Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On the Other Side of a Contrived Day



On the Other Side of a Contrived Day

A parched split-second landscape comes to mind.
No roads.  Brush and maybe a distant calcified pine
in country it was not native to.  A daylight quarter-moon
pales and sinks toward a rattletrap town of TV gawkers
living on powdery Social Security bucks and weak pensions.

               ***

The sun comes up the color of church gold, finds you
in a waffle house taking bourbon relief from a silver flask.
You're in a booth at a custard-smeared window.
Fever-deranged, Doc Holliday thinks he is beside you,
though he is pissing a mattress, dying in Glenwood Springs.
Or you are in Doc's withered brain in that room in the Rockies. 
The waitress, blonde hair in dirty knots, scuffs up to you,
Coffee?  Or you want a water glass... a filmy one.

               ***

Or you have a senior citizen job swatting flies
on the community bulletin board.  Back in Nebraska.
South of Valentine.  Living across a narrow road
from a blow-out that regularly sends sand into your
two-room shack every time you have canned meat for supper.
You've developed a pack-a-day cigarette habit.
Cigs are easier to bum, and hoard, one at a time from tourists,
than Copenhagen cans.  You have confected three personalities,
two for tourists (salty old cowboy and bad-luck stock broker)
and one for your wife (disheveled former snake oil pitcher).
To get paid, you have to save each killed fly in a paper cup.

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