Whole Foods

—Jim Russo
Man and Woman conversation, Woman speaks first

Excuse me…will you lick me down there?
I beg your pardon
Will you lick me down there? I saw you looking at me
Well, I don’t know. How long does that take, a good licking?
An hour or more
And you would have how many orgasms?
Oh, multiple, multiple orgasms
I see…I would expect reciprocity
Reciprocity, oh head…yes of course reciprocity
And how long does reciprocity last?
About ten minutes
That’s all, ten minutes?
Ten minutes or less
And I would have how many orgasms?
One
Well it’s no wonder you can’t find anyone to lick you down there
An hour or more and multiple orgasms
Ten minutes or less and one orgasm…that’s not very fair

 

Make Your Move

— Jim Russo

In the fifties and sixties he was a T.V. cowboy
He would show up on “The Virginian”, “Cheyenne”, “Bonanza”, “Wagon Train” or “Have Gun Will Travel”
He starred as Billy the Kid in his TV series “The Tall Men” with Pat Garrett played by Barry Sullivan
After many, many years of work as an actor and director in major films, Indy films and TV playing cowboys, Dads, detectives and bad guys
Twelve anxious actors were seated on metal folding chairs in a huge warehouse in downtown industrial LA
Clu Gulager was to have these dozen actors for six weeks, he offered an on- camera and on-location workshop, we had all been interviewed for admittance
We were facing a newly built wooden loft with bedroom and study up top and wide wooden stairs on the right coming down against the concrete wall, kitch-en, bath, laundry and office were on the ground floor
Clu entered from behind us and sits in a chair facing us, saying nothing, he gets up moves toward the stairs, stops, turns, swings around a post a few times, turns around again, goes up the stairs about four steps, stops and runs down to the bottom, runs to the top, runs half way down, back to the top and to the bottom, turns to caress a post wrapping around it like it’s a woman, stops and throws himself against the concrete wall, face flat pressing the surface, spread eagle, stretching arms high, he stops and turns and as he’s headed for that post again
That’s when I knew what was next
He was going to ask one of us to do exactly what he had done
And that someone was going to be me
He looked right at me and asked, “Were you paying attention? Then do it.”
I thought I did it ok
I wanted to be perfect but all he said was, “Not bad, a little dyslexic”
I might have missed one or two hunches against the wall but not much more
Or so I thought
After I finished, everyone applauded
A few nights later we all went to downtown L.A, to First Street; Angelinos didn’t go to First Street at night
We were to perform rehearsed scenes, six couples, some in costume
We were told to come during the day and choose our locations
All walking together to the next location, in front of a dive bar and then asked to leave by the intoxicated patrons, then onto the park, drug deals going on all around us
Clu fearlessly leading the way
Earlier that afternoon at French’s Book Store on Sunset
I was looking for another scene from any play to perform for Clu
My jacket was open and my T-shirt was readable and
Mr. Spock was grinning from across the room
Lenard Nimoy grinning at my black T-shirt with large white print that read “FUCK OFF and DIE” You knew he was a poet, right?
I smiled back, zipped up my leather jacket, got on my 650, went home and wrote a scene for two guys
Called what’s his name, we rehearsed it a few times and we were ready for Clu’s camera
The scene was a hostage situation; a neighborhood kid doing another stupid thing
He kidnapped circus people traveling through town, the sword swallower, the bearded lady and the lion tamer, he has a gun
I play the character of the detective called out at three-thirty in the morning because he knows the kid
The detective is shot and killed because I wanted to play a death scene
I fall into a pile of plastic chairs and they scatter everywhere
Clu created menacing shadows by twisting a chair in front of the floor lights
My knees buckle, fighting to stand up, fall to the floor, while trying to dig two bullets out of my chest, using my fingers, shouting No! No! No!
I die in disbelief

 

Barbara Lee

— Jim Russo

August in Greenville outside Jackson Mississippi
A still, windless, hot, thick afternoon in the south
A pretty barefoot teenage girl swings in a tire
Humming a tune, dreaming of someplace else
When she should be cleaning the barn
She clicks her heels and lands in North Beach
Who’s the new cute ticket girl at the Palace Theatre?
She looks like Doris Day and talks funny
A big pretty smile and light blue eyes
On a dare she tried out for Miss North Beach, swim suit pictures and all
Then she found the one, a tall local blond blue eyed Sicilian
He was paralyzed by her southern cooking and her southern charm
They were a team, five kids and seven decades
Her houses, her farms, her trees, her pampered gardens
Grandchildren close
Hands that never stopped once, always someone’s baby on her hip
You had to love her cynicism and colorful language, her front door was always open
Many, many people enjoyed and raved about her cooking and baking
Outside her kitchen window a tire swung from an apple tree

