Ferlinghetti on the Lawn
for Nancy Baughman

Chico State
I lie with Nancy
tummies down on towels
in deep June grass

Ferlinghetti open
in my hands
opens me
a Coney Island of the Mind
page after page
the ninja poet's lines
dance and pierce

I look over at Nancy
she's now face up
eyes closed
under Chico sun
her white blonde hair flows
across a sky blue towel

listen to this
"Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap"

she says softly
and looks over at me
hand shading her
pool blue eyes

© June 2000 Leslye Layne Russell

This poem was published in
Selected Poems of Post-Beat Poets, an anthology
of poetry of 23 post-Beat poets,
published in Chinese, in China, in 2008.

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