At the bar the music begins and turns me
blue. A Bunny Girl in a negligee beckons
from a poster behind the copper counter.
Shadows turn the bar Noir, though
it is day. The barman drinks a glass
of water while reading the paper.
The city dwarfs me. I turn to the poetry
of silence -for which there is no gizmo-
think of God and his sister in the snow
at Thanksgiving, surrounded
by the indigo souls of the dead.
A soignée woman in a tiger-striped dress,
who could well be a sister of the sestinas,
walks in. The barman winks at me, I nod
back to him: trouble.
Her body is like nicotine: a burning bush
behind an arras; all heat and light.
I’m new here but his radar antenna is up.
She colours us into the background, takes
a dim view of the pole in the centre of the
stage, despite her x-rated Ultimate Avenue
dress, which is daring me to write an obscene
epithalamion titled The Rapture of Eve.
Instead, I finish my original poem,
which I will read to my saturnine friends
at some future gloomy gathering:
like serenading ghosts.
Tiger girl exits.
I scrawl her onto my wish-
list but decline to wolf-whistle.
This poem is constructed around the 57 single-word titles
of Ron Koertge’s poetry book ‘Indigo’.
If you have any thoughts on this poem,
Eddie Gibbons would
be pleased to hear them.