The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Daytrip to the meadows

Anxious and hungry, we are thirsty for fluid nighttime lights
and a view from the dead flatness of earth.
And so we soar southward over cool blacktop
in the close, sunless morning--
a small restless flock we are, buffeted about by westpacific winds--
until over Delano and the Tushars daylight crowns, quick and golden,
same as seven a.m. summers when my eyes crack to the light
and breathe in heavy awake the heaving morning air.

The blue sky, pale blue sky colored like
milky soap bubbles on a freshscrubbed sidewalk
blazes through the red sandstoned buttes, the ruddy bluffs behind us.
Edge of the mojave and we patrol the wideopen road;
joshua trees line up the freeway (those hands to the sky),
first guarding the guardrails
then spreading out and off and further,
scattered in forest patches the distant claycolored sand.

On a long desert boulevard we arrive in the midst of chaos,
next to a stadium brimming with colors and bodies
and surrounded by hard white trailers and numbered flags and barbeques.
We are ushered in by these celebrity helicopters, circling closer and
hovering just above our heads like sleek painted falcons, shining
and swimming through sunlight, one-by-one. Policecar lights splay on
chainlink fences and hot double-yellow lines, and through a queue of cars
we stumble past the spectacle, all the race-waiters.

To the architected center,
throbbing heart of a barren land, haunted by
spectres of generations of drowned hopes and sloughed dreams.
Where the earth lights the heavens instead of vice versa,
and society gathers in united strands of joy and craved emptiness--
Where desire is desired.

This city so full of people, so churning and thriving,
so consumed by artifice and laughter and swagger
and erected replicas of places they'd rather be, scenes they'd rather see.
They want the whole world condensed into one small vision;
they imagine adventure and purpose in these diversions.
(But still we come to be diverted by these diversion-seekers,
as if one with them.)

We walk miles till our legs throb and the
children must be carried--pregnant or no.
The heavy sun sinks in the Nevada soil but light never leaves;
dark only in the dimming sky.
Modeled censored girls on hard coloredpaper cutouts
litter the walkways and we trample them,
hear the clickclack of fingers flicking decks of them and beckoning
with hands extended and eyes elsewhere,
tossing mass-produced faceless bodies into the crowds,
bright glaring shirts:
"I can get you any girl in 20 minutes."

Oh Las Vegas must you be so bright
with your sidewalk stench and shine?
and all your choreographed light shows and circus parades,
dancing fountains and megaphone whores with wideopen legs
and soulless stares and the tinkling of glass,
the smell of rum and whiskey sours and thick raisiny cigarsmoke.
But even as we decry it all we can't help but watch, awed, captivated;
we can't help but smirk behind our smiles.

We leave as we came: that stadium we passed,
exploding with colors and flags and movement, all dying away.
And then the slicked waxy trucks, gleaming like greased billboards
with images of razors and two-by-fours and tall beer cans,
trail each other through the intersection taking their racers away.
And back over blacktop we flee, north toward the Wasatch,
away from the little harbor-pool of endless light in the desert.

But even as we despise it we validate it;
even as we walked its streets we gave it breath.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tantrum after the results

I shut the office door--past six and it looks like rain--
and lay down on the turf-carpet with my face up on it all flush up against it;
it smelled of socks and sunflower seed shells and scalp flakes.
I know my weaknesses, and I'm too logical, too
levelheaded for this tantrum.

I spoke clumsily in whispers and chants like some mantra of "I don't believe" gets me anywhere.

I curled up and in a daydream with my fingers clenched digging my palms
I thought of an old woman holding a mirror up to her withered face
and gasping at the sight of herself she dropped it into the dingy porcelain of the tub
where it shattered and broke, that old family heirloom,
and she said "good."

It's just that I wanted to be the best, I didn't want no comeuppance. I needed,
face to the floor like this.
Now I want to cut my hair and starve myself, to change to be different to be
better. Or just to be.
Always acting so serious, so deep ostensibly steeped in meaning I try to fill
it all in. I guess I try to mean in everything.
But isn't, there isn't meaning in everything./? (<--even in this)
Some things are just pointless. I know my weaknesses.
I'm too clearheaded and I can't cry when I try
or when I need.
But enough's enough. So I sat up.

Then on the way home,
in an old rusted white Taurus wagon with a maroon hood,
a small boy--River Phoenix in Stand By Me--
cranked his window down next to me and set his small hand
on the glass, stared at me and lifted two fingers, waved.
I stared ahead at the road and the pillow blanket of thick pregnant clouds
and lifted two of my own, waved back.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I saw this mighty elm in a field,
next to new highway contstruction,
and the small man holding a chainsaw underneath it,
eating into the outstretched lower limbs,
the pale, wet wood.

And I thought of mankind mining ore in the earth,
learning to purify it, melt it mold it sharpen it,
place it into that circular metal ring
then power it black with oil,
extracted up from the depths of the earth--
remains of the living, prehistoric matter.

Cut into them mighty living trees,
tear them to the ground, limb by limb, uproot the stump;
make way for an empty stretch of highway, roadway,
noxious hardened black tar set in straight lines,
inorganic, coating the soil:

an unwanted armored shell
to transport us to highrises and complexes,
to tear us off like crooked elm limbs
and then straighten us out like roads.