Portuguese Bend #56

Posted: January 10, 2011 in Poems, Portuguese Bend, Short Fiction

The Portuguese Bend region is the largest area of natural vegetation remaining on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, in Los Angeles County, California. Though once slated for development the area is geologically unstable and is unsuitable for building. It has been described as a constant, slow-moving landslide.


His fuse was lit for fame, we all heard it fizz. Tall and lean, eyes full of blue irony, ready to milk the moment for satire. Funny Man the poison worm turned within. Invited him to lunch to see the waitress I was hot for, an oily blonde, she never took her eyes off him while I became prosaic as the pastrami she slung before me. His wife, a doe-eyed lush, red-cheeks mashed by Manhattan winter so I figured him for the pillar. The solid ground. Years later, a fleet of failures smoking behind us, golf and LA the consolation, we passed on a putting green, he jabbered proudly of a son and his rock ‘n roll antics, scion of rebellion, did his wild daddy proud. All was good, and she was good, sure she was, the lushly wife and soon we would golf. Soon we would. Next I’d heard he’d slit his throat, outdoors somewhere, don’t know exactly but I saw a field of grass, a sun-driven mad blue sky and him lying there curled on the green, the red thick around him, quiet at last. Beyond the need to entertain, impress or achieve. How do we come to this: I shall cut my throat, with a razor and here, I’ll do it here and it will be today because … I simply cannot or care not … no, no more … I am done.

©Mel Green 2011

  1. Christie says:

    What fantastic characterizations, both of the man being described and the one doing the describing.

  2. James says:

    Powerful, moving writing, Mr. Green. Bravo.

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