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Three Poems

David Trinidad

Hockney: Blue Pool

Los Angeles,
a summer afternoon.
One boy sunbathes
on a yellow towel
beside the pool;
another stands
at the end of
the diving board,
gazing downward.
Palm trees sway
in the blue water.
Overhead, a few
clouds float by.
To the right,
sprinklers lightly
spray the green
lawn. The sunbather
slips off his red
and white striped
swimsuit and rolls
over; the other
boy dives into the
pool. The artist
snaps a photograph
of the splash.

Sunday Evening

Back from Boston,
Ira and I listen
to a tape of Anne Sexton
reading her poems—
part of my $87.00 binge
at the Grolier Book Shop
in Harvard Square.
Ira likes her “smoky” voice,
which is interrupted
by the kettle’s shrill whistle.
I go into the kitchen
and prepare our tea:
Cranberry Cove for Ira,
Mellow Mint for me.
We sip, smoke and listen
to Anne. Toward the end
of the tape, Ira unpacks
the little black bag
of Godiva chocolates
and, one by one, eats
a butterscotch-filled coat
of arms, a light brown starfish
and a gold-foiled cherry cordial.
He chews and smiles.
I regret that I ate all
of mine on the train.
But wait! He offers me
his last one (which he
makes me earn with kisses):
a dark chocolate heart.

Things to Do in Valley of the Dolls (The Movie)

Move to New York.
Lose your virginity.
Become a star.
Send money to your mother.

Call pills “dolls.”
Fire the talented newcomer.
Have a nervous breakdown.
Suffer from an incurable degenerative disease.

Sing the theme song.
Do your first nude scene.
Wear gowns designed by Travilla.
Become addicted to booze and dope.

Scream “Who needs you!”
Stagger around in a half-slip and bra.
Come to in a sleazy hotel room.
Say “I am merely traveling incognito.”

Get drummed out of Hollywood.
Come crawling back to Broadway.
Pull off Susan Hayward’s wig
and try to flush it down the toilet.

End up in a sanitarium.
Hiss “It wasn’t a nuthouse!”
Get an abortion.
Go on a binge.

Detect a lump in your breast.
Commit suicide.
Make a comeback.

[These three poems, written in 1989, were published in David Trinidad’s book Answer Song (High Risk Books/Serpent’s Tail, 1994).]