Sunday, February 19, 2017


Asking Maxine out
for a hot fudge ice-cream sundae
when I was six and summoning up
the courage to take her hand
on our secret path back home;
swimming without my father's arms
underneath me & feeling the waters pull;
surfing on asphalt on a tar spun Brooklyn street,
the training wheels off
with only my own power & balance to guide me;
a hardball sliding into my Rawlings oiled glove
and hitting a liquid smart drive on the fat of the bat;
having courage in the darkness
& the high spun arc of magisterial wide screen technicolor
coming on at once like LSD kid style; melted popcorn
oozing between my fingers licking the tips;
the first time my dick moved straight up
all by itself;
the first time I mastered making a bridge
so the pool cue slid easily between my fingers;
the first time the ball touched nothing
but twine and the swoosh it made;
the first touch of silk;
or the smell of my dog wet
from the spring rains;
the first time I saw Corinne
and moved toward her without
knowing why; the first smell
from a mimeograph machine or
gasoline pump, paper solvent
or horse manure or man sweat
after a summer's football game
on the beach; the first pull
on a stick of reefer or opium pipe
and the snake that slithered up
my spine and around my shoulders
and up into my brain;
the first time I realized Coltrane
or Monk or Miles or Billie or Nina;
the first time I knew I really existed
and found the keys into Joyce's pocket;
sighting Diane behind a glove counter & knew
how love can come from behind and mug you.
It has been a long slow kiss
to the fates and it has been

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2017

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