KURTZ JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL


 

Ravens play in snow. I deserve a some inner sanctum time.

A school kid, I’d press hard into my paper,

 

sometimes engraving

the soft wood beneath. Not much

 

has changed. Clock above the cabinets.

Smell of burnt wood splints. Bunsen

 

burners. Mr. Williams rubbing his fingers

over his forehead. Carcass of a dissected

 

mink. The smell. Sun a communion disk

through winter clouds. I’d walk home

 

swinging my black cornet case crammed

with evening’s homework. Folder

 

full of sheet music. I’d stop for a bottle

of green soda or, Thursdays, my lesson

 

at Southtown, canyon

of amplifiers, Gibson SG’s: hanged men.

 

Played “My-Mama-a-Told-Me,”

theme from “The Godfather”

 

for Louie Cattarucci, maestro and former

drummer for Captain Beefheart. The Ravens

 

visit Thailand, look at each other quizzically.

Tower of London, The Ravens wear blue

 

bands on their legs. Julie

looks at the television through her yellow

 

Ranger Rick binoculars. Sunday evening,

work tomorrow, and I don’t know what pain

 

reliever to take. A life rich in detail—

dirty snow, worn rubber, oil, exhaust

 

and ice, a cocktail the bullies loved to wash

one’s face in, cornet case thrown in a slushy

 

drift, traffic crowing and Louie smoking

calmly, watching from his storefront window.