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Travis Blair
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David Carradine Taught Me That

Things Are Never As They Seem

 

Travis Blair

 

When I was a young man
living my fantasies in Laurel Canyon
I knew nothing of life
but I had an answer for everything
like why the moon
is made of green cheese
and what words of sweet seduction
it takes to talk a woman
out of her underwear
or how many peyote buttons
a Shaolin priest has to eat
to get high - and why.

One day I drove to the airport

and picked up David Carradine
who taught me the Great Lesson of Life
--that in Hollywood

things are never as they seem.

Off the plane young Caine
strode past two women
who asked him for his autograph.
He never broke stride
gazed straight ahead and said
I don't do autographs.
I whispered
Grasshopper,
you’re an ass for saying that.

He just laughed
and kept walking.
 
Later that day
still dressed in white

and barefoot from the Kung Fu set
he took me on a quest

to Hollywood and Vine
where he appeared
on the Merv Griffin Show.
 
After Caine charmed
20-million women out of their minds
we rushed outside.
Three giggling girls
stepped into our path
asked him for his autograph
on pink perfumed
pieces of paper.

Caine rolled his eyes
took a ball-point quill
and signed his name as three

girls turned into thirty
and thirty into three hundred
leaping crazies creaming
for his autograph
reaching and clutching
while he chanted to me
Go get the car!

A Tibetan monk on a mission
I drove into the mob scene
parting the crush of women
to rescue him.
When I reached his side
Grasshopper leaped
through the car window.
As I sped away
he calmly said
That's why
I don't do autographs.
 
That night I learned
from Tinseltown's reigning
TV ratings king
that things are never
ever
as they seem.
Sometimes
even a Shaolin priest
has to be an ass.

 

Travis Blair is an old outlaw who lives a mile down the road from the University of Texas campus in Arlington where he earned his B.A. in English back in the Dark Ages.  His poetry has appeared in Znine, Tokens, Plain SpokeGloom Cupboard, Instant Pussy, Cause & Effect, decomP magazine, Burst!, Red Fez, and previous issues of Yellow Mama.  His collection of poems written about his adventures in Mexico , Train to Chihuahua, was published a few months ago, and new work will appear in the 2010 Texas Poetry Calendar book.

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