by Jim Smith
Jim was born in Houston, Texas in 1951. He lived in various homes throughout the Southwest and Pacific Northwest of the United States during his youth. After graduating from high school in Richland, Washington, he left for Boston in 1969. In the following years he was preoccupied with marriage, education, children and several different careers in the ministry, teaching college and computer programming. Now that his children are leaving the house he is devoting more of his time to the writing of poetry and short stories and performing at open readings in the St Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota metropolitan area. Jim also enjoys playing his bass trombone in the Shoreview Northern Lights Variety Band.
Jim writes of these poems:
"Upon Her Vacant Davenport" is a poetic account of a missed erotic opportunity in my young adult years.
Flaming Heterosexual: My son, who just enlisted in the Air Force, worked at the Starbucks Coffee Shop in Calhoun Square in the Uptown area of Minneapolis where he was one of of the few heterosexual employees. He developed numerous friendships within the local gay/lesbian community there and he shared many of his conversations. "Flaming Heterosexual" is a montage of images and pieces from those conversations and has become a frequently requested work whenever I perform. It is also the title poem for a chap book that I have printed off (I have, so far, twenty nine) chap books that I have put together.
Nest of Frozen Flame: The first few days that I attended Connell High School in Richland, Washington (September 1966) a student on the bus was constantly joking around, trying to get attention. He was hard to ignore with his bright red hair and freckles. A few days later word got around that he had died, so we attended his funeral, which was held at the church I attended at the time. The images of this young man have remained with me even though I never really got to know him. I wrote the poem just a few weeks ago.
Upon Her Vacant Davenport
She greeted me with warmness I would never fully understand She was a womyn of a busy world to my virgin boyhood ideology Congealed like sauerkraut on stagnant ice box doors I took a seat upon her vacant davenport And held the piping rum drilled eggnog limply In my unsuspecting ambivalence And stared at the trembling liquid drawn seduction creme Which settled in the tension of her probing breath And complicated mellowness In time my presence blended into strange unleavened mediocrity Where I live my fantasy within the cage of lost opportunity
My son looked at his friend the Uptown dyke As she groaned about her date last night And he asked her if she liked the womyn in even some remote Or detached way To which she said "Oh, no she's a bitch But I slept with her anyway" she smirked with the juices of her passion Laced within her smile "You're a slut" said my son as he launched a grin And his friend gathered in his gaze with the friendship of A rainbow kiss sifted in the haze of a Minnesota night As she said with a twist "You know, my friend if there ever was a flaming heterosexual kid You'd be in the center of light"
Nest Of Frozen Flame
I couldn't believe that he was such a joke on school bus days While makin' fuzzy images in after study motion haze But there he was in silence for the moment in his brightest Sunday suit Freckles perched upon his cheek in a nest of frozen flame Encased in satin and it's death bouquet No more antics in a plume of roadside dust as children Bounced with childish plays in an eager sunset Banished for a brief eternity