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Jerry Howarth Jan 2018
Grampa G.E. Parson
Had A Yard Sale!
      …..By Jerry Howarth
~~~~~~~~JH~~~~~~~~
    - PROSE IN IGNORENTS -
Yeah he did, he put up is yard for sale.
Every where Grampa looked, people were
selling there yards,
       some were even selling their  garage.
       He didn’t know why people were          selling yards and /or garages,
But he decided to sell his garage too,
       So into town he drove, to buy one of          those big red and black garage                 sale signs.
As he drove into town, he saw another strange sign, at least it was strange to Grampa.

In great big letters on a great big sign board it said FLEA MKT.
“Flea Mkt?” Grampa ask out loud, to no one in particular. “Now why would anyone sell fleas? And how did they collect them, and from where”

Curiosity got the best of Grampa, so he made a turn-around in the middle of the street, to talk to the proprietor of this strange product.

“Yes Sir, How can I help you, Old Timer?”
ask the proprietor.

“I was wondering how do you sell your fleas”
Answered Grampa.

“How do I sell my…..AHA HA HA Sell my fleas! That’s one I’ve never heard before. Sell my fleas aha. How many pounds can you handle?”

“Well,just take your time, look around,
I have just about anything in the world  any one could possibly want…anything that is except for fleas. I just sold out of them yesterday, and have not been able to re-
supply them…AHa Ha!”

Grampa got back into his pickup, muttering to himself ” I don’t know what that young feller kept laughing about…..I must have been missing something. I still don’t know…
Awww G.E. y’ol coot, jis forget it.”

Grampa arrived at the hardware store and ask for a Garage Sale sign. As he was paying for it he just casually ask what the going price might be for a nice well kept two car garage.

Several men were within hearing of the question and started laughing along with  
the store owner.

“You say you have a two car garage? In that case you will need two signs; one for each side or was you only going to sale one side of your garage? AAHA! HA! HA!”

“Hey Dana! That’s a good one!” said one of the men loitering around the store.

“Yeah Man,” said another, you need TWO signs to sell a TWO car garage”  which produced another round of laughter.

All the time Grampa’s German-Irish was slowly inching themselves to the forefront of his head.

But Grampa, walking in the Spirit, with a soft answer (actually reply)kept the peace,
turned around, gave the laughing men a crooked smile and walked to his pickup and drove on home.

Meanwhile Grandma Parson had been exceedingly busy, putting stuff out near
the sidewalk, with a homemade sign that advertised a sidewalk sale, with coffee, lemonade or ice cold water.

Grampa just set in his pickup watching
People walk around the table upon which
Lay HIS WINNING HOME RUN BASE-BALL and…and “NO NO NO”

Grandpa came flying out of his truck to the lady who picked up Grampa’s First Place
Sales Trophy. He grabbed it out of her hands ad laced ir with his base ball.

Then looking around at other items Grandma had put out to sale; his ball glove,
His spiked all shoes. Looking around more closely Grampa realized that one entire table held all his fishing gear, baseball stuff and other odds  ends of is belongings.


Grampa quietly began picking up everything from the table which displayed his keepsakes, and put them in a large double
Papersack, and put them in a large double paper sack.

And now he understood the terms “yard sale” and “garage sale” but he still wondered why any one would buy fleas.
      Uttatuttut…that’s all folks
                 Jerry Howarth
                     5/10/16
Sophie Herzing Aug 2013
How many times have I been here like this
and how many times have I said "how many times"
before.
But I just gathered some of your clothes I had
lying on my floor for a while now,
and put them in your garage because it was left open
and you said you wouldn't be home for another hour and forty-five minutes
which is too long for me to wait up for before
I decide to just keep them and wait another day.
But we're always going to be here.

I'm always just going to be putting things in your garage
because you don't want to see me,
and not that you don't want to see me
but because you're afraid if you do you'll fall for me
and that will only make it harder for you when you leave.
And I'd like to believe that but you always make it
so ******* difficult to get a word in sometimes.
Not because you talk too much but because you never speak
honestly
about how you feel or what you want
so I just put things in your garage,
you just store things away until you have to
feel them at some point.
Like you have to feel me
at certain points.

And I allow myself to follow in your footsteps
and to just do what you ask me to do because I love you
and because I don't want you
to go away and because
I just want to be with you so badly
that I put my own baggage into your garage and my own feelings
into store
because if that means I could feel you,
if ignorance of better decisions and what really should happen
is what it takes for me to be next to you
I'll do it.

So I get it.
I get why you put things into your garage
for safe keeping
because it's what it takes
to not fall apart when you think about one day
it suddenly not being there
when you think about one day
me
suddenly just not being there.

I do it too.
I do it because I know you're not always going to be there,
so I check my emotions at the door before I enter
and I leave things in wrong places until I have to.
Until I have to deal with things like miles, maps, and distance.
Until I have to give up on trying to make something work
you don't want if it means it will be hard and bruised like it could be
if we didn't try hard enough and it failed.

Your shirt is in the garage.
It's next to the fridge and underneath it you'll find how I feel
right next to how you feel.
That's where I'll be.
