White Elephant Afternoon
This is the room where Jim Morrison slept
the night he fell off the roof, she imparted,
sprawled on her bed at Chateau Marmont.
The man listened, rapt while she expounded
on insider’s trivia about Tinseltown life.
He stood on the balcony slicing a peach
with his pocketknife, wolfing succulent fruit.
Poolside girls watching him asked
Who is that guy with the SoCal tan?
Who is he hiding inside that room?
She’d checked into this secluded retreat
craving a weekend out of public view.
He tagged along, duped into paying the tab
on her luxurious suite. She’d hoped
he would abandon his expensive pursuit.
But he would tolerate any cost to be seen
and have his picture snapped with her.
He savored the glitz, the glamour
of this legendary site where Hollywood
stars hid out in decadent costume.
You remind me so much of Agnes Lum,
he quipped, boring her with his mindless
prattle. She swirled a blue-ice mimosa,
plotted ways to get rid of him, and slowly
straightened the seams of her fishnets.
Suzi rides the Long Island rail
each Saturday into the city,
perpetuates the myth of living
in Manhattan – something she
can never afford. Just the same,
she calls herself a citizen of its streets,
walks Penn Station to Fifth Avenue,
shares the people’s palpable pulse.
First stop is always Market Deli
where Mo and Sammy serve up
salad or sandwich of the day.
Suzi buys tickets to Broadway
matinees, or takes in the latest
exhibit at the Met or MOMA.
Winter she dons blades, skates
the rink at Rockefeller Center.
Her last stop is always Fig & Olive
for dinner and a farewell beer.
Suzi writes postcard-lies to family
and friends back in Bossier City,
then dozes on the train ride home.
She dreams she resides in a penthouse
over the Hudson, the city’s sparkling
lights gracing her with its million
Travis Blair lives down the road from the University of Texas campus in Arlington where he earned his BA in English Lit. After a lengthy career in the movie business, he took up writing poetry. Author of three books, Train to Chihuahua, Little Sandwiches, and Hazy Red and Diesel Grey, his poems have also appeared in literary journals throughout the United States, England, and Australia. Former President of Dallas Poets Community and a member of the Writers League of Texas, his poem â€œBlack & White Photo of Mom, 1942,â€ is nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. He has two daughters, five grandchildren, and hides from them frequently in Manhattan and MazatlÃ¡n.