Friday, December 10, 2010

Tears in the Landscape (a poem)

There are smiles for days when the road just drags on in front of us, a continent framed by a steering wheel, there are tears in the landscape, every farm is selling soap. Turlock is rumored to be good money, Stockton a joke, and everyone in Berkeley was dropping money because the jokes of the night were between the legs of make believe boyfriends.

I long for the psychedelic dungeons when smoking was as much as ritual as a right hand over the heart for a flag while a brass band played a song with nothing but hard left turns, hands raised in stadiums, fists clenched in sports arenas, communities of guitars and baseball bats. Like, she was looking at me like I had something she wanted, I was looking at her amazed that I was seeing her again for the first time. Under the bridge we played rape, where we both lost, thinking that there was a bed room here once. All that there was left to do was make money.

At fifteen, I grew a beard and thought it would be cool to be on the side of a turn pike, next to the tollbooth on the worst winter Ohio could imagine, sticking my thumb out with no luggage whatsoever, going somewhere, a blank stare at the driver. At eleven, the 7-11 clerk goes to the bathroom with a titty mag. He said the Frankenstein mask was welded to his face, and the clerk laughed at this, knowing it was Halloween and most people had one joke they would tell all night about the costume they wore, and he laughed even harder when he tore the ID in half and told the asshole to get lost before he got his ass kicked.

She was an art student who spoke with lots of dots and silences when ever she came to a point, but her hand drove me mad, and I drove her insane, the crash of tidal basin waves like some continuous unwrapping of gifts while we exchanged submissions, legs over the balcony, ass grabbing on the museum fire escape, walls holding assemblages of attenuated thinking that would never as concrete as the slabs we wrestled on, rashes and red roses for the love of art and body parts. I grew up in a town where you could see the mayor of San Diego a block from his condo at a summer night in a pay phone next to a donut shop.

He complained that the planet was doing jumping jacks, but all I could sense was stillness that more than things not moving, it was as though we passed through membrane in a rent of our thinking and now breathed along side a world our blood no longer pulsed with, all I saw were work benches, tool boxes, different sized wrenches, disassembled engines, sun coming through windows painted black, "It was a dumb idea to do acid in winter in a garage so no one sees us," I said.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. This is the stuff...

    I’ve seen these same streets with different names and more discreet varieties of dirt, with meters for the parking of chewing gum and the butts of the birds of passage. It isn’t just the farms that are dealing in detergent; turn on the tube and it’s a shower of Duz, Bold and All, a snowjob of enzymes and borax starring Susan Lucci as Sonja Henie.

    I too have breezed through Turlock on a wing and a drumstick, a thousand clawed legs sticking out of barrels, bad comb-jobs in a broccoli field’s itchy scalp waiting for a backhoe scratch. There is Modesto and there is Merced and there is lunch, with cold cole slaw and a colder Okie waitress who calls you “hun” as if you were a German soldier at the point of her bayonet. I’ve met rat-finks with mouse-keys and won stuffed doggies by flipping the bird. And today, I always take antacids before going inside my garage.


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