Dream flash:

Nathaniel Jones —



name —

dances The Slider

in a Cincinnati White Castle.


We called his dance “The Slider” ‘cause…


if you don’t know, go Google something

and for slavery’s sake don’t ask me what his race was.


Goddess knows which drug it was that powered him –

him being that huge

but harmless

say-his-name-Nathaniel-Jones –

but whatever drug it was

it’d pushed him all the way from Cleveland south to Cincinnati

in what could have only been one or two hells of a hurry

without so much as a thought

of stopping

and he was hungry when he got here.


Got in line to order but the line was long

so he danced to pass the time.


Didn’t know the cops were called.


Seems there was a woman there in some distress

so the cops were called to help her.


So na-SAY-than-HIS-iel-NAME-jones

danced the three part Slider

as a way to pass the time

while waiting for his order. 


Yep, danced the three part Slider the way we saw it later


surveillance TV:


Part 1: Big man’s slip-‘n’-slidin’.


Part 2: The cops come in and—

C’mon now, friendly human, say the big man’s name

(just skip back up the page if you’ve forgotten)—

like I said, the cops come in

and the big-man-not-in-question decides not to risk it

and boogies his way on out,

which leads us to…


Part 3: Nathaniel Jones—

Did you say his name yet, fellow human?—

stands at the edge

of the White Castle lot 

looking at his city 

as if he’s staring out to sea.   


And then—

Yeah, I know, you knew this would happen—


pushes back when the cops come get him


falls out the bottom of the cop car camera’s dream frame

and I can’t see him dying

and I can’t see him dead.


Dream flash:

On another night

somewhere in drunken Cincinnati 

I’m watching John Travolta on tv 

and I’m thinking,


they’re right,

white men can’t dance,

not really.

Hell, I don’t even trust my sweet white self

to do Phase 1 of The Slider,

so it makes a certain kind of sense

that I don’t dream of Mr. Jones at all,

leastwise not too much. 

But I do wake up sometimes wonderin’

if I don’t dream of him,

do you?