Dada taught me cards.
Sitting in his suit of pants and vest.
A fistful of joker-red hair strewn across his brow.
His big belly like a cannon ball.
He taught me how to shuffle cards
the way he did in American restaurants,
in bubble-filled kitchens where eyes studied
he taught me the rules of the Rummy he played
on world-traversing ships,
cards, sea-sprayed and wind-crumpled,
slapped onto crates and pinched in sore fingers.
He taught me how to play Patience alone,
like he did in Indian cafes.
Flies landing on the chai-stained deck
as he shovelled the dirt from his long nails.
He taught me how to hold all the cards to my heart,
how to use my clubs,
spend my diamonds,
work my spades.
His huge weathered hands
dealing their skill into mine.
- Looking at the teaching sequence for Werewolf Club Rules, below.
- Visiting Joe's poet page for more videos…