Wednesday, February 20, 2008

River Forktine Tippecanoe

It was one of them days--yes the first Thursday of a new month.
When you come to bathe in my river--Forktine Tippecanoe.
I woke up early to fetch my own breakfast,
Shuffled 'cross the deck of my houseboat, I hauled in my line,
And over my rail arched a red slider turtle. His shell made coconut noises
As it bounced across my deck. It Did not break open like some Frenchy's egg-whips.
So I pried open his shell and I shucked his body out.
Far away on the ocean I could hear oysters gigglin'.

Then I pulled out my father's father's helmet, the one that he wore in the Great War.
I Filled it full of water, set it on my hotplate, to heat up my turtle...

Who [I held cradled in my palm,] He looked like a preemie baby wigglin' its undeveloped limbs.
That's when I set him into his hot new shell, it made him give me clouded eye looks.
So I pried open my door, went down to my shore to wash out my helmet.
But you come up behind and then I relieved myself quickly into my helmet.
For I cannot loosen into my river on this first Thursday

You step into my river--Forktine Tippecanoe--but I know that you're ashamed
Of your undeveloped body, so I wait deep inside my houseboat...

While you bathe in my river...

And brother, I've been waitin' all year to commence that joke,
You have pulled year after year after year after year after year after year--
You swim underneath my boat, you rap on its underbelly,
Makin' me shuffle across my deck, makin' me shuck open my door,
Makin' me stretch out my neck, makin' me look at the cloudless sky
Makin' me [lay my head on your door,] makin' me say, "I'm mistaken.
"I thought someone had come callin' for me."

Then you stick your head out my river, you giggle and speak retardedly,
You say, "brother, did you like my joke?" I say "yes, but it's left me hungry.

"Could you catch me one more red sliding turtle?"

And deep in my house--I am gigglin', knowin' that I have emptied my river,
Of the last turtle. That's when I hear you come up for air, from hunting my river
And I think ah Christ, come next month there'll be a first Thursday.
What would I like to see you chase with your fingerless body?

Hold it hold it hold it hold it
Hold it hold it hold it hold it
Hold it hold it hold it hold it
Hold it yeah yeah yeah

Well maybe I will dine on the northern pike,
Yeah maybe I will start on some fat sunny perch,
Well maybe I will get me a pregnant rainbow trout.
I can picture it now. I will roll them un-broke eggs around in my mouth,
I will be wearing my father's father's helmet, goosestepping in my hobnail boots,
I'll be rappin' out a message across to the beasts below.
Tellin' them someone be coming down to my river--Forktine Tippecanoe

River Forktine Tippecanoe



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