Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Voice Out of the Cloud

                                          Several Voices Out of a Cloud
                             Come, drunks and drug-takers; come, perverts unnerved!
                             Receive the laurel, given, though late, on merit; to whom
                                       and wherever deserved.

                              Parochial punks, trimmers, nice people, joiners true-blue,
                              Get the hell out of the way of the laurel. It is deathless
                                        And it isn’t for you

                                                                     –Louise Bogan

I’m crossing the Floating Bridge. It’s been a longer drive than it seems
curving up and around and down Snoqualmie Pass and up the hill
outside Twin Peaks and over to and through Mercer Island,
a sharp right off the Bridge before entering the tunnel,
following the circuitous route by Lake Washington
where the young grunge rocker shot himself,
I saw in Denver day after it happened,
the Post full of words and pictures
the way norteamericanos like it
although TV is quicker . . .

I was on my way to Mexico. I wanted a vacation from the middle class.
I would never get there, that was OK, I’d been in the City twice
however long ago. The vision is always prospective up here.
Looking outward, you can see the bullets before the guns.
Don’t ever look back, you’ll take a bullet in the back.
Score and leave, stash the stash where dogs smell
only oil. Stop south of Tijuana and outside
San Diego, make the transfer and head
into the north, where the action is,
the knives replacing the guns.

Along Alaskan Way the cars are worse than ever. I park under them.
Walk up to Pike and light a joint on the way, nobody stops me,
I like to think I’m free, a friend who tends bar got busted
smoking on the street. It’s enough to drive you to drink.
In the shadows of doorways a man is helping a woman
fix. They swoon into the light. There are no cops,
so a freak puts the make on and I knock him
back into the traffic. Cars jar to a screech.
Crack whores ask, Like a date, baby?
How do I know they do crack?

The guys from the provinces squire the ladies born in this big city
to cushions before fireplaces for one martini after the other.
They go back to his penthouse and make love as long
as the stock-market report takes, not very long . . .
The compromisers are out in full force. It’s
politics, it’s called going along to get along.
The punks. The trimmers. The nice people.
Somebody joins and the organization
of America proceeds apace. Know
something, I don’t give a shit!

There were nine of them, the women on top of the big mountain,
high enough for the gods to get there if need be . . .
Young guy with looks picks out one only
as he was told. He’s not Donald Trump
or some other bloke, his name is Paris.
Helen’s his squeeze. Goes all the way
with him. Troy is nice, she decides.
Nobody thought it was unusual,
The lad was always bringing
a new one through the gates.

                                                                     late 2010, after the election
 (19 November 2010)

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