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th
We had wanted to leave our homes before six in the morning
but left late and lazy at ten or ten-thirty with hurried smirks
and heads turned to the road, West
driving out against the noonward horizon
and visions before us of the great up-and-over

and tired we were already of stiff-armed driving neurotics in Montreal
and monstrous foreheaded yellow bus drivers
ugly children with long middle fingers
and tired we were of breaking and being yelled at by beardless bums
but thought about the beards at home we loved
and gave a smile and a wave nonetheless

Who were sick and tired of driving by nine
but then had four more hours still
with half a tank
then a third of a tank
then a quarter of a tank
then no tank at all
except for the great artillery halt and discovery
of our tyre having only three quarters of its bolts

Saved by the local sobriety
and the mystic conscious kindness of the wise and the elderly
and the strangers: Autoshop Gale with her discount familiar kindness;
Hilda making ready supper and Ray like I’ve known you for years
that offered me tools whose functions I’ve never known
and a handshake goodbye

     and "yes we will say hello to your son in Alberta"
     and "yes we will continue safely"
     and "no you won’t see us in tomorrow’s paper"
     and tired I was of hearing about us in tomorrow’s paper

Who ended up on a road laughing deliverance
in Ralphton, a small town hunting lodge
full of flapjacks and a choir of chainsaws
with cheap tomato juice and eggs
but the four of us ended up paying for eight anyway

and these wooden alley cats were nothing but hounds
and the backwoods is where you’d find a cheap child's banjo
and cheap leather shoes and bear traps and rat traps
and the kinds of things you’d fall into face first

Who sauntered into a cafe in Massey
that just opened up two weeks previous
where the food was warm and made from home
and the owner who swore to high heaven
and piled her Sci-Fi collection to the ceiling
in forms of books and VHS

but Massey herself was drowned in a small town
where there was little history and heavy mist
and the museum was closed for renovations
and the stores were run by diplomats
or sleezebag no-cats
and there was one man who wouldn’t show us a room
because his baby sitter hadn’t come yet
but the babysitter showed up through the backdoor within seconds
though I hadn't seen another face

        and the room was a landfill
        and smelled of stale cat **** anyhow
        and the lobby stacked to the ceiling with empty beer box cans bottles
        and the taps ran cold yellow and hot black through spigots

but we would be staying down the street
at the inn of an East-Indian couple

who’s eyes were not dilated 
and the room smelled
lemon-scented

and kept on driving lovingly without a care in the world
but only one of us had his arms around a girl
and how lonely I felt driving with Jacob
in the fog of the Agawa pass;

following twin red eyes down a steep void mass
where the birch trees have no heads
and the marshes pool under the jagged foothills
that climb from the water above their necks

that form great behemoths
with great voices bellowing and faces chiselled hard looking down
and my own face turned upward toward the rain

Wheels turning on a black asphalt river running uphill around great Superior
that is the ocean that isn’t the ocean but is as big as the sea
and the cloud banks dig deep and terrible walls

and the sky ends five times before night truly falls
and the sun sets slower here than anywhere
but the sky was only two miles high and ten long anyway

The empty train tracks that seldom run
and some rails have been lifted out
with a handful of spikes that now lay dormant

and the hill sides start to resemble *******
or faces or the slow curving back of some great whale

-and those, who were finally stranded at four pumps
with none but the professional Jacob reading great biblical instructions at the nozzle
nowhere at midnight in a town surrounded

by moose roads
                             moose lanes
                                                     moose rivers
and everything mooses

ending up sleeping in the maw of a great white wolf inn
run by Julf or Wolf or John but was German nonetheless

and woke up with radios armed
and arms full
and coffee up to the teeth
with teeth chattering
and I swear to God I saw snowy peaks
but those came to me in waking dream:

"Mountains dressed in white canvas
gowns and me who placed
my hands upon their *******
that filled the sky"

Passing through a buffet of inns and motels
and spending our time unpacking and repacking
and talking about drinking and cheap sandwiches
but me not having a drink in eight days

and in one professional inn we received a professional scamming
and no we would not be staying here again
and what would a trip across the country be like
if there wasn’t one final royal scamming to be had

and dreams start to return to me from years of dreamless sleep:

and I dream of hers back home
and ribbons in a raven black lattice of hair
and Cassadaic exploits with soft but honest words

and being on time with the trains across the plains  
and the moon with a shower of prairie blonde
and one of my father with kind words
and my mother on a bicycle reassuring my every decision

Passing eventually through great plains of vast nothingness
but was disappointed in seeing that I could see
and that the rumours were false
and that nothingness really had a population
and that the great flat land has bumps and curves and etchings and textures too

beautiful bright golden yellow like sprawling fingers
white knuckled ablaze reaching up toward the sun
that in this world had only one sky that lasted a thousand years

and prairie driving lasts no more than a mountain peak
and points of ember that softly sigh with the one breath
of our cars windows that rushes by with gratitude for your smile

And who was caught up with the madness in the air
with big foaming cigarettes in mouths
who dragged and stuffed down those rolling fumes endlessly
while St. Jacob sang at the way stations and billboards and the radio
which was turned off

and me myself and I running our mouth like the coughing engine
chasing a highway babe known as the Lady Valkyrie out from Winnipeg
all the way to Saskatoon driving all day without ever slowing down
and eating up all our gas like pez and finally catching her;

      Valkyrie who taught me to drive fast
      and hovering 175 in slipstreams
      and flowing behind her like a great ghost Cassady ******* in dreamland Nebraska
      only 10 highway crossings counted from home.

Lady Valkyrie who took me West.
Lady Valkyrie who burst my wings into flame as I drew a close with the sun.
