Saturday, April 28, 2018

Poems and Photography By David J. Thompson

David J. Thompson is a poet, photographer, and world traveler.

Sweet Monkey Love

My new girlfriend invited me
over to her place for the first time
Saturday night. We drank a chilled gallon
of homemade banana wine, gradually
moved closer to each other on the couch
while we watched Tarzan of The Apes,
the old one in grainy black and white
with the great Johnny Weissmuller
and the lovely Maureen O’Sullivan.
When it ended my new girlfriend sat
on my lap, read passages out loud
from Jane Goodall’s diary to me.
I was about to explode when she put
the book down on the coffee table,
asked me if I was ready to move
somewhere a lot more comfortable.
All I could do was nod and take
a last long swallow of yellow wine.
She kissed me on the neck, whispered
something in my ear about sweet monkey love,
then led me by the hand toward her bedroom.
I hope you’re ready for this, Tarzan, she said.
It’s going to be a jungle in there.

Bumper Doll photography by David J. Thompson

Impala photography by David J. Thompson

Leave The Light On

Man overboard! my girlfriend yelled.
Man overboard! I woke up, switched
on the light and shook her by the shoulder.
Wake up, honey, I said. You’re having
a bad dream. She opened her eyes,
then quickly put her arms around me.
Yes, she whispered. It was awful.
I was on a ship and it was real sunny
and in the glare I watched a guy
slowly take off his hat and jacket
and put them neatly on a deck chair.
Then he walked over to the railing,
gave me a little smile and a wave
and jumped over the side. That’s all
I remember. He just seemed so calm
that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I didn’t know what to do except scream.

I told her that everything was fine now,
it was just a nightmare. Her arms relaxed
behind my neck, and she asked me
to leave the light on, and to get her a glass
of warm milk. Sure, I said as I swung out
of bed, but no more reading Hart Crane
before bed, ok? I promise, she answered.
I really don’t understand his poetry anyway.

Georgia photography by David J. Thompson

Covered In Blood

My dad never said much,
never heard him laugh
out loud, or saw him cry.
He worked at Sing Sing Prison
his whole career, operated
the electric chair most of that time.

A few days after he died
my moother had me go through
a cardboard box of his stuff
to see if there was anything I wanted.
There wasn’t much; I picked out
his Navy discharge papers,
his high school ring, some yellowed
snapshots of him in a baseball uniform.
I picked up a white hand towel from
the bottom of the box, showed it
to my mom, said it must be there by mistake.
No, she said, that’s the towel he used
after he washed his hands before
he ate lunch at the house, always,
you remember, the same –a sandwich,
an apple, and a glass of milk - on June 19, 1953.
I asked her why the hell she remembered
such a specific date and she frowned,
said it was the day he executed the Rosenbergs,
Julius and poor, poor Ethel. When I found it,
she explained, after your father went back
to work that afternoon, it was covered in blood.
I handed it to her, asked how she got it so clean.
It wasn’t easy, she said holding it up to the light.
I tried everything over the years, but nothing worked
until I finally tried washing it with my tears.

Illinois photography by David J. Thompson

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