Dotty Parker’s Parakeet (a trilogy)

3 02 2010


i.
Dreamt that I saw Lenny Bruce
Standing at Bourbon & Toulouse
and alla his jokes were hanging out
like tongues on roller blades.

Behind the scrolling wrought-iron grills
Flower pots on window sills
a no doubt real stoned comedy
why am I not laughing, then.?

Why am I not laughting, then?
This Hero wants his heroin(e)
it’s no matter; what the deuce
we’re all at Bourbon & Toulouse

ii.

(Imaginary dialogue between Charlie Parker and Dorothy Parker)

D. Sitting at the big round in the Algonk and your name came up.

C. Say baby, I love the way you wiggle in those high heels

D. Seriously, they say you are on the leading edge of your art.

C. I’m boppin, Dots. Why don’t we go down to The Street an I’ll buy you a gin and tonic.

D. Can I call you Birdy?

C. You don’t think people would talk?

D. Long as they spell our names right.

C. But you get to walk in the front door; I have to come in the back.

D. I always say that girls who wear glasses have superior asses.

C. Tha’s jazz baby.

D. Mr Parker, I hear you play in synchopated time.

C. Mrs. Parker, you got moxie; I like yo rhymes.

D. Mr. Parker, you’re a credit to your race.

C. Mrs Parker, I’d like to lick the rouge offa yo’ face.

D. That’s a flattering bulge. I understand you indulge.

C. never said that stuff made me play better
just makes me feel better.

D. Is art because of our lives or in spite of them?

C. Let me lick your reed, dahlin.

D. I hate men. They make me feel so good.

C. Let me tell you about feelin good. You don’t need men; you don’t need women.

D. You’re talking about being at the end of a gunbarrel or a hypo or one of those dreadful proud snakes standing like a cobra.

C. Well, if you are gonna be on your knees I want it to be in sucklipation not supplication.

D. Mr. Parker, that’s jazz.

iii.

if we drank a quart of rum one night
we could get into a terrible fight
you sing alto and I’ll sing the basis
kisses and bruises all over our faces
I know you don’t believe in astrology
and as to the shelf life of your apology
it might last forever but if you’ll permit me
it might only last till the next time you hit me

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