Lady Valkyrie who had me howl at slender moon;

     who formed as a snowflake
     in the light on the street
     and was gone by morning
     before I asked her name

and how are we?
and how many?

Even with old Tom devil singing stereo
and riding shotgun the entire trip from day one
singing about his pony, and his own personal flophouse circus,
and what was he building in there?

There is a fair amount of us here in these cars.
Finally at light’s end finding acquiescence in all things
and meeting with her eye one last time; flashed her a wink and there I was, gone.
Down the final highway crossing blowing wind and fancy and mouth puttering off
roaring laughter into the distance like some tremendous Phoenix.

Goodnight Lady Valkyrie.

The evening descends and turns into a sandwich hysteria
as we find ourselves riding between cities of transports
and that one mad man that passed us speeding crazy
and almost hit head-on with Him flowing East

and passed more and more until he was head of the line
but me driving mad lunacy followed his tail to the bumper
passing fifteen trucks total to find our other car
and felt the great turbine pull of acceleration that was not mine

mad-stacked behind two great beasts
and everyone thought us moon-crazy; Biblical Jake
and Mad Hair Me driving a thousand
eschewing great gusts of wind speed flying

Smashing into the great ephedrine sunset haze of Saskatoon
and hungry for food stuffed with the thoughts of bedsheets
off the highway immediately into the rotting liver of dark downtown
but was greeted by an open Hertz garage
with a five-piece fanfare brass barrage
William Tell and a Debussy Reverie
and found our way to bedsheets most comfortably

Driving out of Saskatoon feeling distance behind me.
Finding nothing but the dead and hollow corpses of roadside ventures;

more carcasses than cars
and one as big as a moose
and one as big as a bear
and no hairier

and driving out of sunshine plain reading comic book strip billboards
and trees start to build up momentum
and remembering our secret fungi in the glove compartment
that we drove three thousand kilometres without remembering

and we had a "Jesus Jacob, put it away brother"
and went screaming blinded by smoke and paranoia
and three swerves got us right
and we hugged the holy white line until twilight

And driving until the night again takes me foremast
and knows my secret fear in her *****
as the road turns into a lucid *** black and makes me dizzy
and every shadow is a moose and a wildcat and a billy goat
and some other car

and I find myself driving faster up this great slanderous waterfall until I meet eye
with another at a thousand feet horizontal

then two eyes

then a thousand wide-eyed peaks stretching faces upturned to the celestial black
with clouds laid flat as if some angel were sleeping ******* on a smokestack
and the mountains make themselves clear to me after waiting a lifetime for a glimpse
then they shy away behind some old lamppost and I don’t see them until tomorrow

and even tomorrow brings a greater distance with the sunlight dividing stone like 'The Ancient of Days'
and moving forward puts all into perspective

while false cabins give way
and the gas stations give way
and the last lamppost gives way
and its only distance now that will make you true
and make your peaks come alive

Like a bullrush, great grey slopes leap forth as if branded by fire
then the first peaks take me by surprise
and I’m told that these are nothing but children to their parents
and the roads curve into a gentle valley
and we’re in the feeding zone

behind the gates of some great geological zoo
watching these lumbering beasts
finishing up some great tribal *******
because tomorrow they will be shrunk
and tomorrow ever-after smaller

Nonetheless, breathless in turn I became
it began snowing and the pines took on a different shape
and the mountains became covered white
and great glaciers could be seen creeping
and tourists seen gawking at waterfalls and waterfowls
and fowl play between two stones a thousand miles high

climbing these Jasper slopes flying against wind and stone
and every creak lets out its gentle tone and soft moans
as these tyres rub flat against your back
your ancient skin your rock-hard bones

and this peak is that peak and it’s this one too
and that’s Temple, and that’s Whistler
and that’s Glasgow and that’s Whistler again
and those are the Three Sisters with ******* ablaze

and soft glowing haze your sun sets again among your peaks
and we wonder how all these caves formed
and marvelled at what the flood brought to your feet
as roads lay wasted by the roadside

in the epiphany of 3:00am realizing
that great Alta's straights and highway crossings
are formed in torturous mess from mines of 'Mt. Bleed'
and broken ribs and liver of crushed mountain passes
and the grey stones taxidermied and peeled off
and laid flat painted black and yellow;
the highways built from the insides
of the mountain shells

Who gave a “What now. New-Brunswick?”

and a “What now, Quebec, and Ontario, and Manitoba, and Saskatchewan";
**** fools clumsily dancing in the valleys; then the rolling hills; then the sea that was a lake
then the prairies and not yet the mountains;

running naked in formation with me at the lead
and running naked giving the finger to the moon
and the contrails, and every passing blur on the highway
dodging rocks, and sandbars
and the watchful eye of Mr. and Mrs. Law
and holes dug-up by prairie dogs
and watching with no music
as the family caravans drove on by

but drove off laughing every time until two got anxious for bed and slowed behind
while the rambling Jacob and I had to wait in the half-moon spectacle
of a black-tongue asphalt side-road hacking darts and watching for grizzlies
for the other two to finish up with their birthday *** exploits
though it was nobodies birthday

and then a timezone was between us
 and they were in the distant future
and nobodies birthday was in an hour from now

then everything was good
and everyone was satiated
then everything was a different time again
and I was running on no sleep or a lot of it
leaping backward in time every so often
like gaining a new day but losing space on the surface of your eye

but I stared up through curtains of starlight to mother moon
and wondered if you also stared
and was dumbfounded by the majesty of it all

and only one Caribou was seen the entire trip
and only one live animal, and some forsaken deer
and only a snake or a lonesome caterpillar could be seen crossing such highway straights
but the water more refreshing and brighter than steel
and glittered as if it were hiding some celestial gem
and great ravines and valleys flowed between everything
and I saw in my own eye prehistoric beasts roaming catastrophe upon these plains
but the peaks grew ever higher and I left the ground behind
Zeeb Jul 2015
Hotrod
Verse I

Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood the young man spilt
A new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

Feeling good.  Head under a raised hood, hands occupied, the job nearing completion.  Sometimes the good feelings would dissipate though, as quickly as they came, as he cursed himself for stripping a bolt, or cursed someone else for selling him the wrong part, or the engineer whose design goals obviously did not consider “remove and replace”.
