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Two Proems From ' 'Now, Heart' - Some Of What I Remember When I Listen' - Poem by Warren Falcon

for Willie 'in the pocket' now of earth


A river is a process through time, and the river stages are its momentary parts.
—Willard Van Orman Quine

One [Remembering Chattanooga Days With Willie, Tennessee River Close By]:

One night Willie, much 'in the pocket'—an expression for being well onto drunk which I've never heard from anyone but him—wanted to dance to a Bessie tune playing, 'Back Water Blues', him recalling nights as a young man in rural Tennessee where he had worked hard days in oppressive vegetable fields then hit the after hours juke joints for 'colored, twas parting days, Jim Crow, ' he explained, where he would drink, dance then dive/delve into sensual mysteries of moist skin, hot breath, mutually open mouths, their commodious moans and mumbles, venial hands, always vital parts, private hearts mutually pounding ancient known rhythms, odors, tastes of gin and those slender, forbidden, now greedily stolen bites in those all too short nights with their damned intrusive dawns.

Jumping to his feet, Willie described 'powder dancin'' (pronounced marvelously, 'powdah') which I had never heard of. Talcum powder would be copiously scattered onto the planked dance floor where couples in stockinged or bare feet would ecstatically dance, gliding and sliding sweetly scented, muskily bent toward later glides and slides in slippery joy of momentary allure, amour on dimmed porches or in surrounding woods often enough and gratis upon delicate slabs of moonlight gratuitously dewy providing cushion for Passion's out and in, honoring, dignifying deities of skin wanting more making more skin, headlong Nature's frictional algorithms indelibly scored in every each his her yawing yen.

Two [Paean To Rivers]:

I know that wheat is anciently holy but now even more so for flour, the sight and feel of it, its unbaked smell, turns me again toward a Chattanooga 3rd street, its compass river swelling like bread nearby bearing witness still for one cannot say too much about rivers—their irreverence of edges scored, spilling themselves, proclaiming natural gods deeper than memory yet dependent upon it for traced they must be in every human activity no matter the breech, for something there is to teach even deity though it may be wrong to do so, or hearsay to say it or sing, but the song is there for those whose ears are broken onto bottoms from which cry urgencies of Being and between, dutiful banks barely containing the straining Word.


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