Sunday, December 25, 2016

(mystery man with fish)

the luxury of peace.


mystery man with fish
stuck between blank pages
who is this guy?


clues:
photo size, border
matches some other photos pasted in book, photos taken 1930s, mid and late, in Aledo, my mother’s family
setting
paved sidewalk, leafy street, maybe too fancy for Aledo
man
slim, white, middle-aged
clothing
white shirt, light tie, dark v-neck sweater, something heavy hanging in sweater’s breast pocket, dark slacks, fedora, glasses, pipe, leather jacket (?) zipper unzipped
facial features
fuzzy, obscured, but a sharp-looking schnozz, not my grandfather

fish
big, ugly
i know who i want this man to be
choose from one of three

but hey—what about the fish?

i know an expert
world-renowned
outdoor writer
fish expert
we sat in the bleachers
i ask:
fish from western Illinois?
fish from Cincinnati?

big fish
largemouth bass
“pre-spawn beauty”
maybe the mississippi
maybe the rock
ohio—not likely


so i get off
who i want it to be
think of joe and olive
—heintzelman—
they loved to fish
so i’ve heard
lived on a lake, maybe,
in orlando, florida, anyway
and joe, my grandmother’s brother


it’s good to know a fish expert
learn of a big ugly fish
a big beautiful fish
the florida strain largemouth bass

likely who this fish character is

and so i say hello great uncle joe
daisy’s brother
man of mystery
what would you like me to know?
do you remember your first christmas — ?
iowa
do you remember any christmas before?
who you were
your parents
your name
where you were from and i know
—memories are hard—
but do you remember the train?

nice fish, by the way

the luxury of peace.
amen

Uh oh. Anyone seen Josie?