 

Officer Joe (My Day)

— Jim Russo

Let me tell you about my day

I usually walk for about two hours each day to get away from my computer

Today I decided to walk in the forest

I decided to take some new trails and yes I got lost

So four and a half hours later I was back at my car and boy do my feet hurt

I wanted to find the old growth redwoods in the forest

Wide trails became narrow trails used by horses but I did find five old growth redwood trees

All I could say when taking in their majesty was Magnifico, Magnifico, Magnifico

Something the early Spaniards might have said when first seeing these giant trees

The tops were way above the canopy showing new yellow green growth from our wet winter

The forest floor is covered with ferns, thick with green healthy ferns

I took a few new growth leaves from the base of the redwood

I crushed them in my fingers, putting my fingers under my nose, closing my eyes listening to the silence, the quiet, trying to put out of my mind the bad news of the last few weeks, the killings, being still only hearing the satin waters rolling and falling over smooth rocks far below

Smelling the redwoods vanes, the new life with eyes closed I remembered a friend I use to read with in San Francisco, a poet named Carlos Ramirez

One night when it was his turn to read, he said instead of reading a poem, he wanted to tell us about his day

Carlos was a teacher of young people and that day he was assigned playground supervisor, which he wasn’t particularly happy about

He noticed an older man hanging out in the school yard, so he went over to introduce himself

It turned out the old man was a retired SFPD, Officer Joe a man who never had a family, a man who was the beat-cop for thirty-five years in that neighborhood

He knew all the kids, their parents, their grandparents and all the merchants; he had walked those neighborhood streets and lived in the neighborhood for years

He was telling Carlos that he had bought and donated all the athletic equipment the kids were playing with in the playground and he came every afternoon to show the kids how to shoot a hook shot or how to play tetherball or pushed the little girls on the swings

Carlos was tearing up as he told this story reminding us of the good policemen in our lives, Officer Joe

While standing there in the forest listening to the silence, smelling those young redwood leaves

A thought occurred to me, which I want to assign to all of you listening to me right now, each day I ask you to; in conversations, in emails use the word PEACE three times each day

Thank you and the late Carlos thanks you too

 

 

Laura

—Jim Russo

Are you waiting for me to find you?

I haven’t seen you since the bombs

Bombs that killed people we knew all our lives

Where are you I don’t know, are you hurt I don’t know?

Searching hallways and lobbies, trying not to stare at the wounded

Are you waiting for me to find you?

Looking  for a familiar fabric, a color from home

Laura, oh Laura where are you my darling, please be safe?

It’s been hours since I saw you, so many bombs, so many bombs

There’s no home to go home to my darling

Our house is gone, our street is gone

Are you waiting for me to find you?

When will this end, when will this stop, when will the killing stop?

Laura, Laura where are you, did you run away?

Did you escape?

Are your scratches healed?

Did you wash in the river with mint shampoo?

Wash your dress and put flowers in your hair

Are you waiting for me to…

Laura, oh Laura where are you?

 

Fill Out the Form

—Jim Russo

 

Yes I checked all the boxes
Yes I left one thing out
I don’t tell anyone about that
I would really prefer not to
Can we just move on?
You could say it’s medical
I don’t want to talk about it
It’s none of your damn business
Well….since you insist on knowing…
I have two penises
All women say that, “Let me see”
See, I told you
There’s one and…there’s the other one
No, I can only show you one at a time

 

Don’t Shoot

—Jim Russo

 

Please stop killing children in the streets

We should honor black men and women

You European, Latino, Anglo, Asian
motherfuckers don’t know shit

All the feet walking this planet are descendants
of black tribesmen who left the Serengeti

It was the black man who would populate all
continents

The black man nurtured man to this twenty first
century

Please stop killing children in the streets

We should be honoring black men and women

Featured Reader, July 2015

 Jim Russo was the featured reader of the WGPP July meet.  Christine Richardson had this to say of him by means of introduction:

Tonight’s featured reader has been a frequent participant in the open mic portion of our Third Thursday evenings and a faithful contributor to our blog. But Jim Russo has not made the trek over the Santa Cruz Mountains for several months. We now know the reason. As he stated in the bio announcing his reading, Jim has been working the posterior region of his body very hard,  actually, he claims, of , in order to publish 3 chapbooks ready for his presentation tonight. And now  he will be the lucky recipients of his grueling, body reduction workout, or rather, output. Jim was  born in San Francisco and migrated down the coast to Santa Cruz County in the early 60’s. I guess you  would say he was born for the stage, whether acting in plays, some of which he wrote himself in order to act in them, or in front of a microphone reading his poetry. Poetry, Jim says, is his expression of ­choice. Its relative brevity and directness align with his temperament: says what he has to say and moves on.

