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Earl in Upheaval - Earl LeClaire

When I lost sixty-seven pounds
and bought that mohair jacket
with the handsewn lapels,
the Van Huesen shirt,
appropriate tie, Hagar slacks,
the silk, paisley boxers, black,
knee-high support hose, garters
and tasseled loafers
the color of creamed coffee,
I made a real commitment to the new me.

I purchased a Volvo
with matching air-bags.
A white,leather couch,
companion loveseat and a genuine
Persian rug to put them on.
Found a classic Beamer.
I got my teeth fixed. Implants.
Top of the line.
Joined the Hair Club for Men.
I pulled down the Dave Best monoprint,
the one with the Madonna, Christ and skulls.
Put up travel posters.
An English Countryside.
A German castle.
A Safe Harbor in Spain.

I moved my son and his music into the garage.
Built him his own bathroom.
Gave away the Coltrane,
the John Zorn
and the Elliot Sharp Tapes.
Burned the Social Dogs.
Took up with Inya and Kitaro.
Sounds of the Seashore.

I banished the Blue Heeler to a pen in the yard.
Brought home a toy schnauser named, Alice.
Best of Breed.
Changed my diet.

Gave up day-old coffee for herbal teas.
Cleared the refrigerator of all meats.
Eighty-sixed the Stilton Blue and the Brie.
The Half and Half.
Replaced them with Rella and Rice Dream.
Stocked in strange vegatables: arugala, jicima,
mesclin salad mix, baby bok choy.
Sold off the unfiltered Coturi Zin.
Laid in a supply of Evian.

Got rid of the guns:
the over & under Winchester .12 guage,
the 9 mic-mic SigSauer,
fourteen in the clip, one in the chamber,
the sweet, smooth shoulder holster,
the ammunition.
Signed up for Akidio.
Bowed to O Sensei three hours a week.
I threw away the race results and the morning line.
Took to reading The New Yorker,
The Wall Street Journal,
Dow/Jones Averages,NASDAQ.
Had a cellular phone installed in the BMW.
Took speech lessons.
Studied a foreign language.
My diction elegant.
My pronunciation perfect.
My vocabulary laced with French: pate`,
les Miserable, eau d'toilet.
I joined the Wheel People.
Pugueot 21 speed.
Snappy helmet.
I went to a channeler.
Got in touch with my past life.
Ming Po. Chinese Emperor.
Benevolent Ruler Absoute!
But of course I expected nothing less.
Went to a holistic healer.
Bach Flowers.
Ball-bearings in my ears.
Massage and understanding.
Enzyeme baths.
Therapy to touch the child within.
Became childish but not child-like.
Organized a men's sensativity group.
Gave up profanity.
Learned to cry.
I listened sympathetically to my wife and women.
Venery became a thing of the past.
I began to smile a lot.

Then it all came crashing down.
Not all at once.
Took at least a day and a half.
It began with the well-dressed woman
standing in line at the EastWest Cafe
waiting for her double, double decaff latte,
with cinnimon and dark Swiss chocolate,
complaining about the quality of her life.
Certainly it had something to do
with the news from Somolia and Serievjo;
the reactor leak at Kiev,
the Washington Punks in their pin-stiped suits
and power ties.
Basic Instincts.
Whatever and All.
I reverted.

I reverted back
to black tee-shirts and jeans.
Dangling earring.
I apologized to my son.
Wrestled him to a draw
while playing Zappa and Reggae,
I let the Heeler back inside.
The last we saw of the schnauser
was it's ass at the end of my foot.
I bought a box of hand rolled Havanas.
I shot skeet off the back porch,
swearing and buck-naked.
Scared the B-Jesus out of the realtor
and the prospective buyers for the house next door.
Tracked mud across the living room floor.
Spent a night with my wife
on a sand bar
in the middle of the river,
under the twelve moons of Jupiter.
We found the Keystone and the Crown.
Traced Draco.
Fingered the Andromidea.
I swilled dago-red by the buckets.
Wrote long involved letters
to friends in prison and insane asylems,
and to those less fortunate
living Winsor and Rohnert Park.
I reread Dennis Johnson. Robert Stone.
Bukowski. John Hawks. Malcom Lowery.
Norman Hindley. Diane Wakowski.
Ruth Weiss. Bob Kaufman. Lucas Shepard.
Balzac. Russell Hoban.
Shelley and Yeats.
I studied Richard Hugo's,
"What thou Lovest Well Remains American."
Brady T. Brady's,
"Making Things Work", and "One Man's Meat".
I reworked my own stuff.
I put art back up on the walls.
My wife's prints in the living room,
the kitchen, the studio, the hall.
Denny Moer photographs,
a pastel by Stacia Limon,
an assembalage by Best,
photographs of all the kids.
Brought the Karma Sutra Oils, Body Paints,
and Sal Guardino's erotic etchings
back into the bedroom.
I wrecked the Beamer.
Totaled the Volvo.
Invited half a million people over for a cookout.
We grilled venison steaks.
Roasted a racoon.
Rabbit. Oppossum. Squirrel.
No more than a few hours old.
Smothered them with onions
and barbeque sauce.
I danced like a Gypsy,
howled like a lunatic,
gave thanks to Whatever and All
because Jesus,
Joseph, Mary and Hallalujah,
it sure was a close one.