Friday, July 24, 2009

from the archives

[“Thus Peter was identified with Janus, god of gateways, and came to be called the Janitor…” — Barbara G. Walker, The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets]

[“She took my house / took my Cadillac, too” — John Lee Hooker, “Stripped Me Naked”]

Mr. Bedrosian at the Temporary Employment Agency

miss thang, i cannot fill out your forms
righteous dame got one hell of an axe to grind
stripped me naked
she gotta whole lotta love to come after me like that
cockamamie stories even trying to take down brother jesse
that cold enough for you, now that is cold
dig me i’m the cowardly lion, i got hell to pay
but you don’t take jesse stuck up on his two by fours
that’s cold, talking ‘bout riffin’ off all the other big smokey joes
where the hell does she come off

she took me down but I still got the keys, oh i got the keys
that skill transferable enough for you, miss thang?
references? – miss righteous blew the whistle on the whole bunch of us
took my cross
took my prance on the water
took my whole damn custodial gig
me the January man i see you comin’ and goin’
took my Cadillac, too

my piety is a salty chair
it’s either this shirt or the other
this ain’t minimum wage, baby
this is dumpster at family dollar
i got more fertile topsoil than the blacklands east of 35
scrape if off, chica, i got plenty more

light industrial or what?
number of words per whose minute?
blue car, yellow rose, the number 529—
forget about it, i got short term memory
mortgaged up to the hilt i’m talking
light fantastic, not clerical, not voc rehab, not
surface design
i walk the aisles of san fernando holding the ass of my pants
up with one hand, now that’s fiber art

weren’t for the viejas hot for sunday mass
i’d clear the whole 92 downtown bus with the stench of me
when they first turned me on to san anto in portland
i checked into the san pedro springs
used to wander the college, rip off the bookstore
old bent paleta man tossed me his leftovers

i’m sure miss righteous got hip, tipped off the heat
bloody pharisees in sweaty black, i got no more time
for denials, spat once, what kind of stick was that he
jammed up my ear? I let the cock crow all he wants

i hear she lives in jersey
just once i’d like to throw on a
pair a slacks whose ass ain’t grimed
put on the other shirt
trim the beard, lose the shit under my fingernails
walk up all nice and pentecostal to her door
buddy pablo with the meter turned off
we show miss high and mighty a real good time
none of that trumpy mess, we’re talking
cape may, pastel, Atlantic salmon
some place harborside
bellies all fat, take her down
blow some Jamaican weed, she’s wiccan, she’ll go for that
i’d give her the keys, hand ‘em right over
what do i need with keys
just me and miss righteous
feel that wind blow
transfiguration’s got nothin’ on jersey sun goin’ down, wind up
great blue heron standing in the mist
i didn’t need jesse to prance on the water
i taught him, it’s in the blood
all of us little fish



Blogger Teresa said...

So he's a petrine dish because he's so dirty he grows all kinds of bacteria??

This is a great poem. There is so much to it. I love the attitude of Mr. Bedrosian and of his take on the girl at the employment agency. And his fantasies. And his pride. And the seeming incongruity of the picture at the top with the grittiness of your words...

But this seems to be from before you started tessering...

7:55 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: Long before I knew my extra-terrestrial origins, that's for sure. Funny thing about the picture: he looks an awful lot like the petrine here on the streets of Tres Leches. Sighted him once again, just the other day at a bus stop on Broadway.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Richard Wells said...

Yipes stripes there you go again bringing stuff out of the archive that totally knocks me for a loop. Where is this archive? The Akashik Record? The allusions work, the rhythm & etc strong, compelling character. Really nice work. Too effusive? I'll stop, but the top post is mighty fine as well.

11:02 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Richard: Mil gracias, amigo. This one was posted for you and Teresa. My three years of bus riding days (to and from work) were filled with dreaming, reading, ears full, heartbreak and growing compassion, surrounded by the Peters, las viejitas, and mamacitas con los bambinos of the world.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Poor Peter. I think he got a bum rap. Just a poor slob looking around wondering how he got picked for this role in history. Always saying and doing the wrong thing but getting to pitch in the big league anyway. Kinda makes me think the rest of us have a chance if Peter got in the club. I like how this makes him human, smelly, sweaty, and real, warts and all. Even with all that, loved.

11:38 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: I think you're right on the mark: precisely why he was picked. I have to remember, though - while I'm always picking on him - that there were also lovely grace-filled moments with him as well: his own walking on the water, his fish fry on the beach (feed my sheep), his big bouncy man's best friend love of Christ.

1:58 PM  
Blogger anno said...

This one needs to be put to music, friend. Any thoughts?

3:01 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...


Yikes! Tough calls. Candidates, no particular order:

1. Allman Brothers (with Duane)
2. Zappa with the Mothers
3. John Lee Hooker
4. Freddy King
5. Tori Amos
6. Lhasa de Sela
7. I'm sure MichaelO at MichaelO could knock this one out of the park...

3:37 PM  
Anonymous missalister said...

It’s too bad about the axe and the forms and all but the whole Jersey scene sounds righteous enough. I got as many chips on my shoulder as Mr. Bedrosian’s got mortgaged memory. But I live for a good time more’n anything else. I can shed them chips right quick if I catch the scent of a good time. And even if I’m wrong about that whiff I got, either way there ain’t nothin’ to lose in the big scheme of thangs.

10:33 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Duchess: I believe Mr. B (in the poem) came through in the end; wish I could say the same for the Mr. B I still see in the streets of Tres Leches, but then, he may just be a free man in paris, unfettered and alive...

11:33 AM  

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