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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Morning with Joni Mitchell

We're on the sofa together
She's in Memphis
with the other Egyptians
who built pyramids of music
She says she's sitting in a cafe
and I remind her it's my couch
in sight of corn and beans
in Iowa

I'm thinking about the news
and how I don't miss it
glad the currency of daily life
doesn't gloss over my eyes
I don't know what has happened
in the last four days
and this morning
the world still full of fools
fighting for everything
“A woman must have everything.”
I know about that Joni

I'm beyond it all now
peeking from time to time
into the abyss
falling more slowly
than I did years ago
when I was a young journalist
in college during the war
following the march against
in the middle of wheat and lentils
in the great Palouse
Up and down the hills
filing as it happened reports
just like Edward R.
did from London
except I'm not on CBS
just the college station
wired into the dorms
with 8 listeners
who are reading Shakespeare
and Mao in the same language
from red books
I'm preparing for the day
a cop and a bunch of people
are murdered in Gillette
northeast Wyoming
when I go to the hospital
and am the first to report
live on the air
the policeman is dead
the killer is dead
and a pile of others
as this nut drove
across the town
spreading death
as easily as I put
the eggs on my toast
and the sweet stuff
in my black coffee

You still with me Joni?
You're fading out
as the summer heat of Iowa
makes a cloud fall
out of my freezer

Joni is traveling again
and I think of all the miles
between wherever
that are now so much
wasted dinosaurs
as we head for the end
of civilization that was never civil
as I stare at the changing screen
pictures that change every minute
three boys wrestling
in bright red breechclouts
at some rendezvous of trappers
their parents probably
What do you think Joni
of my tie-dyed loincloth
Yeah nobody cares
as she says “I'll be thinking of you.”
Oh sure babe
She's in her 70s
I'm in my 60s.
“Will you still love me
when I get back to town?”
I'm too young for you sweets
and if I'm looking at guys
in their malos
on some Pacific isle
then you might not be
the right person to cuddle with
“I've got the blues inside...”
Sorry, I know you had your heart set
on me as your man
We both sigh
me in my lonely Iowa
and you in your British Columbia
singing to an old nobody
writing some words
on a glowing screen
ready to get another cup
of Folgers
the only coffee I can afford
and you probably
with those beans
shit from the ass
of some odd cat
expensive beans
ground by natives
with their carved-rock
mortars and pestles
sitting in their loincloths
or is that poi

It doesn't matter any more
I don't know what's going on
as you travel
spilling your words
in ones and zeros
from my computer's CD player
hissing at summer lawns
please my dear
be nice
at least I'm wearing something
and you're jumping
out of my speakers
as naked a poet
as there ever was
while we're kissing in cafes
kissing on main street
rollin' rollin' rock and rollin'

 Barry G. Wick

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