January 18, 2013

America was once an all spare game...





a smell of smoke from last night

I throw a few darts
tippy-toeing the old
fashioned projectiles
at the board on the way in
they were tri-feather
turkey darts
the wide wooden kind
still popular in upstate NY

the place smelled
vacuum freshener chic
some kind of Elvis smell
that said to me as a child
this is the kind of place
that sees a lot of adult things
at night, when the underneath light
behind the whiskey counter is on

so I pay attention and look
like I’m not paying attention
I walk past scented
sanitizing bathroom deodorizers
sparkle wax glaze spread
evenly over the lanes
I swim in tiny daggered lights
the grill, jukebox, 
stand up video games
and televisions are
dancing flicker turnstile
cabarets at the shimmer slow
silhouettes of crunchy eyed adults

they are all
in early rise
trying to keep up
with re-hydration
while us kids
are all sugared up

I remember looking at
this palace
as if it were the absolute middle
of a suburban-Friday night
to Saturday morning howl
a prowling wonder
stuck in my eyes
every time I went
bowling on Saturday mornings

the Fryolator was already on
because, after all
this is America
hungry for eternal weekends
soon after we arrive
the place starts to smell
like French fries and
the baby powder
we use for our sweaty fingers
to release the hurtled ball smoothly

most of us have our own gear
that we bring, some of us
have more than others
some of us even use
the house equipment
while we all use
the bowling shoe spray
it keeps the place
a flip-side rose 
of roller skating rinks

there could be no mistaking
the timpani drum
scatter pin falls
cascading though
in the background
from where I stood
near the front desk
telling me anything otherwise anyway
there would be no skating today
no organ or space disco music
with spotlights turning
no glitter light rain coming
only waiting conquest and failure
around the well carpeted
corner separating the lanes
from where I was standing
trying to get my shoes on

I look quickly
back and forth
jumping at the corner 
peeling, peering into nearly there
background noise building beneath 
familiar bleach white light
bleeding into my wanting
to know my lane assignment

I look at the bulletin board standings
for this week’s match-up under
a gleam of banked florescent fixtures
paying homage 
to the shiny geometry 
of its 50 lanes

and as I do a high order 
of chaos takes over
and I am just another kid
giving up cartoons 
to go bowling
I am another marzipan competition
molded to look like the parts of America
we are told to start to collect
the parts we are told
would be staying nostalgia free 
so that if we were ever
to become old fashioned or stuck
in a future that didn't remember us
they would remember our names
and all our scores 
and all we had to do
was look inside the odd smell
of their memory and hold it
to find a map back 
to where we are all
our own little pieces of perfect, framed

EJR ©

1 comment:

  1. "..our own little pieces of perfect, framed"
    wonderful x

    ReplyDelete