He is a narrative poet, and his new works are part memoir, part criticism. Jim lives his life boldly and confronts the world he lives in with the same vigor and challenge.

Please join me in welcoming Jim Russo.

Cyborg Penis

—Jim Russo

…dedicated to the men and women engineers of Silicon Valley

It’s rumored that Cyborgs will be joining our species soon
They will originate from here, from Silicon Valley
Created with superior cognitive speed and unlimited intellect
Programmed with faultless predictability of outcomes, whatever subject
But big venture capitalists money is waiting for something special
The first Cyborg Penis
That’s the Holy Grail of the Santa Clara Valley
Those are the whispers over glasses of Chardonnay
Who’s going to be the first with an operating Cyborg Penis?
Of course the mandatory requirements for operation are known
The Cyborg Penis must vibrate, rotate, expand and contract
It must contain multiple LED colored lights and an inconspicuous
temperature setting
When the first Cyborg Penis implants are fitted
It will be bye-bye to vibrators and welcome to a whole new world

 

Bad News

— Jim Russo

An actor friend in Monterey told me about the audition

Etha Gray, the writer and director, said as soon as she saw me walking up the sidewalk; “I was exactly what she wanted”

I would be the only white guy in her play; the other dozen actors were all black from sixteen to sixty

“House Built Upon Sand”, Etha’s play, was about the damage illegal drugs do to a community and young lives

KSBW TV came to our rehearsal that afternoon and shot a promo of our opening to air on that night’s six o’ clock news

Our whole cast crowded into a small room with a small TV and we waited to watch our promo

The lead story that night was the acquittal of the cops that beat Rodney King, the cops that started the Los Angeles riots

Six days of looting, arson, vandalism, fifty three people killed, over two thousand injured, over eleven thousand arrests

To stop the riots it took the National Guard, Marines, 7th Infantry, Federal Agents and LAPD

It was then that I realized, I was the only one in the room shocked and angry at the outcome

It was at that moment that I felt their weight, the weight of an ancestry of injustice

Injustice that lives only inside those born into it

Someone said, “We’re always wishing, wishing that one day, will be our day”

Groundhog Day

— Jim Russo

It was a wonderful spring day, the sun was warm, with little wind

San Francisco was awakening to the outdoors

The park was lush with damp grass and puddles

A bone chilling wind stinging like chards of glass comes off the bay

Sprinting up the hill, over the top and through the park

A salty cold ocean of Neptune’s breathe

The cypress and pine trees were cheering and applauding

Then it was gone

The locals had their favorite spots, a view of down town, the beach or the wharf

I pushed you on the swing

Your laugh, your smell, I wanted you forever

We had planned to get married on “Ground Hog Day” but something came up

“Why not today, Valentine’s Day”?

“OK fine”

On our way to City Hall with the top down

I picked up a bouquet of spring flowers on Polk for my bride

It was like a Perry Mason court room with a pretty girl typing beyond the low railing

The judge was in chambers

There were other couples waiting along with friends and family

They were eying her flower, they were begging, it was embarrassing

I just mentioned twice that the pretty girl beyond the low railing looked familiar

My bride went ballistic, “DID YOU SLEEP WITH HER TOO!” “I DON’T REMEMBER!”

I gathered up the flowers, calmed her down and later the pretty girl my cousin, was our witness
 

Calamity Jane

— Jim Russo

I have rights, just cause I’m drunk, I have rights.
If I want to swim in my three foot . . . dough boy in my front yard
On my inner tube with my floppy hat and my beer
Fuck it . . . I have rights

(My software just told me to capitalize Fuck . . . hell anyone can write these days.)

