Suite Suite

I. Chez Mon Eau 

This restaurant, Chez Mon Eau, called 
the temp agency, asked for an experienced 
cook. Here I am. They're providing a 
six hour shift, five days a week (any longer 
and they'd have to pay for a second break 
each day and I'd be considered full-time). 
I punch a button on a microwave, mostly, 
interspersed with complex programming of 
same microwave. In three months they 
might offer the job full-time, no longer through 
the temp agency. Then I'd have a three-month 
probationary period before getting benefits 
such as health coverage. I mentioned I 
had an interview for another job, something 
fulltime. Temp assignment over. 
Goodbye, Chez Mon Eau. 

II. Honk 

At the club where I work the lights 
(part time), Darcelle XV, 74-year-young 
drag queen who has been doing this 
for thirty-eight years, tells the same 
thirty jokes every show. One of the first 
makes comment on our city motto 
-- "Portland -- The city that works" -- which 
she says mockingly for a laugh, 
at which time I honk the light 
three times fast. Now, every time 
I'm sitting in Washington Park 
and a truck goes by with that slogan 
on both doors, my left hand constricts 
three times. 

III. Sex and Death 

Feelings of mortality make me 
creative (watch out, world, for 
when I really am about to die), 
and though what I create doesn't 
usually reflect that, it's what 
every poem, every story is about. 
I must be feeling mortal today --
this, fifteen minutes after an orgasm. 

IV. Suite

Blue Book UFO sightings in my home town, 
1964, a year or two after Dad moved us there; 
1968, I was nine; again in 1975 (is that the year 
I experienced pavor nocturnis?), but no record 
of them in 1979? I have no comment. 
But I'm somewhat surprised. I've been waiting 
for that ship ever since (1979). Here I am 
on a stump in the park, waiting, and it's 2005. 
I contemplate the mind's sweet flexibility. 

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Copyright 2005 by Greg Baysans


Poet X