Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Cool by BJ Neblett

Hello again and thanks for all the support! Summertime is here again and for some of us with a vengeance! Enjoy your holidays safely. Here is a re-post to get you in the mood, aptly titled July Cool. And once again, as always, for Amy wherever she may be.

July Cool
by BJ Neblett
© 2008, 2013

Burning July
sidewalks as hot as
the tip of the smoldering punk
clenched tightly between
teeth and gum
like some fancy cigar
because we were cool
in red hi-tops
and white T shirts
sleeves rolled
with empty Marlboro packs
like the older dudes
because it was cool
cool as the locking blade
knife ordered
from the last page of
a Green Lantern comic book
it bounced in the back pocket
of our torn
and faded jeans
stained with rainbow badges
proclaiming our cool
bloody nose red
and fishing hook green
and the wide dirt brown stripe
from sliding into home

Torturous July
stealthy pendulum
hovering between youth and tomorrow
when we were cool
and not yet cool
like the tarnished silver ring
that spent July sleeping
in that cool little pocket in my jeans
I bought it from Woolworths
to give to Amy Johnson
in the flickering coolness
of a Saturday matinee
it felt warm
and full of promises
but I didn’t give it to her
because I was too cool
or not cool enough
and Chris called me
a coward
and he was right
so I bought popcorn
with my last four bits
just to hear Amy’s
freckled laughter
and taste her hazel eyes
that made my stomach bubble

Enchanted July
when days exploded
with sunshine
and dandelions
and wishes
like the Black Kats
and Lady Fingers
we ignited with the punks
we pretended to smoke
when shy fireflies
sang in Morse code
and bold butterflies kissed
when I got my first pair
of Matador boots
but had to wait
till September
to wear them to school
because they were cool
and they made me cool

Sultry July
of watermelon days
and transistor nights
when one Willie Mays
was worth two Richie Ashburn’s
unless you lived in Philly
that magical July
our clubhouse
in the woods
became the smoking spot
no more un-cool punks
we had Salems
from mom’s purse
and Chesterfields
for twenty five cents a pack
they burned our throats
like the warm Schlitz beer
Timmy stole
from a neighbor’s garage
then the smoking spot
became the drinking spot
the same spot
where I first touched Robin
in that spot
and Amy knew
and killed me
with her hazel eyes
that made my stomach bubble

Ineluctable July
of inky nights
spent hanging out
because we were cool
trouble matured with us
from playground
to bowling alley
to pool hall
we were too old
for the curfews
we ignored
too old and too cool
but too young to drive
except for the cars
I stole
to impress the guys
and to win back
Amy Johnson
who told me
I was just too cool

Too cool for the July
that melted too soon
like the tangerine sun
and the jealous moon
and Amy’s hazel eyes
that made my stomach bubble
that cool July

For Amy, wherever you are thank you

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