August 22, 2012

poem 279 of a poem a day for 2012





my American education turned me into a penniless poet

clapping erasers behind the school
clouds of chalk dust billow
in little felt thunders across
the windshield of memory
driving the train looking
into the past for signs of change
or patterns that have repeated
themselves over and over like bells
and everywhere I get lost in
along the way
past cafes and sidewalks
with sandwich board advertising
for the latest sliced bread
phenomenon of human consumption
shape shifting morals
with the disappearing blue mail boxes
because we don’t want powder
in our letters ever again
so we remove little barriers
to construct bigger more invisible ones
then sell you on the convenience of it
that make it seem when you drum
in a circle that you are now an odd fit
for the evolution of the plasticity of blood

I am not quite sure
when it all began here in earnest
perhaps when Henry Ford
began subsidizing the Nazi party
in Germany in the early 1930’s
because after all money was honey
and you had to go where the bees were
during the great depression
if you wanted to eat
but since then our humanity’s mechanization
has led to its micronization
and cellular divisions
where they can plant red or blue flags
so far up your ass you smile rhetoric
in the latest brow beaten fashions
you become your own still life walking
as if all art was finally unleashed
and the streets were just filled
with its decadent decaying half-lives
only there are subtle reminders
to keep it to yourself  
because nobody wants to feel connected
to the moment let alone the future
in the radiant strain of solar panels
lessening the need for fossil fuels
that we are driving this train with

so I just stop and lean my body
against some bricks like paint
splashed against the wind
and slide down to sit on the concrete
and try to make eye contact
with my pen on the page
dreaming when books
were more important
than the repeatable
instructed lies
we got graded on
I never played that song well
because I wanted to feel
each sneeze of chalk dust clapping
remembering how sometimes
a teacher would slip through
and encourage me to eventually
do what was inside of me

there are no jobs for writers
painting words
without selling your soul
in little bits of unadulterated gold
that survived the immunization
of doing right by a graded slot system
but damn there are moments like this
where my little memories fall into place
and a dusty sneeze can grace
and teleport me across pages of black ink
and bent fingers pressing keys
to please myself

I watch the world go by me
with an odd smile
as I wonder if any of you
sometimes think about chalkboards
and the sounds of lessons
we sometimes met with day dreaming
out the window
driving the train
into the future
thinking of the circuits 
of circus behaviors
and when the Doppler shift
began to turn you around
to look at the past
as a way back to where
we might want to go

EJR ©

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