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grant maierhofer — a dream (from 'the persistence of crows')

Forthcoming from Tiny TOE Press

by Grant Maierhofer

My mother. She was in New York in the 60s, she looked exactly like Mary Tyler Moore. Dressed in a black dress. Everyone was standing around looking at her spin, with a big cigarette in her mouth. She just smiled and threw her hat into the air as she ran, frantic, through the city. Nobody could intrude on her day. She went to Fifth Avenue and bought all the things she could never afford. She smiled at homeless women as she threw them bags from Tiffany's, and Bloomingdale's, and Macy's, knowing she wouldn't need them because that smile and that black dress was all a woman truly needed. She stood in awe at the foot of the Empire State Building, enamored by the couples walking out hand-in-hand, dreaming of George Pappard and Audrey Hepburn. She always wanted to be Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s She liked to fly and smoke and drink and manipulate as much as she wanted to trust love in all of the world, and that was her paradox as She flew down Broadway, a simple purse in her hand, her cigarette clenched between California Red lipstick. She stopped at the Hudson River, smiling back at me, knowing that I was her boy, her perfect little jewel, and that someday I would bring her back here, and it would be as good as the 60s fashion she so loved. And she was a nurse, and she was blatant poetry and could take care of all of her little brothers and sisters, even as she ran down the streets of Manhattan, with such vigor to find the remnants of the old time Cotton Club in Harlem to hear the voice of Billie Holiday and the piano of Duke Ellington and the Count and even though she ran through streets of Civil Protest she did it with such grace and with such a particular smile and look in her eyes that no one questioned her. She was the American woman, Hank Williams playing calmly from the same stage as the Rolling Stones, or Jefferson Airplane, at Altamont, and the Hell's Angels didn't fight but moved with the entire crowd and said FUCK YOU to war and FUCK YOU to the man and Hunter Thompson and Tom Wolfe and Mark Twain wrote about the whole thing while a fire burned in the hearth out in Woody Creek or Bunker Hill. My mother was all of it. The mother to the entire generation; she was the caretaker to the ships full of wounded spirits and confused teens, feeding us smiles and happy thoughts. She held out her hands in front of Madison Square Garden, screaming at the top of her lungs that she didn't care who won or lost but that she would be at CBGB's through the 80s and that seeing Iggy Pop meant just as much to her as seeing Gloria Steinem burn the bras of a thousand lost little girls. And eventually it was just her face, in the glow of Times Square and all of the lights, and it's Christmas in Central Park, and Autumn in New York, and New Year’s in the Sea of People, and she's smiling through all of it, blissful as she spins in frantic circles in her black dress. My smiling mother, the veritable face of immortality and meaning.

read more by Grant at his website and pre-order his book at the open end

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