Yeah, this never happened

It’s the Golden Age
and I’m in New York
pretending to be Holly Golightly
not Audry Hepburn, the real Holly Golightly
BigTex herself, all pinkness and smiles,
not meeting the gangsta though who’d keep me draped in pearls
just cruising down Fifth Ave. with all those Seven Sister sisters
who have a ticket to ride in the publishing game, and me just pounding out
telegrams for the military on telex machines waiting until I can meet
somebody, I mean Somebody, who’ll take notice of my talent when I
run uptown to Lincoln Center or stand outside practice rooms at the Julliard.

Sometimes sneaking into the theaters at intermission, flirting up the ushers,
getting seats to watch the greats! I mean the real greats on those stages –
Long Days Journey Into Night, Streetcar Named Desire, The Long Hot Summer,
Picnic– and the great musicals, My Fair Lady, West Side Story,
(where Leonard Bernstein is overawed by Stephen Sondheim and gazes in adoration
at Jerry Robbins). Bopping down to the Village, listening to Baez and Dylan–
harmonizing with acoustics until after midnight when I find someone to
hit the Blue Note with, and dig Coltrane and Miles. Then to the drug store
where all the guys and gals from the Actors Studio scream lines from those
Williams and O’Neill plays, pages and secretaries there too, pretending not
to know if those guys are acting or really dangerous fools who’ll mug them
on the way down to the subway. And I;m just smilin’, and tappin’ my foot.
Not wanting to go back to my shared one room place on the Lower East Side.
Living in the Honeymooner’s apartment but weirder. A lot of pot being smoked
on the sidewalk but I remember Devil Weed and stick to liquor.

Slick Madison Avenue types slummin’ down the Village some nights telling us
they’d gone to Harvard, Yale, Brown…that’s the clue to those Mad liars..for
heaven’s sake, do they think I haven’t seen Where The Boys Are in high school,
that I’ll fall for some dumb line like Yvette Mimeux did. I know I’m no Dolores
Hart either. But then, she succumbed to a convent. Good grief, she could live
a Princess Grace life and she chooses a nunnery. Not for me, boy howdy, I’ll find ART
here in the city and do it my own way, like any Texas girl
livin’ loud, singin’ long…finding my niche…or letting it find me
and I’m sure they will all find me:
Warhol, Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Sondheim, Previn, Sinatra…around
any corner, any day,
my chance,
my break’ll come.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011 * All Rights Reserved



On the porch in blueblack suit a grackle walks
By water bowl, his dull brown spouse cackles, stalks
In circles near the trees their family talks

In the shadows of the leaves stands birdbath waterbowl
Through the branches and the leaves come waterfowl
The wind walks through the leaves and branches roll

It’s suppertime, and I reach out to you across a casserole
Outside, we hear the grackles talk to waterfowl
And through the silence we talk with words and soul

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011* All Rights Reserved

Posted again for article on common speech 12.13.13;
I thought this my best example. I also wrote Self Portrait at Seven
which I posted for #OLN Tuesday as an effort to achieve this voice of mine.
I wrote another for today, but as poems often do it resisted my attempt
to do what I needed it to.

If you’ve read this before don’t feel compelled to comment.



Through the mirror,
there on the other side
where this world’s reversed,
ripples compress inwards
from the edge of the universe.

I would sail in
from some wasteland quest;
a conqueror beyond the frame
with trophies of vanquished monsters,
gliding in silver to that vanishing core.

The journey yields wonders,
words soaked in music,
a music of experience.
Lyrics unleash meaning
and I would sing them

as I approach center there.
Then, I’d shrink to the start,
no larger than an atom,
no larger than a quark
to the idea before the spark.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved


© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

Art Eternal


Infinite arches, I loop in nothingness;
hopscotching heat, in and out of cooled corridors

leading to chlorine scented waiting rooms.
There white marbled faces stare at me with

empty eyes of loss, knowing loss, their false
smiles meant to assuage fear with small

green balls of hope for some life again.
Unseen by families struggling against odds.

Clouds shroud physicians who wear
dangling rubber gloves as symbols of skill.

They craft shields while machines shoot
heat in burning laser points and drips

of ice form architectured snowflakes, lace
cell-sized antidotes to death’s poison.

