Orphans and Lovers


A poem i wrote a good while ago, on leaving my girlie in the middle of the night annoyed that she was not my girlie. I tried to reappraise a poem I wrote years ago on completing highschool, called “Modesto.”

i’ll follow up later with “modesto.” its fun to watch voices bend in wind

Landscape romance
by Steven Tyrannosaurus West on Friday, June 18, 2010 at 11:36pm

One of the supreme tests of human empathy is distinguishing orphans and lovers.

The moon is the inkling of eye seen through a keyhole. 75 mph, the night a snake shedding its scales across the dusty hood, flinging sheets from the flimsy antenna, streamers on the spokes. Green glows rise from the purple hilltopped 3am darkness. Birds bark, arching slow swoops above a factory that illuminates its blackbound feet and the pestered pink clouds above… clouds knocking the floorboards with summer storm broomhandles: old greyeyed neighbors annoyed at the excess noise. Windmills spinning furtive in the somewhere shadows, young girls learning to dance. The steaming asphalt and a few roadside weeds waltz the melted tires and gasoline scents away, slipping soft towards the dilated gap steering the wheel.

California, land of the beautiful navels. We’ve the most beautiful navels in the world, and never stop looking to them. Symbols eat at me, slow. Most people love poison in small doses. We make a world of contrasts we do. Bleach, blubber, bibles. Breasts cup crosses, torture gallows. The most beautiful countryside sown with these space station factories, surreal structures bellowing inhuman their confusion in huge green puffs of emissary steam, straight at the gates of heaven. The cows watch the rapture listlessly.

We try to own this land by racing scamperscamps across it, the useless scurry of car tires and high speed trains emulating Lilliputians’ ropes, hangmen in masks, accessorized. We wanna bind fast the giant hills, tame em: the lonely expanse feels empty and far too deep.

You’re adjusted to a menu of billboard bonanzas which move your mouth for you, metronomes click chewing a rate, spit out receipts and reservations, change into a cup.
A commercial for pie tells you “Treat yourself.”

Who wants to see a landscape that sings to you in a quiet voice, reminding to remember, chiding, beckoning, thighs sliding over silk: infinite vowel sounds eventually giving way to “cmon baby, you don’t want to be alone, you know nothing of the world, what the hell are you doing, run, run! feel! Find a woman! Sing! Watch the sun rise! Weep! reflect on life, swim outta here! wonder, imagine, fret, regret, reminisce, feel!”

We retreat to the city calm. Its roadside fortifications greet us, all banners begging holiday shopping. These are the ramparts keeping the poet Huns at bay, day laborers for the new religion.

Huge scrolls unfurl along the car windows and gas station lines, “well done!” “Right on track!” “Keep it up! Climb climb climb!” A laugh track outlaughs you at every punchline, “HA HA HA HA, jeez that guy awshucks!” “Ten ways to win the big bucks.”

White rectangles loom against the black horizon, “You’re a winner!” “zzzzzz.” “Wowbangzowpoof”

We wake to doilies and the platonic, the perennial proper.
Mask the meandering wrinkles before icefished glass versions of ourselves
More chores than chinamen in china, not Babel but everyones doing it, all climbing, waiting

Its years of ice tea glasses, politely pretending to pirouette into your bored gape
Then kitten emerges, cracklestretching to an impossible length in the sunbeam

with an exasperated sound roughly translating
“america, when will you take off your clothes?”

Kitten an orphan, I never was.

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