As a share for #NationalPoetryMonth, I figured I’d highlight a #poem from Playing Mad. This was, not typical for me, a fictional character sketch.  I imagined an old-time voodoo man from New Orleans, kind of pictured Dr. Facilier from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.

facilier

Fiddlesticks is a much more sinister version of my character Francois Prevost from Hexametyr.  Though, Francois remains a bit of a mystery. Perhaps if I ever get around to writing book V …


Fuddy-Duddy Fiddlesticks

for Jonny Five

 ~

 

The old Cajun wore a fedora

 

and a suitcoat over a v-neck tee

 

slacks with suspenders

 

loud argyle socks

 

and scuffed-up wingtips.

 

He was browned by the sun, and his mama.

 

He was halfrican with knappy hair

 

carried a harmonica in his jacket

 

and a bandana stuffed in his back pocket.

 

He drank no water, but sweat away bourbon,

 

Louisiana swelt, smelt like jambalaya.

 

  ~

 

Clop clip puck.

 

Clop clip puck.

 

His cane was style and utility,

 

the hoodlum boys called him Limpy.

 

But he ain’t never heard them sassings,

 

his tone was molasses.

 

Baritone saxophone

 

smooth like candied berries

 

sautéed in brown sugar over an old flame.

 

  ~

 

Clop clip puck.

 

Clop clip puck.

 

Like stalking goat hooves,

 

his balking days were done.

 

Throwing bones from a bowl

 

jazzy gaping tooths that clipped the tip

 

of home-rolled cigars.

 

Puff puff like a slow-rolling choo choo

 

Chaaaah, he says slumping into a rocker.

 

Front porch living, piping on his jaw harp,

 

bluesing away humid afternoons.

 

  ~

 

He knows that old magick

 

the one that Desiree loved.

 

It was music, man

 

it was the bayou in the backroom.

 

Under mossy cypress canopies,

 

Louisiana is his darling, through and through.

 

Missed her cooking most,

 

but used that magick harp

 

to rapture and draw them near.

 

Tea and bourbon, and lemon rinds

 

cool in a punchbowl, serve themselves

 

until the sweet girls make the lightpost papers.

 

  ~

 

But, no one suspect

 

old Fuddy-Duddy Fiddlesticks

 

could ever do what he do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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