Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Bobby Fischer

We sit listening to a
Tree frog the size of a human heart
Mew like a lost cat
Affixed to the dark mahogany porch post
Outside your wooden slatted window
Insects the size of candy bars
Orbit around a flickering yellow light bulb
Casting wayang puppet shadows
On the curtains
And you tell me the last time you were in Bali
You ran into Bobby Fischer
And I ask, Bobby Fischer the chess player?
And you say yeah
You saw him in a jazz club in Ubud
Dancing to Be Bop from a keyboard, sax and drum trio
Of Balinese hep cats
Skin the burnt umber color of wet clay
Hair slicked back, sunglasses
A condensation of sweat beading their foreheads
Smiling with teeth as even as the horizon
And Bobby Fischer is gyrating
Seemingly more out of time than could be attributed to chance
And that’s the beauty of it – you say
You say he wasn’t dancing to the beat of a different drummer
He was dancing to the beat of this drummer
Only in the future
Because that’s what chess masters do
Thinking at least three moves ahead
Bobby Fischer danced on another plane
With gusto
Hurling his arms as if he were trying to dislodge his hands
High stepping in an oscillating imaginary circle
As if marching in mud
To anyone else on the floor
Smiling as if he were about to pass out
Bobby Fischer
A man ahead of our time
Not caring if we ever catch up


smith said...

very nice.

of course bobby fischer would dance to future as yet unplayed beats.

Kathy said...

yes! a poem! I do love your poems so.