half dozen poems

here in missoula

Indians must teach us the true way

to conduct a seance

because our dead are so outnumbered

 

 

a long time ago

 

we writhed like worms on barbed hooks

dangled in front of hungry trout

but we found a way to crawl off

and dig out homes more suitable

than teeth

 

grew up on

 

Looking Glass Hill 845 Cheshire street

where jar headed kids on stingrays

threw dirt clods and filberts at the weak

and the lonely vet drank all day telling us

he was the first up Iwo Jima and his kids

gave me whooping cough

 

 

best job i ever had

 

we drilled anchor holes for a snow retaining wall

to keep glaciers from pushing Paradise Lodge

off the side of Mt Rainier

gave away my best bird dog to the construction foreman

who promised her a good home.

met set designers for Muppets Take Manhatten

in the Motel lounge while watching the world series

and we cheered each eruption from Mt Saint Helens.

 

another day in Missoula

 

and another great writer shows his stuff

to the world with great swooping rooster tails

pushed along by 300 horsepower twin merc brains

and here I limp along- nurse my 5 horse Evinrude

with a coughy carburetor

too dumb to be scared

i cut accross the wake

stubborn for that distant shore

 

 

Charlies Bar

 

was also Eddies club when Mr Hugo lived here

but I came too late to Missoula to meet him

so I learned to travel where ghosts end up

and found him almost everywhere I went

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