He cursed the “gorilla” that never heard of a torque-wrench, the glowing particle of **** that popped on to the top of his head as he welded, the metal chip he flushed from his eye, and even himself for the burn he received by impatiently touching something too soon after grinding. 
 He, and his type, cursed a lot, but mostly to their selves as they battled-on with things oily, hot, bolted, welded, and rusty – in cramped spaces. One day it was choice words for an “easy-out” that broke off next to a broken drill bit that had broken off in a broken bolt, that was being drilled for an easy-out. 
  Despite the swearing, the good and special feelings would always return, generally of a magnitude that exceeded the physical pain and mental frustration of the day, by a large margin.  
Certifiably obsessive, the young man continued to toil dutifully, soulfully, occasionally gleefully, sometimes even expertly, in his most loved and familiar place, his sanctuary, laboratory… the family garage.

And tomorrow would be the day.
With hard learned, hard earned expertise and confidence - in this special small place, a supremely happy and excited young man commanded his creation to life.

Threw a toggle, pressed a switch
Woke up the neighbors with that *******

The heart of his machine was a stroked Chevy engine that everyone had just grown sick hearing about.  Even the local machine shop to which the boy nervously entrusted his most prized possession had had enough.  “Sir, I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but from what I’ve read in Hot Rod Magazine, you might be suggesting a clearance too tight for forged pistons…” then it would be something else the next day.  
One must always speak politely to the machinist, and even though he always had, the usual allotment of contradictions and arguments afforded to each customer had long run out – and although the shop owner took a special liking to the boy because, as he liked to say, “he reminds me of me”, well, that man was done too.  But in the end, the mill was dead-on.  Of course from the start, the shop knew it would be; that’s almost always the case; it’s how they stay in business - simply doing good work.  Bad shops fall out quickly, but this place had the look of times gone by.  Good times. 
 Old porcelain signs, here and there were to be found, all original to the shop and revered by the older workers in honored nostalgia.  The younger workers get it too; they can tell from the co-workers they respect and learn from, there is something special about this past.  One sign advertises Carter Carburetors and the artwork depicts “three deuces”, model 97’s, sitting proudly atop a flathead engine, all speeding along in a red, open roadster.  Its occupants, a blond haired boy with slight freckles (driver), and a brunette girl passenger, bright white blouse, full and buttoned low. They are in the wind-blown cool, their excited expressions proclaim… "we have escaped and are free!" (and all you need is a Carter, or three).  How uniquely American.

The seasoned old engine block the boy entrusted to the shop cost him $120-even from the boneyard.  Not a bad deal for a good high-nickel content block that had never had its first 0.030”overbore.  In the shop, it was cleaned, checked for cracks by "magnafluxing", measured and re-measured, inspected and re-inspected.  It was shaped and cut in a special way that would allow the stroker crankshaft, that was to be the special part of this build, to have all the clearance it would need.  The engine block was fitted with temporary stress plates that mimic the presence of cylinder heads,  then the cylinders were bored to “first oversize”,  providing fresh metal for new piston rings to work against.  New bearings were installed everywhere bearings are required.  Parts were smoothed here and there.  Some surfaces were roughened just so, to allow new parts to “work-into each other” when things are finally brought together.  All of this was done with a level of precision and attention far, far greater than the old “4- bolt” had ever received at the factory on its way to a life of labor in the ¾ ton work van from which it came, and for which it had served so dutifully.  They called this painstaking dedication to precision measurement and fit, to hitting all specifications on the mark, “blueprinting”, and it would continue throughout the entire build of this engine.  The boy remained worried, but the shop had done it a million times.

After machining, the block was filled with new and strong parts that cost the young man everything he had.   Parts selected with the greatest of effort, decision, and debate.   You can compromise on paint and live with some rust,  he would say, wait for good tires, but never scrimp on the engine.  Right on.  Someone taught the boy right, regardless of whether or not he fully understood the importance of the words he parroted.  His accurate proclamation  also provided ample excuse for the rough, unfinished, underfunded look of the rest of his machine.  But it was just a look, his car was, in fact, “right”.   And its power plant?  Well the machine shop had talked their customer into letting them do the final engine assembly - even cut their price to do it.  To make that go down easy, they asked to have two of their shop decals affixed to the rod on race-days.  The young man thought that was a fair deal, but the shop was really just looking out for the boy, with their herring of sorts.  
