El Capitan cloaked in a cloud of angel wing powder;
art implemented as orgasm that releases
inhibition and accumulates tintinnabulations…
Was it a clump of kelp or a mama sea otter
snuggling a baby on its tummy
that bounced out there atop the salty waves?
And would the answer be intelligible
if spoken in Gaelic, Martian
or some language used mostly by flimflam gods?
Mom hung laundry on a rotating octagon clothesline
in our dusty poached backyard while delicious plums
fell by the bushel and she would sing to finches
and paisley butterflies aloft
in the hot summer sky, thus reverse
suicidal tendencies of native Earth,
intangible moon and sun. Meanwhile I was captivated
by zephyrs blowing down avenues
of ambulant dreams, shapes trapped in time’s dynamo
that minced the past and admitted me
to a council of unalloyed delights
where I was swaddled at the foot of a slick emerald waterfall.
Undisclosed events hibernate in big mysteries like atoms
that refuse to be split, like a foghorn’s warning
inbound ships, a cat’s psychology, czar’s
calcified bones. And here’s me gone to fish for
humpback whales with a tenuous nylon pole in the middle of
a blithe firmament closing in on a destination
that constitutes the trophy I can’t win.
“I’m bummed” Jack pouts, “fed up with living a life I don’t fit,”
such an odd pronouncement exhibiting a deep guilt complex.
At such times you have to counsel Jack
to calm down, chill out and meditate. Additionally
my waitress Donna was astounded when the boss threatened
to can her for not following his code
because she dashed outside to give a bag
to a lady who’d left it at the table. And now Donna
says she’ll be moving from Monterey next fall
to attend mortician’s school, and doggone there goes my muse.
I pinched myself so can attest this was real: “Ok you guys
line up,” my dad commanded me and my sisters.
“I want you all to pop your eyeballs out
of their sockets, hold them
in your hands and then reinstall them
at 45 degree angles.” “Why oh why?”
I called out, unwilling to follow his summon. I wouldn’t be able
to stand the pain, and could never again look straight ahead.
I had the right to protest: the Methodists reduced to ash
the Chinese camp at Pacific Grove in protest.
Billy the Kid committed murder to escape the Lincoln County
jail in protest. Tommie Smith raised a gloved fist
to signal black power as a protest. And if puffins
can accentuate ecocide by laying eggs on shrunken icebergs
every man and woman may with clean conscience
buck the tide, live or die in any manner despite
possible punitive consequences, even while shunning
the counter intuitive call of angel Gabriel’s phenomenological horn.
Imagine an Indy driver who has had a stroke and paralyzed
on the left side zipping past opponents
at mesmerizing speed like giant ants that well up
from a full moon and flee off its waxen edge into space.
Imagine this and you’ll inculcate what it’s like for me to withstand
my head abuzz while I engage heavy traffic on Highway One
and then clock in late at work.
Boil the foul taste out of seaweed; disclose happiness
by painting a self-portrait. Don’t let sadness
take hold just because Phoenix is scheduled
to run out of water and leave millions high
and dry. I’ll magically connect with my monumental self
as I flap wings and span the globe on dulcimer notes
while expats of Pompeii
collect on shores of the Baltic and salute
lava flows that pass between their legs.
The blacksmith become celibate who instinctively lays his head
in the lap of an expired pedagogue
is a distant cousin to the illegal alien
stooped in the field picking heads of lettuce. I wind up robots
like inexpensive toys. Confounded in evening shadows
factory slaves are stick figures who flog themselves
at the steps of hell’s kitchen, and if you don’t believe this
take the wine train through the Napa Valley and witness
grapes of wrath withering on ominously parched hills.
Tallulah Bankhead was the type who would walk backwards
miles and miles in a monsoon to get
what she wanted. I believe it’s just a stone’s throw
to Appalachia where Longinus snoozes on a cot
in a field of machine gun shells, which I suppose is what it means
to be a “citizen” in oligarchical Russia, what it is to lie
about life as though too young
to know the truth. Look closely
into the eye of the hurricane and you’ll see Mr. Spock
zoom through the bowels of neutron stars in his fashionable
space ship, which likely vindicates popes who can’t stop
blooming on the lone prairie of emancipated banana slugs.
Mademoiselle Constance wiggles like a fat chimp
and adjusts her bonnet writing a villanelle on a cruise
down the wide wide Volga while St. Petersburg sweats gold.
I stack smoke signals atop Mount Hood thinking rehearsal
will begin soon, anticipating my declassification.
Twinkling crystal arks pass unnoticed within the galactic Elysium
but in the end catalogued as mock images.
Cyrus McCormick was an icon up until
the Dust Bowl made his reaper ineffectual.
Little kids in thongs dig cigarette butts from sand on bountiful
Laguna Beach. Swallows at Capistrano have become
almost extinct, and California condors
so awesome and loved by the public get poisoned
when they ingest carrion killed
by bullets with high lead content.
I hope in the next century scribes will not pigeonhole us
as bad people simply because we failed at conservation,
defied Nature’s laws and paid a stiff price.
Even Allah would admit that quality costs
and you can’t fake it like some trumped-up Aphrodite
expected to come to the rescue, indemnify
counterrevolutionaries, tanked hedge funds
and blinking ruby lights of the cell phone tower
on a charcoal night.