation Robert Altman’s Three Sisters Chekhov’s Three Sisters the blisters on John Lennon’s fingers what she
does what she did what she will do and You
The Ayatollah came to her in a dream, the first one Khameini
Khomeini? Doesn’t matter, here’s the point She undressed for him a slow strip and
He stroked his beard like it was a clit she ended up fingering
Herself as he flipped through the pages of a Vanity Fair raising
His eyebrows and mouthing the words: Nice hair
Lying on the sofa
I learned that she’d left Austin for Winnipeg with an Iranian
Guy she’d met in Spanish class
Sometimes late at night I stand under a moontower and little drips
Of her fall on my face wet my neck and kiss me on the “x” that marks
The spot  I hear her explaining things for that
Guy in her garage apartment, the guy who was trying to become me but didn’t get the part Her explaining what she liked to call the vagaries
Of the twenty-first century in the voice of a thirties movie queen
Electric and demented
Making a fashion plate
Out of the run-on sentence

Photo Credit: New Orleans Public Library
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Copyright 2007,  Steve Hellyard Swartz

Steve Hellyard Swartz's film, "Never Leave Nevada," opened in Dramatic Competition at the U.S. Sundance Film Festival in January, 1990. A five-time finalist in the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, he has won awards for poetry, drama, and fiction.

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