Jesse Jarnow

the motel party, no. 5

“Yo Yo Bye Bye” – Why? (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

She was by the motel pool–the indoor one–in wide sunglasses and a bikini the color of the chlorine water. She listened to a yellow walkman with headphones and, other than her tapping foot, might’ve been asleep. It was nice out. Perhaps not bikini weather, but certainly pleasant enough for a walk on the beach. I thought about inviting her to the party that Peabody was apparently organizing in my room. He’d told me to get seven bags of ice, tomato juice, lemons, Tabasco, and candles. He’d do the rest. I’d told Dani about the party, too, though not the girl. Not that I knew Dani too well, trans-Pacific conversations or no, but still. Besides, inviting poolside sirens to parties thrown by chronically unemployed 60somethings in New England hotels wasn’t something I did lightly, or–really–at all. Peabody was in the main texts about Eugene Harrison, but never as more than a footnote from the last, lost years. A looming figure in the unfinished sheaf of poems from ’68–he’d had a few published himself–nobody had yet interviewed him, and discovering that he was still alive was something of a surprise. “Better read than dead/God of mythic dance worlds,” is how Harrison himself put it. “You get the fucking ice yet?” Peabody squawked from the phone, which had been mysteriously replaced with a rotary model.


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