” The Night Is Thirsty With Sirens” by Michael C. Ford

The Night Is Thirsty With Sirens

The mind is like a TV set – when it goes blank
it’s a good idea to turn off the sound
-Ernie Kovacs

I’m drinking with somebody’s daughter
And it’s the seacoast pull of alcohol
Again. A female singer {she’s somebody’s
Daughter too} is pulled by keyboard-cool
Sentimental magnets in this intimate club.

If a lady in the Los Altos hills were here
With her daughters, I know they’d want
To soft shoe the carpet in opposition to all
Those whose feet feel more secure
Stomping in crowd-clotted concert halls
Where there is no music anymore.

But, now, my business must involve these
Encounters with daughters: I believe it has
A lot to do with ambitious working girls,
Also vivified on San Francisco’s West side by
Camille’s baby daughter Tara {today, named
Thumbelina)}in highchair swatting muffins: her
Spoon charting the air like dark Chaucer. Not
That her parents haven’t been without the
College English ivory tower blocks of opposition.

I am, however, talking about Tara draining her
Eyes with tantrum, turning into an immature
Replica of this Santa Monica secretary who’s
Dabbing mascara drips, now, from deeps of
Nagging nightclub blues.

All this is remarkably receptive by my memorial
Radar: Tara’s mother filling sink with dishwater,
While the window on Page Street becomes this
Drunken pane of moonish light: and when the
Little girl klops her dessert into a cup and tries
To drink a cookie, and failing, finally, offering it
To me to fail, as I always do, too, the solid stuff

{Daughters and men have these moments in
Common} so much so that when Camille says:
“Did You know it’s the Solstice?” I can’t tell if
that’s a cosmological excuse or a weather report.

Nevertheless, now, back here, in smoky piano
Bar, a personified jet lag nags at me: her voice
Clanking like a cashregister: her blank mind
Linking with an urban incursion of ambulance
Chasers. And she pulls at her highball glass as
Though she were swallowing her mother’s
Bel-Air antique pride.

Outside, the night is thirsty with sirens.

Photo by Lisa Cherry

Michael C. Ford has been publishing steadily, since 1970, and credited with 23 volumes of print. He’s been featured on 13 spoken word recordings, that include 6 solo documents, since 1984. He received a Grammy nomination in 1986 and earned a Pulitzer nomination in 1998. A 2012 poetry and photography project marks the author’s 5th volume of work published by ION DRIVE. For earlier titles plus critical and biographic commentary, please, visit www.iondrivepublsihing.com

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