disasters in the sun

 

(NOT a poem by Ferlinghetti:)

glassware in thrift store window;
translation: “transparent theories of evolution”

a small, desert country;
translation: “if only Nabonidas had started earlier”

dryer lint;
translation: “there must have been some dust on those mints”

rusted TV tower;
transmission: “father shouted his vile curse over the fence into the junkyard
the curse that the children would soon come in for dinner
a nice dinner of veggie dogs

if we’re to make a class generalization

that they would wash their hands
maybe put on a clean shirt
and though the children were impaled on giant metallic forks
or fumbling dubious sexuality
magnifying glass house-fly blowtorch
in the shade of a totalled Impala
or worst of all
watching in secret as the junk man sought in vain an aggressive
oily carnal knowledge of the junk dog
quite a surprise to anyone watching
except maybe the junk man’s neighbours
who were beyond all surprise with the junk man’s fancies

and though the father’s cries heard half-way through the town
the town where they buried nuclear waste
where they buried all responsibility and knowledge of this dirty war
where they buried a junk man’s cock deep inside a jack russell

and even though nearly all the town could hear the father now
nearly all the barrels of nuclear waste could hear this father curse
a curse invoking lesser gods
of rhetoric
a curse which wonders aloud did the children even wear sun block
did they
did they wear the hats

even though half the town
maybe most of the town
now
the town filled half-way with lonely women and men
who could have cared less for the junk man’s class or status
could have cared a lot less
for their lovers were away fighting in this dirty war
these lonely men and women would have loved the junk man
anyway
would have cooked the junk man a real dinner
not weiners and beans if we might take one last stab

at class generalizations

maybe bought him a clean t-shirt
and sure
he’d have to wash the dog-shit off his junk
and maybe try to stand erect when he meets the parents
but this is all too much for the junkman
it’s the reason he became a junk man in the first place
his osteoporosis
his canophilia

are no laughing matter

but the junk man was too busy
too busy for such considerations
something was becoming urgent
as he pressed and unpressed himself deep into the dog
nice doggie
and something
like a light
like burning light
from a match
or magnifying glass
held aloft
by malignant
ignorant children
burned and opened
inside the junk man’s ribs
his light
a flash
almost
almost
all–”

______ _ __________   ___ _ _________ __ _ __ __ _ __      ___________

here’s a link to actual work by Ferlinghetti, his wonderful “Junkman’s Obbligato”: http://www.angelfire.com/oh/BringUsAnotherBeer/junkman.html

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2 responses to “disasters in the sun

  1. I like that how you begin with (NOT a poem by Ferlinghetti)…does it sorta make it in homage? This is a line to contemplate…”and though the children were impaled on giant metallic forks”

  2. thanks, Amy! yes, it is in homage to S.F.’s fine Ferlinghetti. how’s your seminar coming? i’m thinking of doing mine out of the back of my car, if the weather’s nice.

    – love,
    Clay

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