J. P. Dancing Bear
(Poem Starting with a Line by Michelle Boisseau)
I have lived in thwarts and starts, a gray trial
lawyer, a pacing beast in the courtroom with a red briefcase. My satchel of motions, almost painted,
with a can of Crimson Justice (who makes up these names for paint?). I was going to
mention the animal rights activist here but it is so contrived
that I stopped myself at the courthouse steps, got out of the vehicle and looked everywhere but inside.
If I wrote about the anima of the activist it would be like leaving a love note
on the surface of the mirror to myself. Dear me, the metaphors were coldly delicious
written in lipstick—Firehouse Brick (who makes up these names for makeup?)—hearts
to dot the Is—I mean if I’m going to do this, I gotta do it right!
Naturally I would leave it up for a month so visitors could speculate about the mystery writer
who is me. Jealous
that I get the messages on bathroom mirrors
which have only been seen in movies.
I feel like smoking cigarettes again so I can go out for a pack
and depart like the period below the question mark. Here I am and gone
on to start another
life with the same face. I knew a man once when he was at the end of his third career. He declared his transition day was coming. Within a week he was gone. He had been a chemist, a botanist, and a chef
and vanished to
as a playwright. I know I said if I wrote about someone it was really me, but
I never phoenixed myself.
Too scared to dowse myself in fuel, spark the match and pyre anew. I admired
guys like that. But only as the river adores the sky, smart enough to know
it’s not me that I reflect.