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Sunil Freeman

In 1993 Gut Punch Press published That Would Explain the Violinist, by Sunil Freeman. The cover art, by Eva Santorini, is a detail from Sequentia, a work she did with bamboo and ink.

Sunil lives in the Washington DC area.

contact Sunil at SunilKFree@aol.com

or visit his web page.

A poem from That Would Explain the Violinist (Gut Punch Press, 1993)
[The hypertext linked edition]

Meskerem, Vegetable Mesob

Eyes hawklike, hands quivering
with intelligence. I've never had dinner
with a woman who was on It's Academic,
or never knew it. It's like a game board,
how we contemplate these mounds
on this injera circle. I go for leafy greens
in the center. You reach to my right,
orange goop that tastes almost like meat.

You tell of the kale in Kenya
called sukuma wiki in Swahili, "push week,"
because when the migration started to Nairobi,
and working people went hungry, they ate it to push
through to the end of the work week. Sukuma wiki.
Our waitress overhears. Her eyes sharpen;
her whole body comes to attention.
I dream of dating an Ethiopian woman.

We trade disastrous date stories--my friend
who got a senior cheerleader to say yes
when he was a junior, then convinced his dad
to let him have the Continental convertible.
This was maybe 1966. He knew he'd arrived:
Her mom and dad smiled in the front yard;
beside them, an Aqua Velva ad come alive,
their daughter of so many high school dreams.
He palmed the wheel into the driveway
with his right hand, waved with his left,
casual, perfect suburban Tai Chi.
The brakes failed and he crashed in the garage.

Lights glow--a golden hum, a murmur;
my one beer feels like it could be three.
We harvest these vegetable mounds till we're down
to patterns on a spongy canvas--
an edible 2-D technicolor Stonehenge, sort of.
Each splotch might be a story,
but we get the check; you work out the tip,
stumbling briefly on the math. I'm no help--
this is too delicious, watching a woman who was
on It's Academic wrestling with percentages.

Copyright © 1999. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Duplication of this poetry and/or art without permission of the author/artist is forbidden under copyright law. Please ask permission if you wish to use for non-commercial purposes
  Big Cats in Snow Tuesday, July 11, 2000