poetry quarterly

10th anniversary

MAPPING THE CITY: DC Places, Part II

Charlie Rossiter

 


FISHING IN THE TIDAL BASIN

That morning at the tidal basin
I hooked a fish and Alan caught some haiku
from among the swirling blossoms.
Mermaid scales, he called them
and Matt read from his book of zen poems.

Crows chased after gulls
blossoms stormed the air
and the hundred millionth tourist
took another picture to send home to Tokyo.

The fish we caught and released
slid graceful from my hand
sleek and shining
into the dark water
where the ghost of Wilbur Mills
laughs to himself
and the ghost of Fannie Fox
flips a well-turned hip
in the direction of the White House
where Tricky Dick said I am not a crook
and LBJ promised not to escalate
and JFK in an after hours heat
inflated with presidential power
hooked that poor kid, Norma Jean
and never properly let her go.

 


Charlie Rossiter hosts the website http://poetrypoetry.com, dedicated to audio poetry. He is the author of four books of poetry and nine chapbooks. His latest book, All Over America: Road Poems (Foothills Publishing, 2009) is based on 60,000 miles of road trip experiences around the U.S.and Canada. He lived in the DC area through most of the 1980s where, along with a group of friends in 1984, he organized an all-day poetry reading with music on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

 

Published in Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 2010.