I finished reading all the novellas set in orphanages.
In a drop ceiling environment, no longer coerced by a piano’s black keys.
There were watercolors of monuments in proud family sunrooms.
In perfect bank robbing weather, where people sat thirsty and insured.
Messages of rebellion were at a constant but I was past rebellion—I had quit.
I had driven through these hamlets one by one in a digital spy mobile.
Toward dashboards of sky the color of sports drink.
Passed black sun-hot mailboxes.
The brush fires that moved like mechanical bull.
Passed objects of value in faraway places.
And value, we know, needs beholders, to beholden.
To behold their own inheritance of centuries, their poorly drawn jagged borders.
Where the sun pushes the shadows out of us.
Out of the stones that clung a thousand years to the perverted mesas
Balancing their circuitry of thermal waves.
Out of the main streets immortalized on kitchen clocks.
Where night was of two identical possibilities.
For those to memorialize the fruits of their patriotism.
Those that thought we’d be soft footing on the surface of the moon by now.
Here are some of those people, they’re here for the dry heat.
And then here comes me, a passionate idiot, new in town.
When I hear the opening sequence of Careless Whisper, it’s a tantric experience
I think about those I’ve hurt and those I’ve satisfied
It isn’t about the kind of music; it is the music that I want to restrain me
From distraction long enough to listen the way we are meant to listen
In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins, a song that introduced viewers of Miami Vice
To the five o’clock shadow, and the penchant to drive and reflect on one’s life
With platitudes that look good in headlights
To strive for a plane of easy listening
To do the things that sound impressive
I can’t believe we’re here tonight
In an era where sensationalism is the new nationalism
Where it’s a delight to panic with late-night country western
Knowing Fist City has the cadence to inspire the canned laughter
Needed to stave off my treasonous impressions
Under different circumstances I’d be humming a better tune
Something to make me feel like a blooming rose on a decaying bush
But there is only so much talk and there are countless things to listen to
Everybody’s Talkin’, Strawberry Letter 23, Wild Horses, Smooth Operator
You couldn’t pump that much heaven into a gray city
Eggplant, scallion, ginger, turmeric,
Purchased to an instrumental version of Take My Breath Away
I don’t have the stomach for Reelin’ in the Years
A song that gives the illusion of the longest evening trapped in a chair
I’d like to get my kumuppins to anything by Link Wray
Some spas utilize thunderstorms, just enough to spook the wildlife in you
There were times with Japanese rock n’ roll driving past New England buffalo
The bar & grill Casio credos meant to lift the limp and addled
Civilian’s Us vs Them carpe diem
The minor chord kids, the buttery tear inducers, video poker salsa
Sometimes I need the free of excitement mood music
That saved many soldiers with PTSD after WWII
Music so translucent it put you in a place with no rewards, no competition
Of course there is romance; Dorothy Ashby’s Afro-Harping while driving 90mph
Whispering to your passenger
Of course there are the meat and potato boot stompers
A large percentage of assholes which seem drawn to Sinatra’s My Way
I once shushed a candle, in the lowly way, cursing every one of you
Is that so wrong – a delicate declaration of war?
I watched the inaugural parade with only the audio of wind
passing through a press box
As if the world was so soft spoken we’d been ignoring it for centuries
With its methane and waves, blue jays screaming in the rain,
wind from the darkest holes
It’s been said life is a crime
I’ve been told civility is a chore
Every year, the warmer weather brings bodies
To the surface of New York’s rivers and harbors
In the mornings, I wait to see if a figure will greet me
Through the shower mist, their fingers pruned like mine
Not from pressing the steamy mirror
To draw a phallus under a palm tree, as is my compulsion
A gesture that could be rated for its “Momentary Sensuality”
Or, “Ribald Humor”
Of course this isn’t the movies
This isn’t about movies, this isn’t about ratings
This is an extension of athletics
In a world of victor and baseless fame
One that leaves us in need of a second set of hands
Wringing continually in despair
Though legends are sometimes honored with a cult
The strange and saintly retain a biology
They have friends everywhere
They have the iffy look of people that are free
The twist is god is spreading rumors about us
About our drugs and murder, our murderous sex drugs
Our bare bottom pranks, perverse brooding,
Our kids in jeopardy, our vampire violence
I’m subject to this criminal life, this realm
Of aliens and demons, ostensibly masculine Draconian rule
Each night putting on dark gloves, a famous undercover
A black balloon, a banana going bad in a bag
Photograph ©enki22, Phil Collins casette