The mill in its final form was the proper balance of performance and durability; and with its camshaft so carefully selected, the engine's “personality” was perfectly matched to the work at hand.   It would produce adequate torque in the low RPM range to get whole rig moving quickly, yet deliver enough horsepower near and at red-line to pile on the MPH, fast.  No longer a polite-natured workhorse, this engine, this engine is impatient now.  High compression, a rapid, choppy idle - it seems to be biting at the bit to be released.  On command, it gulps its mixture and screams angrily, and often those standing around have a reflexive jump - the louder, the better - the more angry, the better.  If it hurts your ears, that’s a good feeling.  If its bark startles, that’s a good startle.  A cacophony?  No, the “music” of controlled explosions, capable of thrusting everything and everyone attached, forward, impolitely, on a rapid run to the freedom so well depicted in the ad.  

This is the addictive sound and feel that has appealed to a certain type of person since engines replaced horses, and why?  A surrogate voice for those who are otherwise quiet?  A visceral celebration of accomplishment?    Who cares.  Shift once, then again - speed quickly makes its appearance.  It appears as a loud, rushing wind and a visually striking, unnatural view of the surrounding scenery.  At some point, in the sane, it triggers a natural response - better slow down.    

He uncorked the headers, bought gasoline, dropped her in gear, tore off to the scene
Camaros and Mustangs, an old ‘55
Obediently lined-up, to get skinned alive!

Verse II (1st person)

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome race fans” took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess rust and primer are not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged/popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said, “sounds good”

The Nova I parked next to was “classic rodding” in its outward appearance.  The much overused “primer paint job”.  The hood and front fenders a fiberglass clamshell, pinned affair.  Dice hanging from the mirror paid homage to days its driver never knew, but wished he had.  He removed them before he drove, always.

If you know how to peel the onion, secrets are revealed.  Wilwood brake calipers can be a dead giveaway. Someone needs serious stopping power - maybe.  Generally, owners who have sprung the bucks for this type gear let the calipers show off in bright red, to make a statement, and sometimes, these days, it’s just a fashion statement.  Expensive calipers, as eye candy, seem to be all the rage.  What is true, however, is very few guys spend big money on brakes only to render them inglorious and seemingly common with a shot of silver paint from a rattle can - and the owner of this half fiberglass racer that poses as a street car had done just that.  I'll glean two things from this observation. One, he needs those heavy brakes because he’s fast, and two, hiding them fits his style.  
Really, the message to be found in the silver paint, so cleverly applied to make your eyes simply slide across on their way to more interesting things, was “sleeper”.   And sleeper really means, he’s one of those guys with a score to settle - with everyone perhaps.   The list of “real parts” grew, if you knew where to look.  Looking was something I had unofficial permission to do since my rod was undergoing a similar scrutiny.  
“Stroked?”, I asked.  That’s something you can’t see from the outside. “ No”, my racer friend replied.  
“Hundred shot?”  (If engines have their language, so do the people who love them).   Despite the owner’s great efforts to conceal braided fuel and nitrous lines, electrical solenoids and switches, I spied his system.  The chunks of aluminum posing as ordinary spacers under his two Holly's were anything but.   “No”, was his one-word reply to my 100- shot question.  I tried again; “Your nitrous system is cleanly installed, how much are you spraying?”  “Two hundred fifty” in two stages, he said.  That’s more like it, I thought, and I then figured, he too had budgeted well for the machine shop – if not, he was gambling in a game that if lost, would soon fly parts in all directions.   Based on the overall neat work on display, I believed his build was up to the punishment planned. 
  I knew exactly what this tight-lipped guy was about, seeing someone very familiar in him as it were, and that made the “sounds good” complement I received upon my arrival all the more valuable.  I liked my neighbor.  And I liked the fact of our scratch-built rods having found each other - and I looked forward to us both dusting off the factory jobs.  It was going to be a good day.

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up.

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed, satisfaction

End
gabby dial May 2015
I have never had a garage until this year
I store everything from my pain to my wardrobe
last night I screamed at the cement walls
stared out the window like someone was coming to get me
I feel disconnected in there
I keep myself in that garage wishing I could tape myself away in a cardboard box next to everything else no one wants to open
I would be out of the way, hardly taking up space
wouldn't that be great.

but instead ill spend another night screaming at walls that wont break
they aren't as fragile as I am today.
garage sundress
open bottles, not to confess
problems I don't want to address
im kind of a loud mistake
.
‘When the doors of perception are cleansed
Things will appear as they are:
Infinite.’

∞ William Blake



‘There are things known
and there are things unknown,
and in between are the doors.’

∞ Jim Morrison



Moment of inner freedom
when the mind is opened & the
infinite universe revealed
& the soul is left to wander
dazed & confus’d searching
here & there for teachers & friends.



People need Connectors
Writers, heroes, stars, leaders
To give life form.
A child’s sand boat facing
the sun.
Plastic soldiers in the miniature
dirt war. Forts.
Garage Rocket Ships

Ceremonies, theatre, dances
To reassert
Tribal needs and memories
a call to worship, uniting
above all, a reversion,
a longing for family and the
safety magic of childhood



A man rakes leaves into
a heap in his yard, a pile,
and leans on his rake and
burns them utterly.

The fragrance fills the forest
children pause and heed the
smell, which will become
nostalgia in several years.



An angel runs
Thru the sudden light
Thru the room
A ghost precedes us
A shadow follows us
And each time we stop
We fall



The Endless quest a vigil
of watchtowers and fortresses
against the sea and time.
Have they won? Perhaps.
They still stand and in
their silent rooms still wander
the souls of the dead,
who keep their watch on the living.
Soon enough we shall join them.
