The Sunday Poem: Georgia Santa-Maria... Igor's

Time for another bar poem!  On a recent trip to New Orleans, Georgia Santa-Maria was hanging out at Igor's.  Whether she was washing her duds or just sipping the suds she didn't say.  Still, if I were in town for more than one laundry cycle I would be there too.
Georgia Santa-Maria has just moved north from Belen to Anton Chico.  She is an Albuquerque native, born in the old purple brick St. Joseph's Hospital (now Lovelace Hosp.) on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Igor’s is the World’s coolest laundromat
Amber light and amber beer, a little neon, 
Old dark wood, rococo chocolate ceiling tin
Pool tables crowd the dryers in the back
(A short stick enables those tricky shots)
Smells of soap and sizzling burgers,
The cook in a paper hat asks
“You want cheese with that?”
Cajun style, a little cayenne
“When’s Ayala comin’ in?” a regular asks.
“Now” the cook says, and the new bartender
Saunters in, break your heart beautiful,
Gives the regulars a gorgeous grin,
Shining eyes and coffee skin,
As she ties her apron behind her back,
Outside the trolly rolls down the track
“Ding, ding, clatter, clatter 
Along its iron and live oak path.
Upstairs, the lady’s room doors embrace
A long existential poem,
Some woman hung her heart out in here.
Above flood-line, along the stair 
Frames of pictures, Igor’s history, all the gang
Many no longer here. But a little mold 
Won’t ruin the memory of those good times.
Igor’s is back, if not all of its customers.
I feel the cemetery, one block down
On Lafayette, the white tomb’s dignity,
Mardi Gras beads along the graves,
Festivity, even in death.
The washers hum, the pool balls clack,
Up front, from the bar, a great big laugh
Light filters in from the Southern front,
Out on St. Charles, where the World goes past.
Clean clothes are the least of Igor’s charms.
Bring $10, one for the wash, one for the dryer,
Two for a couple of racks, the rest
For that Cajun burger with fries 
And a cold amber in good company,
The living and the dead.

Poetry submissions are encouraged.  Email

Views: 36

Comment by Margaret Randall on June 5, 2011 at 12:24pm
I love this poem! Very different from what we've been reading lately, and refreshing in unexpected ways. Go, Ditchrider!
Comment by Dee Cohen on June 5, 2011 at 1:37pm
Great poem, Georgia, filled with style and movement and grab-hold details. I remember another poem of yours about a bar in downtown ABQ that did justice to our city as this does justice to theirs. Killer last line. Thanks, Dee
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 5, 2011 at 6:09pm
yea, Sistah, it got in just in the nick o time-- It is indeed lovely and loving and lovable--I sort of like being grounded but getting out and about like we both did last winter, well that helps keep us afloat, que no?  Igor's --yeah!   miss u, see u soon--
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 5, 2011 at 6:10pm

ps fabulous photo--ahhhh  


Comment by Ben Moffett on June 6, 2011 at 7:06am
A great poem, my kind of poem. And Valencia County hates to lose you to Anton Chico, Chica, but Chico's a pretty chic place, less populated that Igor's, perfect for poetry and you can wash your duds in the Pecos.


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