Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve

Please note: this is not journalism (exactly true per se), but rather a prose poem that I performed some in Boulder, Colorado in 1994-95…and then published in a magazine at Harvard University .

Things To Do In Jamaica Plain

Connie painted that mural on the wall of the fish market.  The one with the big happy multicultural family in JP.  Everyone buys her cards and T shirts and thinks they’re lucky to have such a great local artist.  She hates me.

These lesbians I forget their names want to be known as The Lesbians of JP.  They have synthesizers, televisions and cartons of cigarettes in their apartment. They inhale with their noses and mouths and talk about art like it’s a board game written in Portuguese.  They pretend to be characters from a Tarot deck and all I can do is cough from the smoke.  Therese slept with them all then moved to Cambridge.

Jane’s at the Art Mart.  She says,” I painted all the platforms red and now everyone’s coming in.  And I made new labels: the Our Lady of Lourdes Bath Salts, the San José love potions, the dog chains.  I swept the floor.  I even washed the damned windows.”

C. Shafton lives up to his name.  He’s a lawyer and everyone’s a victim except for the women who rent an apartment from him.  He once screamed Continue reading “Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve”

Girlfriend, who’s that with you?

THE perfect stranger’s brother sent me an email.

“He doesn’t speak much English. Do you speak French?”

“I can follow along somewhat. I know how to talk food. But no,” I wrote back.

He replied, “He’s the same way with English. It’ll be fine.”

The other perfect stranger I was to drive was a soon-to-be medical student at McGill but, meanwhile, during summertime, would be coming with me to Boston to learn genetics while working for free at some professor’s lab.

Continue reading “Girlfriend, who’s that with you?”