My toe nails sure got long
Yeah! Hey a bus . . . hi everybody, all you bus riders . . . cheers!
Get out of that bus, don’t go to the city . . . stay, swim and drink beer
You’ll learn, you’ll see drinking isn’t just for the weekends anymore
You have rights, I have rights damn it
Take my job, take my wife, take my house
Take my dough boy . . . you sons a bitches
I’m a good swimmer, today I’m a good swimmer
C’mon in and get me officer, c’mon in fucker

Hey! What’s your dog’s name?
Can he swim? C’mon Rex jump in here!
You too, jump in, what’s your name?
You’re pretty . . . jump on in here, get wet, cool off
Want a beer?
I’ll get you your own inner tube, here and here’s a beer
That’s the spirit, shorts and all
I’m calling you Calamity Jane . . . here’s to you Calamity Jane
Say, I’m really like n’ your wet t-shirt
No don’t leave, no Rex don’t go, don’t go Calamity Jane
Take the towel go ahead
My wife left with the realtor
The bank’s taking my house . . . fuck it go ahead
Yeah, that’s the truth . . . you want to spend the night? Why?
Well jump back into my dough boy Calamity Jane, have another beer, c’mon Rex
 

Oil

— Jim Russo

I can’t take it anymore
I know what will happen to me
I know they are listening
I know they will read this

My children will never play in the sunshine
They will never know what a farm was
They will never visit the seashore
They will never leave the house without their masks

We should have fought harder
We should have not cared so much about our stuff
We knew the truth, we knew it was wrong
We were such cowards, self centered cowards

Wind farms, solar farms, we could have fought harder
We saw the wars
We knew soldiers who died
We knew they were lying

Big New Tits

— Jim Russo

Bill had always been a dull guy with dull ideas
Wendy had always been a dull girl with dull ideas
Mature Bill adapted the current style but went unnoticed
Mature Wendy bought big new tits and was noticed
Bill had always been a dull guy with dull ideas
Wendy had always been a dull girl with dull ideas
Mature Bill talked fast, asked many stupid questions and was avoided
Mature Wendy talked fast, asked many stupid questions and held her shoulders back
Big new tits are never dull
Bill killed himself

K Street Report 2028

— Jim Russo

We interrupt everything for the monthly K Street report from Washington.

K Street Energy Director announced today the demand for oil has reached an all time high. New estimates are three years before the moratorium on new births can be lifted.

K Street Food Zar announced today that the production of the Orange Pill will resume. Tests indicate that the loss of life is at acceptable levels. The White Dinner Pill can be followed by the new Green Evening Pill after a wait of three hours.

K Street Agency on Habitat announced today that last month’s record heat at the equator resulted in the loss of four and a half million lives.

K Street Agency of Development announced today that due to increased arrests of domestic terrorists by homeland security, the inmate labor pool continues to grow and the completion of underground housing for another half million service sector workers is ahead of schedule.

K Street Health Minister announced today, New Breathing Mask technology has increased life expectancy of young Americans. Testing will increase on improving adult skin protectors.

K Street Financial Zar announced today, three eastern countries agreed to the U.S. Corporate Management Act . . . . U.S. charges and fees will enable some Americans to return from volunteer exile at the Arctic Circle.

K Street Health Treatment Center has announced today that suicide numbers have been reduced due to the success of the Blue Pill. The center will continue to revise music selections directed at cerebral implants.

K Street Atmospheric Director announced today that maximum exterior daylight exposure will be reduced to three hours. This will reduce skin lesions and blindness, especially to our aging population.

From The Mouth Of Babes

— Jim Russo

Grandpa, Grandpa I got an A++ on my science report!
That’s great Nickey, tell me how does a fifth grader get an A++?
What did you write honey?
Remember when you told me that story of when you took my Daddy fishing
      in North Dakota?
And how it’s the windiest state
And remember when you told me that New Mexico is always sunny,
     all year long?
My idea is, we build big,big, huge winds farms in North Dakota and we build
     big, big, huge solar farms in New Mexico
And while we’re building these, we build a big, big, huge new electric grid
     coast to coast
And we can build all new electric busses, trains, cars and trucks
That way we can put everybody back to work; we’ll make all this new jobs
We can do it all in ten years if we all work together, like when we put a man
     on the moon
We can charge everybody ten dollars a month for ten years and pay for it
And after we pay for it, all our energy will be free and clean…everybody’s forever
Then we can make things cheaper and keep jobs here in America…with
     no energy costs
And then we don’t have to have wars for oil or use…dirty oil, coal or gas
I don’t look pretty wearing a breathing mask Grandpa…
Or send our Daddys to war
Nickey, Im so proud of you, I love you
Your Daddy would be so proud of you
I miss him so much Grandpa
I miss him too honey, everyday