This poem all morning.
Might be filming here, with Lou Mallozzi!
This poem, just now.
And a little story then:
My Father’s Approval runs a bike shop on Martha’s Vineyard. I’m pretty sure he lives there too. I went in one summer - I was staying with my grandmother - and I asked if I could rent a bike, in order to go looking for jobs. My Father’s Approval offered to pay me hourly to clean bikes in the back, and when I was done with that, I could sweep the place up. He showed me around. He showed me how to lather the bikes, and where I should avoid doing so, so as not to strip the grease. Then he showed me the broom and demonstrated a topnotch sweeping of the stairs.
“It’s the attempt,” he told me. “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”
So I took the job.
One night I went back after hours, having left my bag behind. I came in the back door and discovered him masturbating in the privacy of his own home/office. He heard me coming in the back and was up, getting his affairs in order. He laughed and gave me the bag. He’d brought it in from outside. He said he’d see me tomorrow.
I thought I’d caught him in something, so I asked him to bring a few beers to work the next day.
“We’ll see,” he said, and looked at me like he wasn’t exactly sure who I was or why I was asking that, but he was damn well not going to bring me any beers the next day.
A week or so later, he invited me up to a shack near the clay cliffs on the western-most part of the island. He introduced me to his friends, fed me, gave me plenty to drink, then finally brought me over to a girl, roughly my age, who he wanted me to meet. She was a fire-dancer, and she began to dance and talk to me about this and that and I was too drunk or scared or shocked at the sight of those spherical fires gravitating round her wrists and ankles and waist, dangling from her neck, that I could only smile and nod until she told me that all her life she had only wanted to be “a happy little coconut” and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I broke, and began to laugh and laugh and laugh the most regrettable and vulnerable and terrified laugh.