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John Eivaz

Three Poems

This trip from sun to sunset through the coldest day of the year is brought to you by two towns in California, existing on maps and in my imagination; and by a snippet of conversation in the cool evening. But then again: it's not meant for that. These are for PJ; Ned O'Brien, thanks for the buttons.

Gilroy for garlic

  for PJ

bland whistle
in red sky

eggs of
an old coot
trek to break

unshelled yolks
fumble rapidly obtuse
in their positive warp
of the airwaves

to page the day
bombarded poem

you write one too
the ghost peach

like troll's food
that peon knows a yellow name!


i sense you seek
soaked sand and
mirthful noodles

here's a plate
dig in


it was ned's idea
to have a case of buttons
made with the slogan
and a bright graphic
of mass appeal.

they'd be distributed
by vounteers in scarves
and mittens
on the coldest day of the year.

the coldest day of the year
around here
is not that cold, so
difficulty arose in choosing.
the weather here
is usually about the same.

the third person to receive a button
was visibly moved
(and stewed). she introduced
the plaid-necked volunteer
to her plastered other half

then they tangoed away
honking and roaring like a zoo.
no one need explain
"gilroy for garlic"
it's not meant for that.

it's a salmon zephyr
tainting nostrils
twenty four seven
biting its own tail
in the red white and blue.
it's a case of buttons.

so ned, for the record,
about the bill
and the campaign fund
the downtown historic preservation fund
the honorariums for the volunteers
the slush fund
the perks:

is the name

inland sunset

we weren't talking about much
but my arm was around your shoulders
and I was warm inside out
each time and place you touched me

soon the talk got around to eats
as usual (which is good) --
Voila! your Watsonville berries
me with "and Gilroy for garlic"

by the time it was incorporated
in 1867
it was already the third largest
community in the county

that woman with those sparkling eyes
strolling down Main Street
discovers this
and for a little while

she feels good to be there
in her little world
of Mediterranean weather
(she doesn't know of the similarity)

she remembered for years
as the town grew
the thoughts and random words
which went through her head

and had conversations while recalling
that hot afternoon in Gilroy
(not too far from Watsonville either
as the crow flies)

after food, we spoke of poetry
(the usual route before food too)
I wanted to write about an inland sunset
and agriculture pastelled by dusk

but mention them now only in passing
as today disappears
into small talk everywhere
and the cool evening

©2003 by John Eivaz

John Eivaz was born in New York and lives in California. He loves to write, because it is the cheapest thing one can do for fun when one is broke. He writes a lot, and has been published online and in print in various places, including past issues of Slow Trains and its first print anthology. He is the editor of MiPo~Print and the poetry and flash fiction editor of the Erotica Readers and Writers Web site. His writing has been recognized online by the IBPC, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He works at a winery. Read more of his work at the Web site he shares with P.J. Nights.

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