Evening Star

He knew then that he had lost it,
couldn’t recall the name of the star
even when looking at the familiar face
on the screen.
            Remembered to come in on time,
turn on the TV to the remembered channel,
recording the film he remembered would start then.

‘Sun Dance And Billy The Kid?’ ‘Bob Newhart?’

He had sat in the star’s car in Westport,
a Porsche Spyder disguised in a Beetle body.
He’d talked twice with the star’s wife at parties
in the loose rhythms hip people affected,
all playing their bits, their parts,
getting down
in alligator shirts with long tails
and Madras Bermudas that really ran
when washed.
            Watched the star (‘Robert?’)
get his fingers broken with a pool cue by Fat Jack,
in those black-and-white films they called
‘movies’ then — there, in Fairfield County
where small planes flew low on weekends
and sprayed the big houses and lawns
with Beefeater London Distilled Dry Gin.
            ‘Don’t mix, stir twice,’
some bonding idiocy (‘James?’)

Drinking nine bone-dry martinis,
then crashing the road-closed signs
in what seemed a slow and controlled drift,
one toppled concrete signpost spearing
the roadster’s floor plate but missing
his star-crossed foot. Sparing him.

Know a good lawyer? Have the name yet?

‘Paul’ something. Sounds ecumenical. The
good pope, sort of human (‘John?’) hadn’t lived
long in office. Nor had the Camelot king
who ruled for the best and the brightest.

Twenty minutes into the film, and he still
can’t recall it: the name of that Star.

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