Beneath an August Moon – Andrew Mellon High


Andrew Mellon High




my junior year
I’d walk the ten blocks down sycamore lined streets
past Zeppo the Taylor’s and the pizza parlor
across to the old brick schoolhouse

where I met the bubbly Junior
who made it her call to round up every new kid in school
and introduce them to her Lonely Hearts Club

“Hi!” she smiled as I stood
detached from the mythic dance
of the crowded schoolyard
“My name’s Kitty”

I suspected a come on—but this skinny gal
looked harmless enough

“I’m getting everyone who looks new in school
together at table six; would you like to come sit with us?”
“Yeah, why not?” and over to the cafeteria
where I met two more single Simons:

a toothy pimple-faced Sal Mineo

her greeting was aggressive
maybe she was nervous—“Good ta know ya!” she snarled
friendly enough—in a hard Brooklyn accent

I laughed nervously looking
to Kitty for help

then one day she wore a dress
and not her usual bell-bottom jeans
as she finished up her homework
(for a part time job after school)
her legs crossed angelic under
the lunchroom table
I saw the woman
—not the child

or maybe it was when we stood together in the lunch line
when I saw across the top of her midnight blue hair
each strand so vivid beneath
the fluorescent lights

by that summer we were in my room
listening to music and
making love


Beneath an August Moon – Clarence






Clarence Moss was a conductor on the B&O
always full of useless tips
on relationships;
love affairs

he had the hots for a certain girl
I knew, and warned me “Don’t you doubt it
one day that girl and I, well—you know”

but you’re married, I thought remembering my
long afternoons with the woman
of his dreams

as the train haggled the rickety tracks
past Seaside Beach into St Paul’s
a safe arrival at the terminal
I assured him there was
nothing to sweat;
that scene was
just a figment
of the summer
—smoke and steam
she would soon see other
guys (Clarence being one of them)

Beneath an August Moon – But the Blues



But the Blues




the blues.
marked with the bitter bruises
of heartbreak’s melancholic muse
Vincent’s blackbirds sent to darken
a golden sky, crowing love’s loss strewn
on the dandelion lawns of summer,
as the princess of my childhood,
wildhood, said “Adieu”

Beneath an August Moon – Chorus






It was not so long ago that I fell in love with you.
I didn’t realize I was entering a world of broken-heartache blues.

I was so young I couldn’t see
the fool I would become when you told me
“Love is like a flower, and must be picked
while it’s in bloom.”

I cried the nights away, and choked on misery,
while you went riding with your angel out of hell,
and away from me.

Oh, how could one man take so much pain;
and not end up scattered on the sidewalks
in the pouring rain?

I got the spontaneous heartbreak blues;
when you opened the door and handed me my shoes;
and an ear full of second thoughts
and sweet adieus…

I  got the spontaneous heartbreak blues;
and a barrel full of uncountable shoes;
with holes in the bottoms
from walking these riverside rues.

And so the story goes;
like all sad stories I suppose.
I could not see how one man’s dreams;
the facts could slap him in the face so cold.

I  ran up and down the streets calling out your name;
I stammered and stuttered and shuddered in shame;
and I climbed that bridge to the waters of escape,
but I knew it could only bring
tears of joy to you.

I  got the spontaneous heartbreak blues;
and I  shook my fist at that big yellow moon;
that hung like a bare light bulb,
above this August loon.

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