Saturday, July 7, 2012

Deep in the heart of Texas

He was showing us photographs of crabs he caught
On his recent extrusion to Alaska.
Red and giant, with him next to them
A huge smile on his face.
He was smiling now, just as wide,
As he causally returned to the counter
From the stove, where he was making jambalaya.
He kept adding ingredients, that smelled
Like they took up the whole room.
He explained each photograph
And each crustation, as if it was
Some Shakespearean play,
Each photo an act, each crab Othello himself.
This was complex work, and complex pleasure.
The joy of the primitive man,

An existentialist, remembering
The fine taste added by just salt water and lemon.
He didn't have to say it, but Alaska
Had clearly run close to his Texan heart.
He orgasmed emotionally on the beauty
Of the mountains and the lake, and the creatures inside.
So simple and so peaceful, but the best seafood
He had ever had.
He had buckets full of them, sharing them
They had struck gold.
It looked like something out of
A television show, seductively appetizing.
Like something you see on Anthony Bourdain
While saying to yourself, "I'll never have that"
But here sat Danny, Anton's family friend;
Who not only had this adventure and this meal
But came back to tell the tale with photographs.
The photo itself was a sonnet
Like Helen, it could inspire with it's beauty
It's symbolic meaning, many a muse.
The catch of the day, transcended time
Even in this small glimpse of that moment
And just from Danny's description,
We started to think of him as a time traveler
In a ritual of man and sea, that exceeded aeon's themselves.
The room smelled so rich now, that my ears
Felt the pundit odor of the meal in store.
He talked about his pond,
Where he grew his own fish
And catching my understanding northern eye
He pointed at something as shocking as the photographs.
Out in the carpet, 10 feet away.
An alligator rug, leather incarnate.
Hard and soft simultaneously.
Real, brutal, but with touch of niceness
Which screamed, "I killed him.
I didn't buy this at some store".
Like a living purse, authentic and unstiched it lay
Next to the Norditackt, a token totem.
A representation of my trip, and destination
Primitive man was not barbaric,
But for a moment poetically excellent.
I touched the skin every which way,
Ogelling it, meditating on its meaning.
Before moving on to the head
With its glass eyes.
Like some dinosaur
It had many teeth
Still sharp in its decapitated home.
I wished, the gang could see this.
I got close to its dead face
The way  I would to my pet dog.
And examined every inch of its
Stuffed physique, mystified.
I came back to the counter
As his wife came down, panting
Screaming she heard strange voices
And how she almost shot the kids
Or thought that Danny, was feeding
The homeless again.
Seeing Anton, her thought of strangeness returned.
She shook my hand, telling me she thought
Seeing just my head, some black guy
Had been prowling around her kitchen.
She kept saying, that she almost went for the gun
Until she heard laughter.
I realized this was not some axiomatic saying.
She knew where all 12 guns were in the house
She joked repeating "I almost shot them"
Panting, like exhaustion
"I almost shot the kids"
We all ate jambalaya, which was exceptional
But his wife complained that Danny
Liked to ghost cook, and didn't know how to regulate
His spice usage; it was indeed spicy.
She refused to have bite
And just talked with us while we ate;
Joking and comparing stories
Reminiscing, reaffirming their culture
Inadvertently, letting me in on their worldview.
As we got ready to go outside
She scraped a bowlful out of the pot
But spat it out, claiming it was all clove down there.
She yelled at Danny, as we walked
Towards the shed, about moderation.
She found clove and cumin
Generally disgusting.
Danny made a smirking face and kissed her
Before heading out in to his yard
As she turned on the back-light silently
So we could walk over to his warehouse size
Shed, where fireworks were waiting to be shot.

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