Soon enough we shall walk
the walls of time. We shall
miss nothing
except each other.



No one thought up being;
he who thinks he has
Step forward



The Crossroads
a place where ghosts
reside to whisper into
the ears of travelers &
interest them in their fate

Hitchhiker drinks:
“I call again on the dark
hidden gods of blood”

-Why do you call us?
You know our price. It
never changes. Death of
you will give you life
& free you from a vile
fate. But it is getting late.

-If I could see you again
& talk w/ you, & walk a
short while in your company,
& drink the heady brew
of your conversations,
I thought

-to rescue a soul already
ruined. To achieve respite.
To plunder green gold
on a pirate raid & bring
to camp the glory of old.

-As the capesman faces
poisoned horns & drinks
red victory; the soldier,
too, w/ his trophy, a
pierced helmet; & the
ledge-walker shuddering
his way into inward grace

-(laughter) Well, then. Would
you mock yourself?

-No.

-Soon our voices must become
one, or one must leave.



There was preserved

in her

The fresh miracle

of

surprise.



open

The Night is young
& full of rest
I can’t describe
the way she’s dress’d
She’ll pander to some strange
requests
Anything that you suggest
Anything to please her guest
AAron Roz  May 2018
Sound
AAron Roz May 2018
Music is loud or quiet.
Music is soft or heavy.
Music can have meaning or not.
Music can be nothing or everything.
Music is:
◾Art Punk
◾Alternative Rock
◾College Rock
◾Crossover Thrash (thx Kevin G)
◾Crust Punk (thx Haug)
◾Experimental Rock
◾Folk Punk
◾Goth / Gothic Rock
◾Grunge
◾******* Punk
◾Hard Rock
◾Indie Rock
◾Lo-fi (hat tip to Ben Vee Bedlamite)
◾New Wave
◾Progressive Rock
◾Punk
◾Shoegaze (with thx to Jackie Herrera)
◾Steampunk (with thx to Christopher Schaeffer)

•Anime
•Blues ◾Acoustic Blues
◾Chicago Blues
◾Classic Blues
◾Contemporary Blues
◾Country Blues
◾Delta Blues
◾Electric Blues
◾Ragtime Blues (cheers GFS)

•Children’s Music ◾Lullabies
◾Sing-Along
◾Stories

•Classical ◾Avant-Garde
◾Baroque
◾Chamber Music
◾Chant
◾Choral
◾Classical Crossover
◾Contemporary Classical (thx Julien Palliere)
◾Early Music
◾Expressionist (thx Mr. Palliere)
◾High Classical
◾Impressionist
◾Medieval
◾Minimalism
◾Modern Composition
◾Opera
◾Orchestral
◾Renaissance
◾Romantic (early period)
◾Romantic (later period)
◾Wedding Music

•Comedy ◾Novelty
◾Standup Comedy
◾Vaudeville (cheers Ben Vee Bedlamite)

•Commercial (thank you Sheldon Reynolds) ◾Jingles
◾TV Themes

•Country ◾Alternative Country
◾Americana
◾Bluegrass
◾Contemporary Bluegrass
◾Contemporary Country
◾Country Gospel
◾Country Pop (thanks Sarah Johnson)
◾***** Tonk
◾Outlaw Country
◾Traditional Bluegrass
◾Traditional Country
◾Urban Cowboy

•Dance (EDM – Electronic Dance Music – see Electronic below – with thx to Eric Shaffer-Whiting & Drew :-)) ◾Club / Club Dance (thx Luke Allfree)
◾Breakcore
◾Breakbeat / Breakstep
◾Brostep (cheers Tom Berckley)
◾Chillstep (thx Matt)
◾Deep House (cheers Venus Pang)
◾Dubstep
◾Electro House (thx Luke Allfree)
◾Electroswing
◾Exercise
◾Future Garage (thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Garage
◾Glitch Hop (cheers Tom Berckley)
◾Glitch Pop (thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Grime (thx Ran’dom Haug / Matthew H)
◾*******
◾Hard Dance
◾Hi-NRG / Eurodance
◾Horrorcore (thx Matt)
◾House
◾Jackin House (with thx to Jermaine Benjamin Dale Bruce)
◾Jungle / Drum’n’bass
◾Liquid Dub(thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Regstep (thanks to ‘Melia G)
◾Speedcore (cheers Matt)
◾Techno
◾Trance
◾Trap (thx Luke Allfree)

•Disney
•Easy Listening ◾Bop
◾Lounge
◾Swing

•Electronic ◾2-Step (thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾8bit – aka 8-bit, Bitpop and Chiptune – (thx Marcel Borchert)
