. 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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Louisiana Summer Pining


I miss the box fan blowing hot air onto hot,
Cigarette smoke on my father’s lips and a sweaty
beer between his Levi’s
and the neighborhood
in a warm haze passing by the window –
the same houses and trees in a loop
like in an old Looney Tunes cartoon,
Dad waving to everybody so that the whole town
seemed like his friend to me,
An oversized bronze eagle on his belt buckle,
A Harley under a tarp in the workshop at home,
Flies on the dog’s food bowl,
Distance playing tricks on our eyes so that the sugar cane looked like
an ocean but one filled with coyote tracks
and pesticides
and king snakes
and sharp green leaves that left thin paper cuts on my arms,
Grandma beads along my neck,
When was Grandma ever so dirty?
Uncle Mo’s mustang with the hood always up,
Shop rags always hanging over the fenders like a tired
dog’s tongue,
Miller Lite cans in the trash,
Bare breasts on the girls on the calendar sitting on motorcycles
in high heels teaching me early on that long legs
and big perfect tits were what I should
set my sights on,
Heat like a heavy hand,
Old women with paper fans in the church pews,
My friends in black and white altar boy robes refusing to look my way
because their own fathers were paying more attention
to them than to the frivolous message
about kindness or forgiveness
or being fruitful
or filling the wicker baskets
or speaking to long dead apostles as if they gave a damn
or some such shit,
Donuts after service,
The ice-cold turd-brown waters of the Mississippi River,
Rope swings and navigation towers,
The undertow always threatening to pull somebody out into those
hellish currents,
Tankers with European names churning white water
to push their payload upriver to Baton Rouge
and no further
since clever Huey P. Long built the bridge too low
for them to pass under,
Foggy mornings
and sunshine all day long,
The hot breath of God Almighty,
Breathing,
Always breathing,
Dusk at 9:30pm,
Dawn when the fried eggs were ready,
Pop-tarts,
Bacon,
Flaky biscuits,
Buttermilk pancakes,
And always chocolate milk,
Dad should have kept a dairy cow instead of a motorcycle.

1.2014

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