AN L.A. SMILE IN NEW YORK CITY
for Jerry Brandt 1938-2021.
She looked like a fashion model
on her way home from a photo shoot,
and if she wasn't one she should have been,
blonde hair gracing elegantly tanned shoulders
a thing of beauty and desire,
and she knew it,
as did you and I.
Immediately you shot her
your best porcelain L.A. smile.
She looked at you dismissively
like you were a piece of shit
and walked haughtily by,
and you knew it as did I.
Immediately you let rip
'What is with this fuckin' city now?
You smile at someone and you get that?
Things have changed and I just don't understand it'
But you did and you had,
an elegant man in your mid-sixties
with cachet slowly in decline
despite the lace shirt and fine shoes.
I leant across and whispered
'But Jerry it's the way that you were smiling!'
infering a piranha sensing dinner,
and it became your turn to give me that kind of look.
I sensed another outburst brewing
but it slowly broadened from insulted shock
into a smile accentuated by a lazy shrug
as we sauntered on along in fading sunshine.
- Robert Cochrane
30th January 2021.