Note to a Young Rez Artist


Adrian Louis

Hey, I thought they were eagles circling
above, a good luck sign for Skins, but closer
inspection revealed them to be the turkey
vultures of broken English.

Hey, I remember once you sent me
a hand-scrawled note saying you were out
of typewriter ribbons and I sent you off
fifty bucks that same day
and you wrote back saying you got
the ribbons and some Big Macs to boot.

Young brother, now I'm puzzled
down to the core of my sour-wine soul,
I'm mired in middle age
and you're becoming famous
before your time and I'd envy you
except that I, too, thought
I knew what red pain was
in my mad-groined, goofball twenties.

© 1997 Adrian Louis. Ceremonies of the Damned, University of Nevada Press.

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