Sunday, October 10, 2010

autumn night


hip hop sounds
from the lighted porch
a crackle of leaves

echoes of a horn
lingering in the heat
night train

street people
gathered beneath the neon light
autumn firefly

one drunken beggar
with an aggressive manner --
clear autumn sky

desolate streets
that still feel familiar --
sparrows gleaning seeds

Her voice echoed down the alley, loudly, bemoaning the hour and situation, switching to an accusatory tone, more strident and ever more aggressive.

Shutting the walk-up loft's door behind him, he quickened his pace.

"We're just saying, Ma'am, there have been complaints." the officer's voice carried a warning - and increasingly annoyed. Two squads were cooling in the alley, just beyond the parking space. One outbuilding shielded their little respite from passersby, perennials and benches, a bird feeders placed with care, belying the bleakness and asphalt their tiny garden was carved out of.

The police cars squatted, clicking and humming quiet radio dispatches unintelligible to those a few feet from it, black and white logos coldly authoritative shining in the street light. As though oblivious, still, to the heightening tension, she carried on.

"Why can't enjoy our birthdays! It's just a little party! Today is both our birthdays; I was born in '54 and I'll be 56, and he was born in '56 and he'll be 54! It's 10-10-10" Her speech was slurred slightly, 'f's' and 's's' a becoming indistinct. The pitch went up another notch. "We can't even celebrate our birthdays?!" Her pleading more incredulous, she began to repeat herself.

He was close now, and taking a breath, he willed himself a non-threatening posture.

Suddenly, the officer's voice shifted, one of a darker meaning. "Ma'am, we've been called out twice. The next time, somebody's going down." All patience reached, you knew he meant business.

At that moment her husband stepped between them. "Whaddya doin', hon? Gettin' into a fight with the cops?" He kept his tone playful in attempt to ease some friction. "I just took the dogs in. We're all goin' in - right now." He directed this order to no one in particular, carefully nonchalant, not wanting to confront the patrolmen in general.

As if on cue, the wife turned on heeland walking off in a huff, a muttered insult in her wake. The situation changed abruptly, from interview to action - the determination had been made.

The young cop riding shotgun next to the sergeant, mostly silent 'til now, began to fumble furiously with his door handle. "What did you say, Ma'am?! Wait a minute, come back here!" He barked the order sharp and quick.

Smiling an embarrassed smile, looking directly now at this rookie, and in his most penitent voice, he said, "Ahh, she's just had too much to drink, is all." He scuffed the toe of his boot along the pavement. Acting the fool a little himself, a little wider and over the top, he offered a sardonic grin. "Gee, officer, guess its time I got control of my bitch."

the voice of Autumn
should never argue
with that of a cop

harvest festival
new faces for parade viewing
arriving each year

morning glories
somewhat tattered and frayed
in a passing storm

liquor stores
and convenience marts -
geese departing

in view of the milky way -
no one can make me laugh
the way that she can

on lotus leaves
this world's dewdrops
are warped

-Issa, 1819


hot pants and platform shoes -
a dragonfly rests
on her ankle



Linda Papanicolaou said...

Very probing text-image linking here.

bandit said...

An interruption - I shall continue to probe...

Jean Spitzer said...

These are wonderful together. I especially like the photographs of the liquor stores/signage and that first haiku and the firefly haiku: very seasonal and not expected.

bandit said...

Geez, Jean, comin' from you, that's a compliment.

Ditto that, Hawkeye.

altadenahiker said...

I was very taken with the top photo, but thought the whole journey was very creative.

Jean Spitzer said...

Okay, this keeps changing. Interesting.