Princess Pocahantas, excellent lady, be near to me because with your voice you have given me tours of a hundred million petals of crystal and silverware and your calmness draws me into river heavens and light heavens and heavens of rain and heavens of freedom and heavens of warmth and redwood where royalty are forever dancing their marriage dances glittering with gold rings and roses rich. It is your art to draw me near, where I search for you in some golden mirror and ask “Has the divine lady been here?” Crowned by crimson fireplaces we share cheer and harmony.
One ice-green candle, lit. Andrea, we can’t go on meeting like this. One ice-blue candle, lit. But now that I have you here, I want you to know that pink was Beethoven’s favorite color. Spoon on the left, then knife. Dinner fork, appetizer fork, dessert fork. How do you like your steak? (Medium rare, two inches thick, char-broiled, like Dad makes, juicy. Ask me another question.) What do you like for dessert? (Cherry cheesecake with drippy cherry on top or flaming.) Andrea, I’ve been trying to tell you this for a very long time. Here’s the champagne.
Let me introduce Cheryl. She is of the sign of the crab. Her grandmother paints roses, which are her very favorite flower. Her grandmother grows violets and does animal drawings in Greenforest. Near Greenforest there are three lakes where people go fishing for catfish and trout, not far from maples, oaks, firs, elms, dogwood. The leaves turn red, orange, yellow, and brown. Grandmother bakes apple and pumpkin pies, peach pies, cherry pies. Ruby is her neighbor, a very plain woman who wears plain dresses while working in a garden to grow tomatoes and okra. “Grandmother, I wish you were here!”
Jill is such a lark to think about, flaming red hair and freckles, my flaming flamingo. She is a good sport, too, acting like she invented the human smile. I don’t know why she just sits there, looking at the wall and looking at me. I never took acid, LSD, but she makes you feel like you’re on LSD all the time. Yes, Jill, there are dangerous liaisons that occur frequently in the night places. Your beauty is not exactly a relationship, and your fun does not precisely warm my own hearth, but once I swam the Sea of Rains.
“I’m into this. I like gold, diamonds, sapphires. Sit down, Thane! I’ve got a lot of them. Because they shimmer. Mom took it away from me for a little while. It was Christmas. I always wanted one and I got one. And the next Christmas I got this one, sapphires. I love jewelry. It makes me feel real luxurious, like someone you see in Dynasty… fixin’!… where are you from, girl? Madonna is bad ass! Bummed? I was with him all day. I haven’t been this fried since I was in Dallas. I got my license last week. Darling Nikki.”
Touching an oak leaf in my old age I bring to bear on it the pain of Chinese philosophy. I am letting the oak leaf fall down into my old age like a leaf that will fall down into a meadow well or brooklet to be still on the face of the water and to fulfill the touching of the oak leaf to the old man in me, the old man that was once in my heart, no man more severe. The oak leaf will fall still more silently. It is an old man’s oak leaf that will still fall.