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for June 4, 2003


Poker Fazed
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

An older man approaches, "Anyone want to play poker?" Seated at the table, three of us scramble for a deck of cards. Paulie Gonzalez shuffles, a big man cuts, Paulie deals. Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love, no fan of competitive anything once competitive men get involved, refused to play. Refused to look at the cards. Refused and ... gave up. She picked up her cards. The men looked serious. Though Your Crisp Watercress no longer remembered how to play poker, she took one look at her hand and burst out laughing. It was a decent hand. She put down two cards, accepted two from the dealer. Then it was a very decent hand. The older man folded. The Big Man beat Your Bok Choi's hand, but not by much. Paulie said, "You beat the dealer."
 
Next hand: Your Bean Sprout picked up her cards and almost fell over. Two pair. Still laughing, she took one card. When she won this hand, she pushed the cards away and said, "I'm not playing anymore." Our host smiled. He introduced us to the older man, Al Aronowitz, the self-styled Blacklisted Journalist. Shortly, Al and Paulie hunkered down in a penny-ante game of tournament-style seven card poker while the room filled with poets, poetasters and poetry fans. This is the Fringe in Newark and you, Altrok readers, were there. How delightful to see you and be seen by you! You're a more attractive and far less venal group than - say - Vogue readers.
 
Contemplate if you will playing two hands of poker with the man who introduced Billie Holiday to Miles Davis. When Your Shrimp Won Ton circled back around the room, Al's pile of pennies had grown considerably and Paulie's had shrunk. "He taking you to school, honey?"
 
"Don't tell my dad," Paulie moaned, "he's a professional gambler." So, Paulie's Dad, know that this $.75 beating was delivered humbly by a one-man nexus of blues and Beat Culture history, and that Paulie walked out of the Fringe impressed with the man. Happy Father's Day!
 
While we're all resting up and last-minute shopping for Sunday, A & E presents Dad Loves Danger Week on Biography, and Spike TV, a new network for men launches this weekend. Permit Your Sweet Bao to recommend Archie McPhee for silly gifts Dad will stare at, then play with when Mom's not looking. And if you're in the New Brunswick area, consider picking up your Italian provisions at A&G Fine Foods, where if you say you don't eat olives, the men behind the counter will ask, "What's wrong with you?!" The bread is great, the store is aromatic, and the new spring cheeses are in. Better than a card, unless that card's an ace.
 

©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







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Friday, August 23, 2019
 
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