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Kansas Poem #4
Hey Hoss, slow down there!
No need to go so fast. Besides,
I don’t want to go
to where you’re going, and
I don’t want to be seen
to where you’re heading.
Hey Hoss, please turn this
furious black thing around!
Kindly get me the hell out of here
before it’s too late!
No, I don’t wish to see
this row of blighted Chinese elms and dead leaves.
Nor hear the badly-sung songs
of lost love and wild regret.
And, I refuse to see
the bloody scratches of truth and beauty,
so scrumptiously etched
with long blades on those splattered bricks;
Embedded there for the duration,
like the gum under your table;
Enmeshed there as the garnished gemstones
of the myriad fountains in Kansas City,
Polished with grit, staid tenacity, and
the time-shorn murders in the wheat lands,
underground in the broad basements
of purple smoke and black blood,
of silent stealth movements
under bending eaves, and a watching moon.
No Hoss!, I don’t want to go
to where you’re going.
Sorry, but we seem
ineffably lost and sadly wandering,
like a couple of dusty dudes
groveling for the keys that match nothing.
No, I don’t want to go
down that long Chinese lane. No!
Turn this furious thing around!
Here the people sit on long verandas and
watch the strangers come and go.
They might notice two dudes like us and
wonder what we’re doing there.
Sometimes I can hear
a loud shrieking funeral going by on Highway 50.
And those same people are staring
at the two caskets, and recognizing us inside!
Hey Hoss, slow down there!
No need to go so fast! Besides,
Time is not naïve, and Its retching Uncle
has left many a lover in the shuttered room,
up there on the 2nd floor,
has poured many a shimmering glass,
and licked many a teeming spoon.
Hey Hoss, ever take a morning break
at Hartman’s Café back in the day?
When the Clutters would drive by waving,
from inside their blue chevy impala, heading
to silent Garden City, and
the cold wind blowing unheard there.
If you drive this black furious thing
down that lane there,
you will see it.
It sits like an old cat in the sun,
going nowhere fast from its sealed post,
high upon these expansive wheat plains,
under this dark, brooding, blood-thirsty sun, and
an unforgiving watching moon.
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