To the Artist's Page To our home page
To Candy M. Gourlay's previous piece
Jazz at Four a.m. 'My cross of tales behind the fabulous curtain' - Dylan Thomas, To-Day, This Insect Liquor wings flew him into oncoming traffic one cardboard night, late October. Bird squashed on a highway, I imagined him curled neatly on the passenger seat like a kitten on a windowsill-jolted awake by vehicle's zigzag waltz, then blinding light etching maps of his life into onion skin with headlamps of a ten-ton truck. It happened in Bethlehem, of all places. One of them walked away untouched, good karma-or a bad case of good luck. Driver's penance, a fractured femur (alcohol saved him, made him floppy). But not the sleeper: vegetable head- skull, mashed potatoes; hollow Halloween pumpkin. Hands in-tact made no attempt to save his face. Casualty waiting room: flammable trash bin flexing with long-nosed woman sipping tragedy through straws, "What brings you here at this hour, dear?" Telescope eyes search posters, 'Aid for Relatives of Head Injury / Deceased' seething with memory of hard-boiled lives embedded like shrapnel in wallpaper. Polystyrene cups wreak of rancid coffee; stain shoes of perspective- years of celery caught between teeth of marriage find tears skeletons in a desert. But this? Headline: wishing proves fatal. Imminent death lingers like smoke in a jazz club at four a.m.
To the top of this page