This collection has been hanging out on my bedside table for months, read in little pieces until ﬁnally this week I decided it would not be renewed again. I picked it up in the midst of the Desecheo Notebook (circa 1971), a semi-diary. In some ways her poetry can at times chronicle speciﬁc time periods and feel very similar to her published journals, Strange Big Moon, which I failed to get through earlier this year. But this collection spans so many decades that it doesn’t get so bogged down in the every day. I love her sense of humor and physical shapes of her lines.
Lynn doesn’t want to miss the full moon tonight
As she saw it last night
As she saw it last night an hour
At 8:30 settled on the Wharf Road Beach
in the early dusk
with a bottle of special
Tequila Lynn has provided for the ceremonius occasion.
“We” are Donaldo, Bill, Lynn, me, & Tom the Eskimo man.
Earlier we had picked up Tom,
the Eskimo man
and Donaldo was surprised to ﬁnd
that he wasn’t an Eskimo
But an Englishman.
On the Beach we ﬁnally get in the right
seated positions next to each other. Make up
Haikus about full moon. Bet on
where it will come up: empty beer cans
And watch the boat anchored out in the bay
It seems to be gayly decked with lights.
We fantasize to wile away the minutes to moonrise time,
sipping the ceremonial tequila
that it is a gambling boat
with men in white jackets
and ladies in evening gowns. An elegant
evening of entertainment out there
while we sit straining for moon to rise
Bill is starting to get impatient.
I think he is going to hail a Taxi at any moment
on the empty sand beach
I hear a strangled cry from Lynn
down the beach.
I think she is being sucked up in quick sand.
Rising up over San Francisco!
Further south than we had ever dreamed.
And Moon is orange, then with a black band across
like a pool ball or Moon in mourning And Moon
has a perfect face Like Man in the moon
And then Moon’s
water touched lights reach across the channel to us
and there is Moon Head and Moon Body and each of us
sits or stands at the feet of Moon.
I ﬁnd out the boat that kept us docked in our places
watching the minutes away to moonrise
was a German freighter
which having unloaded its cargo of coﬀee in Oakland
was anchored out there a few days waiting
for orders to move
—named TEQUILA MOONSHINE
Light Touched Waters