. 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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ode to Road Trip 2010

And here is the last piece of the "road trip" poems, a final culmination of the essences of our summer fling on the open road. Enjoy...


Burn bright the timeless miles of worn rubber,
set fire to distant cities born anew in the flames of discovery,
where morning is a gift yet unwrapped,
where night brings to close another day on the open road,
sling shot along rivers of blacktop,
baptized in tar alongside pilgrims in
hollow turtle shells,
empty rabbit skins,
dried dog bones,
our chapel of broken bottles and cigarette butts,
street signs decorated with bullet holes our altar,
ordained by hillbillies with trigger fingers
drinking moonshine
boiled in the sacrificial fires from every match we’ve lit along the way.

Behind us burns a searing crimson straight-edge trail,

its clean symmetry across state lines a misrepresentation
of the ebb and flow of life on the road,
cold blips where living cities should be,
a course plotted in the graphic constructs of spilt blood,
a single pulsing artery spread over the pale flesh of a binary map,
to trace our weary steps,
red for blood,
red for fire.

There is a dangerous smoke on the air,

of charring,
the Appalachian Mountains are burning,
Clingmans Dome covered in a mist of shadowy rain,
and the Adirondacks too,
Pepper’s recommendations up the side of Mt. Marcy,
Ashville has been consumed,
is in a collection of embers spilt from the water pipe of the broken-hearted,
Misses Carroll still crooning into the night,
(spare us those thighs)
The toll roads of the Northeast are burning,
every GOT-DAMN one of them!
straight to Hell,
Manhattan smells of aged cheese and (sudsless) shampoo,
Brooklyn is lost in a haze of
heavy smoke escaped from the lungs of a tall and skinny playwright,
the endless waters of Niagara burning the eyes of overjoyed Chinese tourists,
water-logged campsites among wolves ablaze in the Boundary Lands,
a hot and humid parking garage cooks a canine underground in Minneapolis,
every moose,
every black bear,
every star hovering over those northlands have tasted combustion,
Madison County is repulsive,
and Texas has not stopped burning since the open ranges closed a century ago,
only Detroit is spared –
there is no one left there to start the fire,
and one other –
Gary,
heir to the throne of Poseidon,
who cannot burn
because he is the father of all flames.

We are only two,

and a faithful dog,
(self proclaimed captain of the campsite)
road-weary travelers
who have been heading home since that perilous moment
when we pulled away from our front door,
always leaving,
always returning,
rubber on the road,
rubber on the soles of our hiking boots,
called to that place where mountains pierce the underbelly of
pregnant mother clouds,
called into the lives of old friends in new places,
if only temporarily,
to be a new soul,
a spirit belonging to the constructs of revelation,
called to the end of the road,
only to find that the road has no ending,
the open road is always open,
and the pursuit thereof is eternal,
marred by mortality,
rubber on the soul,
eating away the miles of our existence,
a burning fever that cooks the very blood within us,
drives us to insanity,
to the open road,
burning,
burning,
burning,
like the smooth cypress wood of that old house by the levee,
whose destruction by fire so long ago
in the madness of youth
permanently sealed the borders of Canada from us –
forever.

9.2010


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