Brewed nitrates, plastics, refined oil, sugars;
toxic concoctions of modernity I’ve ingested

in my lifetime – taken what was given to subsist, now
seeking cure, I pretend music knowing beauty awaits.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * August, 2011
Posted for Poetics by Mark Kerstetter today at dVersepoets

Spending my time the last 8 weeks in a waiting room at a cancer center,
watching patients and their families pretend normalcy while waiting for
the fire and ice of radiation and chemotherapy. I saw that dichotomy in this


Thank you dear lord for this shower
Thank you dear lord for hot water
Thank you dear lord for an hour
Underneath this running water

Thank you dear lord for inside plumbing
Thank you dear lord for toilets flushing
Thank you dear lord for this good scrub
Thank you dear lord for spas, bathtubs

I say this prayer everyday
To earlier times some long to stray
But even in a tardis with Dr. Who
I’d want conveniences, wouldn’t you?

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011


rocket robot
roll it over
rock it – roll it
rocket robot

push the starter
press it harder
over orbit
racy power
take it higher
super joy stick
million gigabyte
satellite night
engines ignite
machine in flight

work it robot

rock it robot

roll it robot

move it robot

rock it robot
over orbit
rocket robot
rock & roll it
rocket rock it

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon

Leadbelly Blues

Found him on the corner of Bourbon and Royal
He was a great big black Texas boozer
I knew he had a place for me to spoil.

We traveled everywhere ‘round these parts
Me waitin’ on the back cold stones
Him playin’ that flat box and tearin’ out hearts.

He called me Tatters.  He left barbecue on the bones,
And let me slop the beer up after we left the joints’.
We slept in flophouses and he wrote hundreds of songs.

Once we went all the way to see a Dallas man
Took us most near a week ridin’ them slow freight trains—
Hitched in from Ft. Worth and walked over hot bricks and sand.

He was worn out from the travel and he needed a job
Stoppin’ on that city street called Ellum
He talked to someone but they called him a slob.

He took up fightin’ then and knocked that man to the ground.
I was runnin’ full out when I caught him up, down ‘bout two blocks.
A sassy woman said, “C’mon I’ll give you some if ya come around.”

We was mellow when the evenin’ came and rain started to fall
Lickin’ his hand I was tryin’ to tell him it’d all be fine,
When a blind man that everybody knew wandered into the hall.

Blind Lemon, Blind Lemon sing us that old blues again!
Sing it with this big bad blues man come here from Nah‘leans.
Leadbelly, this be Blind Lemon—finest livin’ black blues man.

I heard them two rounders holler, and strum into the night
Singin’ out their souls; makin’ music with great might.
Never will forget in all my wandrin’ years
Down in Deep Ellum— such joy and sadness in my ears.

© Gay Reiser Cannon  All Rights Reserved

When America Touched Me Like That (in a patriotic way)

September 2001 – Park Plaza Hotel Boston

In Gallup
just ten years old then
July Fourth
stopped for gas
we happened on the parade
saw Indians dance

At twenty
pregnant in DC
dome with flag
flying unfurled at sunset
made me cry

With my son
standing on “rude bridge”
looked toward
Concord where
they fired the shot heard, there and
’round the world

The mist cleared
my husband and I
holding hands
in the park
first saw the Golden Gate Bridge
felt the history!

A billboard
in Alabama
three days since
the attack
on twin towers in New York
“United We Stand”

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon *7.2.2011



The epitaph on the gravestone read

“Reckon he did
and then some,”  he thought as he read the words again.

Your granddad was quite a man, son.
You don’t know it all.
No one does I don’t suppose.

Almost everyone they knew ‘as civilized;
So they came here where ‘t was wild
And tamed it, hmph, sort of.

Hard to see though
Hid behind all the concrete and city
What they saw
What they dealt with
What they conquered.

Not a hunderd years son
Not a hunderd years ago.
Their own world.

Your grandad
His enemies,
His friends.

You heard them,
You know the stories!
Out of nothing
A new place, a new land.

Hard work then,
Hard work now.

Still room for heroes
And work to be done.

(c) 1990 – Gay Reiser Cannon Pioneer by beachanny



Across the room, your eyes hold me to start.
The rhythm pulls you to me and we dance;
quick flicks won’t trip us as legs pass, then part.
Guitars begin the beats of slow romance
emotions grip our bodies, wrap our hearts.
Accordions emboss an air of trance–
We met behind a Buenos Aires street,
an alley dance floor merged with tangos sweet.

© Gay Reiser Cannon