For Michael ~ On His Birthday
Remembering high times in the early 70's
Way back around 1972, when life was oh so much more carefree and in the moment, after a late night viewing of the new Rolling Stones movie at the Capital Theatre in Passaic (one of the local mecca’s for “heads” and “freaks” who went driving the streets all night looking for a rush), I came upon an odd little singular fellow stumbling from intoxication and bumping along as he made his way up the main center aisle of the dark musky theatre. The exiting patrons, mostly all twenty-something stoners, were staring and pointing and whispering "That’s you know, from “Bonnie and Clyde”...CW Moss, the driver…yeah, look...that's him alright Michael J. Pollard, the movie star …". I don’t remember exactly which form or phase of mind expansion I was experiencing at the time, but apparently I had the presence of mind to approach this silly grinning little fellow and attempt to rescue him by offering him a ride home in my Ford Maverick, the “Green Machine”. It turns out he didn’t live far. He lived with his mother in a high rise right there in the hills of Passaic. He didn’t have a car, he didnt drive and I always welcomed every spontaneous adventure so we became companions of sorts.
Over the next few months, Michael and I spent time up in his mother's apartment sharing many secrets and some intimate moments and although the consumption of alcohol and long tokes on a fat doobie of "Gold" were significant factors in our odd relationship, we seemed to genuinely enjoy each other's company. He brought me to clubs in the City like Max's Kansas City where I met a number of bizarre characters, but that's another story.
On his birthday that May, wanting to do something genuine and heartfelt for him, knowing that, hey, this guy hangs out with the likes of David Carradine and Faye Dunaway, he’s a movie star for pete’s sake…he can have anything he wants in the world, what can I give him? So I wrote him a poem and it went like this:
Yes, I can see you now.
Your funny eyes, they shine, you know.
Your smile is like November snow.
You seem so sensitive and kind.
What’s on the dark side of your mind?
It makes me wonder, that dimpled chin,
Just which house your Venus is in
And how you seem so real and free
Inside that Cloud City,
Those glittery people, it’s all beyond me.
But watching you here and on the screen
I see myself in childhood dream.
That’s how I relate, that’s how I’ve been.
Can you understand? This is Life we’re in.
Please don’t ask why I come around.
It’s better than hanging out downtown.
This year’s been dragging, holding me down.
By the end of summer, I’m highway bound.
Catch your breath, I’ll be your friend
From naked beginning to stark raving end.
I’m hard to break but easy to bend,
I hope I hear from you again.