[St. Ignace, MI. June 29, 2003]
I was sixteen,
Had a punt sail
Out of the Trojan
This during a rain-spitting,
On a field with mud like oatmeal
With too much cinnamon,
The memory forgotten
Until I passed the high school
Halfway between Iggy
And Monaghan’s Island.
Coffee comes in glass mugs
At Ang-Gio’s, where
Smokers mingle among the nons,
Like it was the fifties.
Two old men argue about who
Owns the most lawn tractors.
A kid chants, “I wanna go fishing, I wanna go fishing,”
while dad and pal drink java.
Outside a red doe grazes
In high grass, her tail twitching.
The main street in Iggy
(Home of Saints)
Is lined with cruising classic
Cars, candy-stripe sparkle finishes, exposed
Engines growling like
I sit under a silver tent
With stacks of books
To be sold
To passersbys with STP in their blood,
Honoring dead NASCAR drivers.
It is a parade of tattoos,
Both feet, whole arms, half-titties,
A cigarette in every fourth hand,
Way above the national average.
T-Shirts are more Boccaccio than Shagsper,
De Car-Carry-On Tales or some such.
“Downsize THIS, bitch!”
“SPREAD YOUR LEGS FOR PLEASURE, KEEP YOUR MIND CLEARED FOR PIECE.”
FBI: Female Body Inspector.
“I ain’t buyin’ you no more shit!”
A woman rasps harshly at a barefoot kid,
The temperature 54 degrees.
A woman in white shorts,
Platform sandals, and gooseflesh
Sits beside a purple
‘55 Chevy, a huge sign declaring
FOR SALE: $28,000.
I ask her, How much by the hour?
The line is too long for elephant ears.
The young woman in the next booth
Young men and women preen
In front of hand held mirrors.
A would-be customer declares,
“These is knockoffs.”
“So don’t buy,” Sunglass Girl says.
Ryan, an Iggy cop stops
To show us counterfeit twenties,
Says we need to stay alert.
Somebody explodes a mortar shell
In a portajohn.
It starts to rain at 5, the bomb spray
And moisture separate events.
Back in Cedarville I remember
In the fourth quarter of that same game
I punted into the wind –17 yards.
Why do we always remember the good
Stuff first? 17 and 77.
We can’t average memories