Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., American writer, 1922-2007
It’s him, the bailiff knows right up,
thinks, maybe he raised from the dead.
He’s really here, this deep South,
sees him pace the sheet-white tiles
of the floor of the DMV,
mad as a swamp sow,
like that lady shouting out
in the full up parking lot.
The bailiff thinks of his aunt,
how a college teacher of hers,
a student of Vonnegut,
told the class that the writer
taught him this one thing;
how to drink and drink.
She had all his books, “Palm Sunday”
“Mother Night,” the photo on the back
all about his head of nickel-size curls,
those sad eyes, gray mustache parading
over a pointed chin. He knew this was him,
all right, those curls like a halo caught
in the shine of the Coke machine.
He watches the swing of the glass door,
sees him climb into his cherry red 93 Saab,
wonders if his driving record will pop up
the second he types Kurt into the search bar.
C. I. Marshall has a MFA from CA State University, Long Beach and was editor for ARTLIFE Magazine. Marshall’s poems have appeared in Verdad, Spillway, Packinghouse Review, Beyond the Lyric Moment: Poetry Inspired by Workshops with David St. John, ELKE, Kakalak, The Broad River Review and Poems In The Waiting Room, UK. Marshall’s poem, “Myself As A Playboy Bunny” won the 2018 Verve International Poetry Festival Contest, Birmingham, UK. Website: consuelom.wordpress.com