◾Ambient
◾Bassline (thx Leon Oliver)
◾Chillwave(thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Chiptune (kudos to Dominik Landahl)
◾Crunk (with thx to Jillian Edwards)
◾Downtempo
◾Drum & Bass (thx Luke Allfree)
◾Electro
◾Electro-swing (thank you Daniel Forthofer)
◾Electronica
◾Electronic Rock
◾Hardstyle (kudos to Dominik Landahl)
◾IDM/Experimental
◾Industrial
◾Trip Hop (thank you Michael Tait Tafoya)

•Enka
•French Pop
•German Folk
•German Pop
•Fitness & Workout
•Hip-Hop/Rap ◾Alternative Rap
◾Bounce
◾***** South
◾East Coast Rap
◾Gangsta Rap
◾******* Rap
◾Hip-Hop
◾Latin Rap
◾Old School Rap
◾Rap
◾Turntablism (thank you Luke Allfree)
◾Underground Rap
◾West Coast Rap

•Holiday ◾Chanukah
◾Christmas
◾Christmas: Children’s
◾Christmas: Classic
◾Christmas: Classical
◾Christmas: Comedy
◾Christmas: Jazz
◾Christmas: Modern
◾Christmas: Pop
◾Christmas: R&B
◾Christmas: Religious
◾Christmas: Rock
◾Easter
◾Halloween
◾Holiday: Other
◾Thanksgiving

•Indie Pop
•Industrial
•Inspirational – Christian & Gospel ◾CCM
◾Christian Metal
◾Christian Pop
◾Christian Rap
◾Christian Rock
◾Classic Christian
◾Contemporary Gospel
◾Gospel
◾Christian & Gospel
◾Praise & Worship
◾Qawwali (with thx to Jillian Edwards)
◾Southern Gospel
◾Traditional Gospel

•Instrumental ◾March (Marching Band)

•J-Pop ◾J-Rock
◾J-Synth
◾J-Ska
◾J-Punk

•Jazz ◾Acid Jazz (with thx to Hunter Nelson)
◾Avant-Garde Jazz
◾Bebop (thx Mwinogo1)
◾Big Band
◾Blue Note (with thx to Jillian Edwards)
◾Contemporary Jazz
◾Cool
◾Crossover Jazz
◾Dixieland
◾Ethio-jazz (with thx to Jillian Edwards)
◾Fusion
◾Gypsy Jazz (kudos to Mike Tait Tafoya)
◾Hard Bop
◾Latin Jazz
◾Mainstream Jazz
◾Ragtime
◾Smooth Jazz
◾Trad Jazz

•K-Pop
•Karaoke
•Kayokyoku
•Latin ◾Alternativo & Rock Latino
◾Argentine tango (gracias P. Moth & Sandra Sanders)
◾Baladas y Boleros
◾Bossa Nova (with thx to Marcos José Sant’Anna Magalhães & Alex Ede for the reclassification)
◾Brazilian
◾Contemporary Latin
◾Cumbia (gracias Richard Kemp)
◾Flamenco / Spanish Flamenco (thank you Michael Tait Tafoya & Sandra Sanders)
◾Latin Jazz
◾Nuevo Flamenco (and again Michael Tafoya)
◾Pop Latino
◾Portuguese fado (and again Sandra Sanders)
◾Raíces
◾Reggaeton y Hip-Hop
◾Regional Mexicano
◾Salsa y Tropical

•New Age ◾Environmental
◾Healing
◾Meditation
◾Nature
◾Relaxation
◾Travel

­•Opera
•Pop ◾Adult Contemporary
◾Britpop
◾Bubblegum Pop (thx Haug & John Maher)
◾Chamber Pop (thx Haug)
◾Dance Pop
◾Dream Pop (thx Haug)
◾Electro Pop (thx Haug)
◾Orchestral Pop (thx Haug)
◾Pop/Rock
◾Pop Punk (thx Makenzie)
◾Power Pop (thx Haug)
◾Soft Rock
◾Synthpop (thx Haug)
◾Teen Pop

•R&B/Soul ◾Contemporary R&B
◾Disco (not a top level genre Sheldon Reynolds!)
◾Doo ***
◾Funk
◾Modern Soul (Cheers Nik)
◾Motown
◾Neo-Soul
◾Northern Soul (Cheers Nik & John Maher)
◾Psychedelic Soul (thank you John Maher)
◾Quiet Storm
◾Soul
◾Soul Blues (Cheers Nik)
◾Southern Soul (Cheers Nik)

•Reggae ◾2-Tone (thx GFS)
◾Dancehall
◾Dub
◾Roots Reggae
◾Ska

•Rock ◾Acid Rock (with thanks to Alex Antonio)
◾Adult-Oriented Rock (thanks to John Maher)
◾Afro Punk
◾Adult Alternative
◾Alternative Rock (thx Caleb Browning)
◾American Trad Rock
◾Anatolian Rock
◾Arena Rock
◾Art Rock
◾Blues-Rock
◾British Invasion
◾**** Rock
◾Death Metal / Black Metal
◾Doom Metal (thx Kevin G)
◾Glam Rock
◾Gothic Metal (fits here Sam DeRenzis – thx)
◾Grind Core
◾Hair Metal
◾Hard Rock
◾Math Metal (cheers Kevin)
◾Math Rock (thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Metal
◾Metal Core (thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Noise Rock (genre – Japanoise – thx Dominik Landahl)
◾Jam Bands
◾Post Punk (thx Ben Vee Bedlamite)
◾Prog-Rock/Art Rock
◾Progressive Metal (thx Ran’dom Haug)
◾Psychedelic
◾Rock & Roll
◾Rockabilly (it’s here Mark Murdock!)
