. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sej and Smith

I like writing epic poetry, and this is perhaps my most epic of them all. It's a love story of true friendship, brotherhood and loyalty, of betrayal and of intimate and honest revenge, set to the greatest backdrop of them all - Walmart. It's one of the few poems I ever wrote that underwent several complicated layers of revision, and thus does not have an exact date for completion, but was worked on over the course of many years. I refuse to tell you too much more... I'd rather your imagination paint the picture for you...



This is a story forgotten but now remembered.
This is the proverbial place where Rhythm found her roots.
After fruitless nights of surrendering your insanity,
These are the very veins of blood and through these threads, too, flows love.
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh

Old boy Smith had a voice cold like a shadow
And they say the red storms of Jupiter swirled in his hair.
His fingers were stained like stars found too low on the horizon.
So we find him under sweat and smock, here at the beginning of our story.
His brother laid bare under African skies.
Cigarette butts and sand
Sand and cigarette butts
Sej taught old Smith to dance in time to the passing comets of rain.

But that, old friends, comes later,
So much longer and so much later.

In the glass of their eyes red fire burned like the lights of a city seen from the moon.
Under a circle of blue the first Discount City turned to embers at a reduced price.
Cigarettes butts and sand
Sand and cigarette butts
Sej and Smith
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh

----------

This is the era of Double Trouble for Sam.
This is the systematic selection of the right combination of matches.
After a long day under the penetrating gaze of fluorescents,
Out of a fog walked Sej, his black heart wrapped in black skin.
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh
He said.

Sam’s boys in blue followed fires whose fingers they couldn’t touch
While finger foods were served in a Mexican brothel.
Some stars were never meant to find refuge in heaven.
They instead mothered children in the moon-filled shadow of a naked bed.
Those two never learned so much.
Cigarette butts and pesos
Pesos and cigarette butts
She taught them to listen to the sound of the unclothed body in a still room.

 Sej didn’t care to listen.
Smith listened too close.
They both pounded the walls to wake up the sun.

When the fires burned down they were making their way back, no longer wetbacks.
Seeds were left, the hope of strong trees; in their heart, in Mexico, they left with her name:
Rhythm.
Cigarette butts and pesos
Pesos and cigarette butts
Sej and Smith
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh

----------

This is the unpopular point in the story for Sam.
This is the part where he thought it over and safe to nap.
After the exodus that broke the heart of a reality still shaken
These were real cotton columns, real clouds of black smoke once again filled the air.
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh

No yellow smiling face was safe from the torch.
In between both oceans they all turned to ash.
Smith’s cheeks were stained with a flame-licked golden touch
And he followed Sej were ever he led.
Through tongues of heat and temples of rage.
Cigarette butts, tongues and temples
Temples, tongues and cigarette butts
They were closer and closer and closer to the end of their journey.

And that, old friends, is quickly nearing,
So much sooner than anyone thought.

In the deep hole of their hearts a mad joy moved their fire calloused fingers faster.
Sam, in his lazy cushioned sofa, lost both his white hair and his white fortune together.
Cigarette butts and sand
Sand and cigarette butts
Sej and Smith and Sam
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh

----------

This is the ending of two part-time employees.
This is where it’s safe to say their legend is sealed.
After the last match was lit in the last store still standing,
The pair, with lunatic eyes, danced under the failing sprinkler system.
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh
They sang.

An old whore smiled in a dry Mexican shadow
And still Sam thought the ghosts of his past were dead.
The stars were aligned when she sang her chant
So the concoction stirred in the empty skull of a passing black child.
Go find a partner and do my bidding.
Cigarette butts and sand
Sand and cigarette butts
Sej and Smith were innocent weapons of war.

Now, old friends, you know their story.
Whether you wanted to or not.

In the corner of her eye, dry tear ducts pulsed with the sweet rhythm of revenge.
Under crumbling supports the last Discount City fell to the sound of burning laughter.
Bones and ashes
Ashes and bones
Sej and Smith
hoomba, hoomba, hoomba
oh
She said.



2 comments:

  1. the drawing in the middle is extremely disturbing. i can only imagine how thrilled you were when you came upon it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah. i enjoyed it thoroughly. i considered for a long time whether i should display it by itself or as a part of the trio.

    ReplyDelete