thanks Part One

thanks to all those drivers
from 1954 to 1968
who didn't crash into either
my daddy's or my mother's
seatbeltless cars;
thanks to all those deadly
childhood illnesses
that stayed away from my door;
thanks to all the girls
who flat turned me down
in junior high and
in high school,
you taught me humility;
thanks to all the catholic priests
that I knew as a boy
who didn't make me stroke them;
thanks to Len Roberts
and Bob Gilkey
and Bob Johnson,
who all nurtured a young writer
and believed in me;
thanks to all the slimy, smarmy
characters that I have slipped past,
for not knifing me in some alley;
thanks to the Jamaican police
for taking all the money
out of my wallet, and then
letting us board our flight home;
thanks to David Halperin,
whose dive off the top of his
19-story dormitory in 1972
taught the 18-year-old me that
I was not, in fact,
immortal or unbreakable;
thanks to so many drinking
and drugging buddies
over the years, for not leaving
me for dead;
thanks to Karen Harvey Crook
for showing me my first naked
female breasts;
thanks to Howard Stern
for sticking with me when we
tried our first mushrooms
on Halloween in 1974,
stumbling all over the Back Bay;
thanks to Tammy Fukushima's husband,
for not finding out that I was banging
his hooker wife and killing me
in the alley behind our
apartment building on Westmoreland
in 1977;
thanks to Manuel Garcia,
for letting me hold on to that
.44 magnum to ward off muggers;
thanks to all the women who dodged me,
dumped me, doubted me, damned me,
and divorced me, over the years
you put me in position to find
the love of my life in February of 2009;
thanks to Dana Pangaro,
with whom, at 17, I smoked my first joint --
dude, neither one of us made it
to the staff of the New York Times
in ten years, but hey, whatafuckingride
thanks to Buk,
for showing me how to make a poem seem,
and to Billy,
for showing me how to make a poem gleam;
thanks to the Boston Red Sox
of 1974, 1975 and 1976,
who helped me understand
the concept of hope;
thanks to Jacques Futrelle,
whose work helped me learn
how to solve mysteries;
thanks to Grampa and Daddy,
for teaching me carpentry
and a zillion other things;
thanks to Nancy Lou Jackson,
for fucking me so silently
and yet so perfectly on the floor
of her parents guest room in 1977,
and then for cheating on me in 1979,
but still taking me to see Bill Cosby
at the Filene Center for my birthday;
thanks to Robin Lee Stinnett Williams Smith Lomax
for sharing a house with me for almost a year
before she lured me into a shower with her;
thanks to whatshername,
who bought my first house from me,
enabling me to buy my second house,
and to the Unnikrishnans (who could forget
that one?) for buying my second house
from me, and to the Thomases for buying
my fourth house from me (the third one
went in divorce #1), enabling me
to be homeless;
thanks to my first wife,
who swallowed,
and my second wife,
who would not --
you both taught me
important lessons about love,
trust, and fidelity;
thanks to John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
who first inspired me to
political activism, and
public service,
and to his kid brother, Bobby,
who helped me refine
my sense of obligation
to my fellows, and his
kid brother, Teddy,
who helped me to understand
how helping those less fortunate
made me more fortunate;
thanks to William Shakespeare,
for showing me how words
can be strung together in infinite
ways, evoking every emotion
that the human being knows;
thanks to John Updike,
for showing me how succinct prose
can paint a picture,
and to Philip Roth,
for showing me how elaborate
description can paint one as well;

I have run out of energy tonight,
and you, dear reader, have run out
of attention, so
we will continue this,
another day;
there is much more to be
thankful for, as you will see.

February 23, 2010.

Copyright © 2010, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment