Casual Tea, Seattle Man
by Neal Bold | March 31, 2023
Last night I dreamed I was running
across the craters of the Western Front.
The enemy had retreated, and the doctor
told me that a Body had died.
“All are buried or home for tea,
but a doctor works in between.
The war is won, and I am done.
And so It is.” Somebody’s son.
I ran for hours
through the black earth stricken
by gas, and over trenches
as wide as the Rubicon,
flooded with singed meat
decomposed too fast.
by the shadow of a tree,
reclined like a Caesar
in the mortar-tilled dirt,
I found the Body.
“Oh, thank God almighty,”
the Body said,
“you came here to save me!”
(It was not very dead).
In sixth grade, Will moved out west like a cattleman,
told me ‘bout weed on Xbox: “Promise not to tattle, man.”
Boeing, Hendrix, Supersonics, Grunge,
Puget: the sound of battle, man.
I traded my controllers for a guitar,
I’d wave the pick like a paddle, man.
PAF, drop-D, Big Muff—
oh, I could prattle, man.
Solid-state’s not so bad,
the speakers rattle, man.
I’d follow Cobain, Cornell, and Staley,
ax in hand, I’d jump on the saddle, man.
I was any joints short of stoner,
but my brain I’d addle, man.
“Look, it’s Neal, the mound of sludge!”
Call me Melvin, a real Seattle man. ∎
Words by Neal Bold.
Art by Louis Rush.