Tuesday, October 28, 2008

maurice at the barbeque / 1980




maurice at the barbecue,
drunk on gin and offering me
wine-in-a-box, hid his fifth
of Tanquery behind the rhododendrons
and said to me and jim and liz, Women...
turn them upside down, spread their legs and
they all look alike...
gesturing with long
black barbeque tongs. we had just met, he didn't
know my people, else he may have waited until i was
tucked in the hot tub, boiling null as a potato, before
opening his goateed, cigar-stuffed mouth. i saw he
was human, saw photos of children who'd slipped away.
i saw the bitter trade he'd made. everyone saw
his furred brown toes, protruding from huarache
sandals bought on his annual mexican slumfest, with
a framed red toreador on black velvet, a clutch of Oui
and Hustler splayed nearby. he was a rotting man,
but a man nonetheless. maurice was my neighbor, my host
to take or not to take. and i heard myself whisper,
Isn't that interesting? and jim and liz sighed, relieved i'd
not done the right thing, the merciful thing, really,
which would have been to kill maurice, to give him
an end, to roast him on the spit with the crispy whole pig,
now being served, along with the terrible
contents of the red wine box. he'd have looked
so natural next to swine, a gravenstein lodged
between his cigar and goatee - for appeal, but
also to stop him commencing on subjects
about which whatever he had once known
was now lost, forgotten, drowned.

suzanne finnamore

28 comments:

Jim said...

OK. You got me. I had to look up Gravenstein and found to my delight that it wasn't a type of beer stein after all, but an apple found most widely on the west coast, and in particular, around the Sonoma County, California, town of Sebastopol. Lucky you. It sounds delicious.

And the poetry was just brilliant.

FINNABLOG said...

oh my god. jim! you startled me!

Jim said...

Sorry, sort of snuck in when no one was looking. Seriously. Great work.

Did you ever work out the great bang debate. (i seriously need sleep. i just typed grate bank debait.)

FINNABLOG said...

nope. i am going with the disheveled sheepdog style. AS IF.

FINNABLOG said...

you need sleep? ive got the same cup of coffee io started out with today. i haven't left my laptop for 12 hours. it's a stitch. wait, no, i had lunch with my son. i had yogurt. so, yes. that and this coffee. and yall. god i love haven's blog. it's a FIRESTARTER.

Jim said...

Yeah, too bad work (drudgery) had to interrupt it for me. And my day was going so well...

FINNABLOG said...

all writers are essentially unemployed. consider wages a well-timed gift!

Linda said...

This is priceless. I always want to have you on my side, Suzanne.

George said...

Suzanne,

This grouping of poems is so good...perfect little vignettes of reality and what ought to be real.

Hey, I'll take that picture of the black biker jacket.

You will have jacket envy, because a jacket like the one I have would look so good on you, young lady.

amanda said...

this is WONDERFUL!!!! thanks for sharing it!

Sock Monkey said...

did you call me... a writer?

xoxo

FINNABLOG said...

if the shoes fits....

Sock Monkey said...

Um, can I shove Augusten out of the way and be your new best friend. ;)

FINNABLOG said...
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FINNABLOG said...

of course. i can easily be bought.

Sock Monkey said...

Careful what you ask for... we may get a time out from mom. xoxo

meredithwinn said...

wow. i can smell the cigar.

i love these strong words. you are so good with the strong words, you know that? it's inspiring, seriously.

FINNABLOG said...

oh my god, thanks.

the best three compliments i ever had was when the professors of English said

1 i had a Voice
2 it was muscular
3 i possessed an exuberant sense of humor

of course, that was a long time ago. and they weren't known to be always sober. and berkeley ONLY hired lunatics in those days, just the absolute craziest writers and poets they could smoke out of the woods. it was heaven. i was extraordinarily blessed. you never forget those people or those times...

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redtexansun said...

Dude, you can REALLY write. And I love that a professor called your writing 'muscular'. So right and what a compliment. Your poem rocks.

FINNABLOG said...

dude you really can write as well. everyione can.

i always say i'm not a writer, i'm a talker who types. actually, augusten said that about me. it's woefully, joyously true.

redtexansun said...

Well then, you must be a great raconteur babe. I'd invite you to my dinner party.

redtexansun said...

Look, wrong blog stream.. is that what it's called? (Sounds suspiciously like something old men have problems with to me...)
But anyway, I just clapped eyes on that pic of your little boy, Suzanne, and he is just so cute, what's that well-worn phrase - "he's gonna be a heartbreaker"?! Jesus

FINNABLOG said...

my son is a boy of great heart, wisdom and largesse; he is an angel come to walk among us. and so he is uncommonly gifted in the looks dept. as well. his father is extremely attractive as well, on the outside - he's an older man, but at 60 he can still attract the bees.

my son. he has already informed me that he "likes likes" girls. i am teaching him to respect them and treat them well when he grows up, or else i will break his nose. angel or no angel.

FINNABLOG said...

like haven and her entire womenfolk, i am generally the life of every party i go to. it's not always well advised.

redtexansun said...

Understood. I too have downed countless cocktails down at the disco then woken up at first light with a raging headache and vague but frightening memories of me 'taking the stage'. Bring on the amnesia I say. Dementia, I hope it runs in the family coz I'd rather forget.

redtexansun said...

Suzie Q, (we aussies like to shorten everything coz we're lazy and although a nickname makes it easier, it's also a sign of affection). I have no doubt that your little boy will grow up to treat women accordingly. I'm just glad that a cute little boy destined to grow into a handsome man has you, Ms Finnamore - ballsy, funny & unapologetic - you as his mother.
The Zygote Chronicles, by the way, was so, soooo moving. What a divine tribute to your son.
I'm sure his nose won't ever be in need of any rhinoplasty coz he's got a great Mama!

FINNABLOG said...

you are so dear. yes, ZC is the only book i ever had to write.