Three Poems

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

Congealed like
		on stagnant
			ice box doors

I took a seat
	upon her vacant

And held the piping
	rum drilled

In my

And stared at the

Which settled
	in the tension of
		her probing breath

And complicated

In time my
		blended into

Where I live my fantasy
	within the cage
		of lost opportunity

Flaming Heterosexual

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

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

While makin'
	fuzzy images
		in after study
			motion haze

But there he was
	in silence
		for the moment
			in his brightest
				Sunday suit

	perched upon his cheek
		in a nest of
			frozen flame

Encased in satin
	and it's death

No more antics
	in a plume
		of roadside dust as children

Bounced with
	childish plays
		in an eager sunset

	for a brief eternity

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