At Ken Kesey Square, Belle Burch told me she had penned a hundred poems. I tell her I would like to read some. She e-mails me The Poem Heard Around The World. My jaw dropped. We had met at the Wandering Goat in a – get t know you pow-wow – and now she let’s me know, she is associated with OCCUPY – and the homeless? Almost every night she eats and plays like a Roman Swine! Where did she get the money? When Alley read this poem, she shit a brick. Belle blew her cover – BIG TIME! Netflix is going to buy – our story!
On Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:34 PM, Belle Burch wrote:
It’s Belle. Still wondering if you’re real. Thank you again for the bike. Let’s set up a time for me to do some modeling. Thurs and Fri are possibilities for me.
By the way, Why “John Ambrose”? Is that your middle name? Nom de plume? Highly synchronistic, as my current partner’s legal first name is Ambrose. I’m very curious about this.
Also, I thought you preferred to spell your name without the “h”?
Here’s the poem I said I’d send you.
Haven’t read any of your emails yet, will get to that soon.
Last night I fell
asleep in a tent on the concrete
in front of city hall
to the sounds of a quiet radio-
some show about the Bermuda Triangle.
How things, people
Whether or not it exists.
Interviews with people
who believed in it,
interviews with people
who didn’t. Its history.
Amelia Earhart. (Airheart?)
It seemed to go on
There are people out there
who don’t have state IDs, passports,
social security numbers,
The faeries who put people
to sleep for 100 years must live there
in that West Atlantic Vortex.
I got lost in it,
like Rip Van Winkle*,
to a changed world.
I texted a lover in New Orleans,
‘I’m stuffing almonds into a banana,
around my neck is a red bandana
and I love you.’ It was all true.
I walked through what is known
in Eugene as the Barmuda Triangle,
the magical trine of Luckey’s,
Horsehead and Jameson’s downtown.
If you order food at Jameson’s,
it gets run across the street
Luckey’s has the best pool tables,
and a fantastic little Mexican foodcart lovechild
that only accepts cash.
At the Horsehead,
there is a touch screen machine
where you get to choose
what music is being played.
You pay money for this privilege.
If you pay more money,
your songs get played
This is a triangle
you can only get lost in
if you’re a real person.
* bandana around my eyes to keep the
blazing orange streetlights out
I wrote this a hundred and fifty minutes after meeting Belle for the first time.
When I was a gifted youth
I do not recall if I studied the artist Sandro Botticelli.
When a man
I wrote my version of ‘The Birth of Venus’
and did a painting of my muse
coming out of the sea.
I must have neglected this great Renaissance Artist,
and his beloved Muse – until now!
But, Since I beheld her, my Belle
and compared her to Simonetta Cattaneo de Candia Vespucci,
do I now behold all the clues of the petals
and the thread
that have brought me through the labyrinth of time,
to adore her once again.
And she recognizes me!
Centuries ago I was buried at her feet
in order to continue my long vigilance,
for she was only asleep.
One day she will awaken, and the City of Flowers
will again bask in her unapparelled beauty.
Bella! Mon Belle!
Following the Renaissance of the Miller Brothers
to the top of the hill in the lost city of Fairmount,
I came to the crossroads of time.
When I saw the intersection of Flora and Fairmount,
I knew it would be a matter of days
before I was with my Sleeping Belle, once again,
once upon a time
She is the one I came here for.
After finding the lost tombstone of George Melvin Miller,
the founder of Florence,
I began to see the grand design.
When she came across the piazza de Keasy
while the minstrel sang a song by the Grateful Dead
I had my rose at ready.
When I handed it to her
I heard the lovers complain
Where is my Belle Rose!
This is the Renaissance Rose
that my ancestor employed to write his name,
When I told Belle what kind of work I do,
I described my painting of a woman coming out of the sea.
Many have asked me who she is. Now, I can say;
“She is Belle, the most beautiful woman in Florence.”
We will go there, soon,
to behold the sea, a shell, and the foam
at La Giostra
a jousting tournament was held at the Piazza Santa Croce.
The gallant knight, Giuliano
entered the field bearing a banner
on which was a picture of Simonetta as a helmeted Pallas Athene
Her image was painted by Botticelli himself.
Underneath was the French inscription
La Sans Pareille, meaning “The unparalleled one”.
From then on Simonetta became known
as the most beautiful woman in Florence,
the most beautiful woman of the Renaissance.
I salute thee!