Modesto, five days in.
Ninety miles on the gas tank in this wee outpost, driving here,
strait towards there in the whirlwind of apps, faces, noises and sweat,in the heat
towards the same tedious bet for the old stations and habits and the patriotic glaze, the stickers and tee’d scenery where there’ll always be plays
…always gonna be a moral there if ya skip ahead to the last page, no point
the Mall, the sprawl of it all
nowhere here there but the church’ll make man right-fair.
and baseball caps’re everywhere, the straw sun-hats glow and every single motherfucker has three pairs of sunglasses at home, twenty sandals to top and or a mullet or mustang
they’re so proud of and they wash it in their front drive each morning
while talking to bob next door what type of gasket they hope to install
on joanne’s carborator so sunshine’ll glowthrogh it
while kelly gets ready and’ll buzz b93like, past the sunspot flagpole she skips off to see it sunspotted starbucks and then ol brenden theatres to wear the little ribbed shirt and the jeans that comes with it (but the jamba comes lata’) so then the drive to ______ house and then something real chill
real chill you know real chill and then the hip sly cigarettes in the car, on the road, on the road, have you read- and then maybe the fucking unending novelty of a twelve pack of beer for the men so smirnoff for the girls cause they don’t like that hard stuff it don’t taste good makes em sick
and no no and the buzz cuts and the sweat and the politics
and dentists and the honda civics, the shadow creeping sizzles from the a.c. units
and the sprinkler systems and the cockroaches scuttling under the curbs of the sweltering sidewalks along the ramshackle storefronts with thirtyfive million fucking extraneous cars zigging by
with seventy million fucking morons piled in two by twos, with graying hairs
or a powdered glistening babe alongside whose along for the ride, who believes the true christ and her nokia device and and her hookas and girlfriends and smirnoff with ice, just whats simple and cable, and laughs and nice asses they both have sunglasses and little tops and cute jeans and fucking honda civics but this summers a hot one so stay alongside the one you love baby do man buddy friend buddy.
And the clouds are somethin else here lean bacon ona grill, wondering are we stockton merced or LA’s overkill. and everyone swimming the heat waves in carts of suns and glasses cute jeans for asses, the shirts are molasses where sweaters makes passes on the same lanes the same routes the sames games where we grew up, on the same doubts we hung out to dry when we decided we’d be too far to cry, too tired too hardened, too bored to be floored by the ever expansive Lord, or by sprawling jingles and cell phone calls and late night fights and street lights and bumper stickers. we moved, returned, feigned the same stories, the same names, the same faces, the same places and charades.
Alongside that ugly handbag that made everyone swoon, thirtyfive million dreaming of some texas tycoon who will sweep down and plow down a marraigable price, don ballcap and profess a loving of christ and bring them the drink and the tube and the phone, before kickbacks and sprinklers will build house a home.
For a dollar a hit for a dollar a home
For a song that says something about long lonely roads, moans, baby done me wrong, she done
next to that fucking baseball you nostalgic backwards fuck named hank, with that orchard nearby.
belief and good diplomatic harm and wholesome values. with a pepsi and a gun, with bubblegum and and a dream! with booze and a goddamn job selling cellphones to all
the other lonely fucks driving mchenry late all night, wondering
about them kids, moblie grids and flowcharts making a society an organism. making sprinklers, phones.
High school scenes, gleams, seeking friendly faces, but seeing nothing but ages and wrinkles and spots and hats, and shades and drinks and cars for cares, cars, cars. cars. The cars outnumber the stars here ten to one, and all the dying palm trees are constantly counting, holding out hope against hope.
the bronzed skin, underlayed in ink streaks, walking along the dusty canal that is fucking parched
the canal is too in ink streaked in sun and tire marks, old shopping carts, memories
the water is red, read corrosive and heavy and there is slime along the banks’ burnt umber flanks tributary cement cracks juxtapose so many new shoes and so many old shows, flows and shmooze
trying to outvoice the poverty and the shitty tattoos, logos and the
buzzcuts and mantras martyrs, cheaters and hoes
and the games of tall baseball caps, roadside signs
advertising the heat and the dust and the evercounting psalms
and the tricks and trades and trivialities spent
sssspiraling over these fake clouds
snap crackling over the afternoon steet,
dreaming of L.A
And everyones tuning their voices up
hoping to be that jingle they heard, they seen on tuesdays spectacle next
blessed this that this there bigger than those EVER never never
not only not tomorrow never never ‘gin act now CALLnow …or never
come now laugh now screw now do now
in the car, in the new interior with the pine tree swingin tall
and me, and the picture of you, and of three, and him and her, and them, waving arms
with the air on, the lights on, the leather shining, the jamba sweating
a phone call coming, and the road bending and the lanes bluring
and he she he pretending to be the drunk with the slurring
laughing swearing panting drawling pleading I’m soooooo druuuuuuuunk baby
Man seriously now please and then laughing and crying and disgusing and pissing and missing and hugging and fucking
And then all alone
and the old train whistle and heat
and maybe you’d take it without missing a beat
when there’s silence with eyes, til the sounds from the street
ride the breeze to the rooftops so as t’die in defeat
faced with fractured desires, the energies’ll fall
and hindrances and jokes, burdens and guilt, phonies phone calls
act towards same old lanes and houses the shadows and songs
though they’re long rearranged so as the young might feel Young
well they’ll scoff as they blur by
that fuck on the byway
whose just staring and wondering
what the fuck he is watching for
what the fuck he is waiting for
what the fuck he is watching for
under the hot sun
and the fake greasy clouds
about the lithe, skittering, tattoed people gathering crowds
and their shorts hats and shades, late night charades!
and their cars and their shops and depressive barhops
and their train whistles at nights that tear holes in these props
their parades and the games stop appointments for fights
through their songs and tvs and brand new apartment lights,
glow down on their beers, cigarettes, the ads by the lane
that are trying to sell me something like- some kind of change.
tell me, what the hell is new, anyway
What is new?