Solo Boulevard for Trumpet and Strings

David DeWitt Fulton
Poetry


Home Style Cooking
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

He wore a dark winter’s night, a cap of dove-white moon.
She, in her streetlight overcoat and fireplug pumps.
They were the last ones, so they turned off the light
in the tiny LA diner that had closed for the night.
Dancing, nonetheless, through the oncoming headlights,
making the most of the boulevard’s drag. His hand was cold,
and her face was cold. Together, they were warm,
spinning through the hours until dawn. Spinning
like carousel police beams, and flooding the sidewalk
with red strobe then blue strobe then red strobe,
until the fog of their breaths met in the air above them.
Invisible to weekend revelers, but like pillars
of Earth rising from the flat desert to the one who
always sees ecstatic visions, and who hears
choir voices between the freeway surges; the one
alone in the bus stop kiosk, alone under the pentatonic
neon flicker: LIQUOR – LIQUOR – LIQUOR, alone at the
intersection, windows down, passenger seat empty,
the last of the junk food dinner at his feet. These
visions are for him alone, a bitter cabaret, but
one in sympathy with the heaving heart
that clicks away under the suit he made an effort
in, and through mouth that shall this night remain
unencumbered by the red press of another, and into
the hands that will touch nothing more sacred
that night than his own helpless body, sagging
and arching towards morning.

pencilDavid Fulton was born in Redondo Beach, California. He received his MA from CSU, Northridge under Dorothy Baressi, and an MFA from CSU, Long Beach under Charles Harper Webb and Gerald Locklin. Currently, Fulton teaches English at Glendale Community College. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Caffeine, Poetry Motel, The California Journal, and Toasted Cheese. His poem “Hubris” was shortlisted for The Pushcart Prize. He lives with his wife and perhaps too many cats in Sherman Oaks, California. Email: jackbox1971[at]gmail.com

Hubris

Poetry
David Fulton


Pollock was down to his last two Lucky Strikes
and no one was going out for more wine
and the last of Coleman Hawkins was fading
into a silence like static, like too much
coffee and trying to sleep.
It was day three and the artist
had the shakes. Maybe it was time for lunch.

The work was there at his toes, spread out
like a map of sublime feeling. He let it lie,
the tangle of dendrites and long, white cancers
that danced on the pumpkin platform of the canvas. Something
converged in the overlaps; the amorphous whirls sparking
from the center, arcing towards the periphery.

Would it seem chaos and order were at odds, or part of a larger order
that couldn’t be seen from the vantage of a squinting yokel?

Would anyone notice the “fuck” hidden in scrawl underneath?

He wanted, briefly, to strip and roll over the top of it while
it was still mostly wet. Hang me on the wall, Peggy. It almost
made him smile.

In the bathroom he washed up with Lava soap and dish cleanser.
The sink was white and shined like cold milk,
but a thumbnail-size blot of dried cobalt blue remained.
The water activated it and formed tiny incursions of the color
that ran into the edges of the foam and turned the bubbles
a shade of cerulean. It worked its way deeper into the mass,
and made clouds of Brandeis, azure and cornflower
before swirling into a periwinkle cataract at the drain.
No stain of the original color remained on the surface
as though it had actually capitulated to something infinite
and if anything had happened at all, only the human
stood witness

his hands hanging at his waist, dripping on the floor. The last
of Coleman Hawkins skipping on the record player.
pencil

“I am 37, was born in Redondo Beach, California and currently live in the San Fernando Valley. I am a college English instructor. I graduated from CSU Northridge with an MA in 2005, and from CSU Long Beach with an MFA in creative writing, in 2007. I have been writing poetry for twenty years and feel that I am starting to do some of the best work of my career.” E-mail: jackbox1971[at]gmail.com