Tuesday, March 04, 2008


While in Louisville, I acquired this eponymously colored chapbook by Tom Orange, poet, late of D.C. now of Nashville. The book is volume 16 in the Slack Buddha Press series from Bill Howe's La Perruque Editions. You can contact the slack Buddha under his wilting bodhi tree at:

La Perruque Editions
4724 Bonham Road
Oxford, OH 45056

I had an armload (which did not make my balance any easier
to maintain.) You served my friends and I at the corner table.
You said that the nachos were the best thing there. You were
at the Kennedy Center with an older woman. I was there with
my family. We exchanged glances at intermission and a hello in the foyer. You came to the rescue in fine Mentos commercial fashion, helping to lug my Ikea bed indoors. We were both on the balcony and on the floor. You said my glasses were the coolest, and I stammered. Crazy eye contact. You kept looking
over. Wished one of us would've spoken! Should've bought
you more coffee... You called out "Happy Holidays!" My heart
went pitter-pat! You were nice enough to give me a second
chance, but I still let you slip through my fingers again. We
exchanged glances as we were both coming and going. You were
cold and I offered you my jacket to keep you warm. You were
visiting a "friend" in New Hampshire so I hesitated to ask for
your number. We talked about the cold, and I wish we could
have talked more. I hoped that you would sit next to me. You
were with a large, diverse group, sitting at 2 reserved tables to
the left of the stage. You sat next to what appeared to be your
parents and across from your sister, I think, and down the table
from a man with a cane and his significant other. We chatted
about century rides, marathons and commuting to work. You
went on to Tysons and I veered off in East Falls Church. We
talked about politics, Princeton, and the perils of holiday travel
until we were cruelly separated at Woodley Park. Got off at
Courthouse Metro wishing I lived farther west so I had time to
say "hi." You asked me if I was wearing Doc Martens, I tried to
explain where Smash was located in Georgetown. We boarded
together, you to the airport, me to Crystal City. You on way to
NYC meeting, work in D.C., home in Atlanta. Our encounter
and chat, and your amazing brown eyes left me smitten. We
held eye contact as you walked by, then we both turned around
to smile at each other.


Michelle Y. Jackson said...

Sounds a lot like how we met in between classes at FCC in 1978. May I have a copy of "The Amusing of Michelle"? The Mag. Sept/Oct 1978, 3.

Aldon Lynn Nielsen said...

You absolutely have to be the only visitor to this site who would know about that poem. But then, you have a better reason than most to know of it. I'd love to send it to you. I just left PA for Spring Break and won't be back there till the 18th, but can get it out of my office and send it then.

BUT have to know where to send it (would also love to hear what you've been up to, but that's up to you) -- contact me at:

Steve Tills said...

Oh! It's one of yours, Aldon! I thought it was one of Tom Orange's poems from the chapbook you posted a picture of.

Well, either way, it's a really neat poem. :)

Steve T.

Aldon Lynn Nielsen said...


That is indeed Tom's work, but it reminded Michelle of a long ago day in the same city --

Steve Tills said...

Oh, okay, good, Thank you. Well, heck I'll definitely have to put it on my list. Dang neat stuff!

:) Steve