Brian Gilmore

diamonds are forever
(for wilmer isome gilmore)    

we will live twice.
both times w/
sean connery rolling
balls of thunder
and saying his name coolly:

james bond.

and these are the days of
two movies for $1.50
and they don't clear the
theatre after the show.
and our father is here with
us and has brought us
and this is a movie house
in our neighborhood
and sean connery always
gets the girl and always
wins his fights
and wears nice clothes
unlike me

all i do is
go to the corner and back
or down the alley for a post
pattern where my big brother
throws me the bomb and for
a moment i am charley taylor.
and the place my family always
summers is wildwood, new jersey
or atlantic city (before the casinos)
it is the greatest thing when
we are there too
it feels like we will
all live twice
our family together on
the boardwalk or in that
hot burning sand
or swimming in that salt
water along the jersey shore
and let's not forget salt water
taffy because nothing is better
in the summertime than
salt water taffy at the jersey
shore except maybe
sean connery
on some raft
with some long-legged goddess

and i still
watch those bond
movies these days
though none of the
new bonds are as
good or as cool as
sean connery.
and the movies really
aren't the same either
because the movie house
is not in my neighborhood
they clear the theatre after
each show
but most of all,
my father is not around anymore
to take me to the show.

the godfather
(for adanya, 18 months)   

that scene from the godfather which i have watched over and
over:  the don has passed chasing his grandson through the vegetable
garden. the traitor has been revealed at the funeral: sad eyed abe vigoda.
abe vigoda asks the lawyer tom hayden to get him out for old times sake
because  it was "just business."  "can't do it sally," is all that is said. though
abe is almost saved because of his face, that wonderfully precious, charitable
face which could make a father cry because like tom i too am a lawyer and this is
what i see each night looking into my daughters 18-month old eyes:  abe vigoda.
sad-eyed, looking to be saved from the sandman.

now she is working on me and giving it her best shot with those despondent
but hopeful abe vigoda eyes. my daughter has to sleep in her crib for trying to
cut a secret deal with one of the other five new york families. she wants me to
get her out for old times sake and she knows i am not strong and loyal like the
lawyer tom hayden.  i look into her eyes and replay that scene again. i see abe being led away to "sleep with the fishes." francis ford coppola is lucky he didn’t cast this 18-month old for his film. who would have believed that an infant black girl would one day run the mob?

Brian Gilmore, a native Washingtonian, is a public interest lawyer, poet, writer, and columnist with the Progressive Media Project. He is the author of two collections of poetry, elvis presley is alive and well and living in harlem (Third World Press, 1993) and Jungle Nights and Soda Fountain Rags: Poem for Duke Ellington (Karibu Books, 2000).  His poetry, essays, and reviews appear in such journals and anthologies as Voices of Dissent, In Search of Color Everywhere, Bum Rush the Page, Step Into a World, Catch a Fire, Icarus, The Red Brick Review, The Nation, The Progressive, The Progressive Populist, Soulfires, and Callalloo.



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