In poetry as in the rackets
ya hafta hustle, be there, get seen,
as GM goes so goes the artist
and so I went...
Well, no sweets no stings
in last night's drone.
And - 0 I sat so straight --
certainly no love.
Look, once I sat in movies -
dim Saturdays in Saginaw,
the Avalon and war bonds in the lobby.
And Marilyn Trier. She'd lean against
my arm and slump. We'd neck...
Marilyn! At soft sixteen
what we discovered!
And now I sit at readings. Straight.
Look, I want verse like teen-age love,
to find me in the dark, to feel
me up, touch and take
my touches back. And kiss
and sneak adventure in
and put me on the verge ...
but all I got last night were words,
pulled down by wires
made loud by boxes,
and all I did was sit. Too straight.
I'll send a card ...
Dear valentine, come slump with me again.
In small-town Avalons we'll tempt the new.
Hell, I don't care if I slip down and dirty.
I long for hideout matinees with you.
HOW TO ESTABLISH YOUR OWN IDENTITY
to my son on his 13th birthday
Lay a driveway on the Sabbath
Keep Yom Kippur at the Ramada Inn,
Pour sour cream on your pork
Sing shmas for cathedral joy.
And .marry a pregnant shickse
then when she mothers your children desert her,
Yes, the filching of mere hubcaps
is no. rebellion for a Jewish boy.
Damn, this place ain't New York.
In Gotham, thick with night,
in splashy all-night grills
spoon up luscious loves.
Friends, no such luck here.
Here burger wrappers drift
along canals afloat with Fords ...
Makes a grown man think:
let time look sad and small
and no one tries to leap tall buildings.
Or let your grills get shut
and traffic swells can fake returns to nature.
But see leftovers dry.
See angry blacks
and hungry whites
on the scent
to find dessert
the starving air.
For another Detroit poem by a different Detroit poet, Jim Gustafson,
* * *
About the author.
Lawrence Pike grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. In the 1950's, while a student at the University of Michigan, he published fiction and edited the school's humor magazine. After his graduation, he moved to Detroit and turned to writing poems. He lived in the Detroit area since then. His poetry and parodies have appeared in local and national small-press journals. His first book, "Now That Good Jack Armstrong's Gone", was published by Detroit River Press in 1980. Larry Pike died in 1994.
These poems and photo are from "Hideout Matnees", a collection
of 21 Pike poems published in 1982 by Fallen Angel, 1981 West McNichols
c-1, Highland Park, Mi..
Copyright by. Larry Pike.