Go JoeGO Go! Poems for José Gouveia, Day Three: Marge Piercy

photoOddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

For my old friend José

Always at our summer party
you would roar up an hour late
on your big Harley Davidson,
late because the cops in Eastham
never let you pass without a ticket.

All those over the years would
pay for a new bike. After fifty
or so guests drifted down the drive
you’d come inside to smoke a joint,
share Ann’s Irish whiskey, lie

back on the red couch, schmooze,
Every six months a different lady
all of them pleasant enough but
none would last, except Josey
finally. You wed her at a pond,

minister standing windblown
on a dock flowers everywhere
but Josey the sweetest flower,
a year into the tiger teeth of cancer

ripping your gut. Good doctors,
incompetent quacks, missed
diagnoses, you shouldered your
way through it all, your life clutched
precious in your good teeth.

Never give up, never give in, never
give death a foot, an inch. Your
ancestors would have swum the ocean
from Portugal for a better life just
as you swim on through seas of pain.

Saude!

 

Marge Piercy is the author of seventeen novels including The New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers, eighteen volumes of poetry including The Hunger Moon, and a critically acclaimed memoir Sleeping with Cats.

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

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