◾Roots Rock
◾Singer/Songwriter
◾Southern Rock
◾Spazzcore (thx Haug)
◾Stoner Metal (duuuude)
◾Surf
◾Technical Death Metal (cheers Pierre)
◾Tex-Mex
◾Time Lord Rock (Trock) ~ (thanks to ‘Melia G)
◾Trash Metal (thanks to Pierre A)

•Singer/Songwriter ◾Alternative Folk
◾Contemporary Folk
◾Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
◾Indie Folk (with thanks to Andrew Barrett)
◾Folk-Rock
◾Love Song (Chanson – merci Marcel Borchert)
◾New Acoustic
◾Traditional Folk

•Soundtrack ◾Foreign Cinema
◾Movie Soundtrack (thanks Julien)
◾Musicals
◾Original Score
◾Soundtrack
◾TV Soundtrack

•Spoken Word
•Tex-Mex / Tejano (with thx to Israel Lopez) ◾Chicano
◾Classic
◾Conjunto
◾Conjunto Progressive
◾New Mex
◾Tex-Mex

•Vocal ◾A cappella (with kudos to Sheldon Reynolds)
◾Barbershop (with thx to Kelly Chism)
◾Doo-*** (with thx to Bradley Thompson)
◾Gregorian Chant (hat tip to Deborah Knight-Nikifortchuk)
◾Standards
◾Traditional Pop
◾Vocal Jazz
◾Vocal Pop

•World ◾Africa
◾Afro-Beat
◾Afro-Pop
◾Asia
◾Australia
◾Cajun
◾Calypso (thx Gerald John)
◾Caribbean
◾Carnatic (Karnataka Sanghetha – thx Abhijith)
◾Celtic
◾Celtic Folk
◾Contemporary Celtic
◾Coupé-décalé (thx Samy) – Congo
◾Dangdut (thank you Achmad Ivanny)
◾Drinking Songs
◾Drone (with thx to Robert Conrod)
◾Europe
◾France
◾Hawaii
◾Hindustani (thank you Abhijith)
◾Indian Ghazal (thank you Gitika Thakur)
◾Indian Pop
◾Japan
◾Japanese Pop
◾Klezmer
◾Mbalax (thank you Samy) – Senegal
◾Middle East
◾North America
◾Ode (thank you Sheldon Reynolds)
◾Piphat (cheers Samy B) – Thailand
◾Polka
◾Soca (thx Gerald John)
◾South Africa
◾South America
◾Traditional Celtic
◾Worldbeat
◾Zydeco
etc...
T'was just before Christmas and I went down to the garage
To have my old car looked at by a fellow known as  "Sarge"
He said I need tires and my wipers weren't so hot
My hoses all were leaking and my muffler was shot
The repairs just kept on coming and I saw a sparkle in his eyes
He was counting all my money, he was the devil in disguise
I told him "Thanks, but I would go and get another look"
Before I signed for his repair list and I was on the hook
So I went on to my friend's place to see what he could do
We've been friends for nearly 30 years...since 1982.
His mechanic took it out back and while he had it on the hoist
I saw a woman at the counter, looking rather moist
She said my car is leaking there's  a hole that must be filled
I thought that if Rob had a coffee, it'd most certainly be spilled
A girl came in and she told Rob her boyfriend had loose nuts
And whenever he was driving her, they slid into the ruts
Rob stepped back, grinned a bit as he was looking down her front
And from where I stood behind her I could almost see her
Donation to the Angel tree that was standing in the corner
A door opened, a breeze blew in, and there was no time to warn her
Her skirt blew up, exposing  her tattoo of some sprigs of holly
And Rob came round and covered her just like Sir Walter Raleigh
I'm sorry miss, for I did look when your skirt was lifted
And I must say, you made my night, for my drive shaft has shifted
And then a man came through the door and said "My name is Nick"
"I've problems with my reindeer and I need them seen to quick"
Rob said "we work on cars here sir , I can fix tires or a hose"
"It's nothing major son, I need a bulb for Rudolph's nose"
"It doesn't stay on like it should and the other deer get frantic"
"And I can't risk it going out when I'm over the Atlantic"
"So, if you would replace it now with something nice and bright"
"I'd pay you well for all your time and for aiding in my plight"
Rob stepped up, fixed Rudolph's nose and said "This one's on me"
"And for all work done in my shop you get a guarantee"
We all stood round as Santa left, for we new that  it was him
For he left us each a candy cane in a metal alloy rim
And as we watched him fly away, I'm sure we heard him yell
"There's mistletoe tattooed on her too, but...where I'll never tell!"
Sophie Herzing Jan 2016
I must have been at least eight years old
when I started playing doctor in my garage,
using long gardening tools as skeletons
and drawing scattered veins with colored
pencils on sketches of the human brain.
I used to set up little name tags on the floorboards.
My parents had a plastic bin full of sticks
to help the plants grow straight that I used
as pointers, attacking each ventricle
of this made up heart with detail. I'd examine
my imaginary person and tell the entire
classroom just how to fix them up right.

Now, I'm twenty one and I must have tried
to fix you up at least ten different times.
I molded you with my hands like soil,
nurturing you with soft kisses and coffee
in the mornings. I'd even try to pull your nightmares
out from the roots, tie up the frayed ends,
and throw them into the compost. I used
my own spine like those pointers to help you
grow up straight, grow up different than all
the memories you'd blurt out like bubbles
when trying to breathe underwater. Memories
like falling asleep accidentally on the bus
just to be awoken by the driver back at the station,
the way that pity candy bar must have tasted
as you waited in a nasty plastic seat
for your mom who wasn't even worrying.
I tried to dissect you from the outside in.
Read your body like it was directions, but
I'm still just a kid in a too big overalls
playing doctor out in my garage.

You are bigger than the pretend desks
with the broken pencils inside. You are more
fragile than the yarn that I would loop
around my neck like a fake teacher's badge.
You have way too many pieces for me to count
on a skeleton, but if you let me I will try
to memorize them all, label them
with sidewalk chalk, put them together
again with Elmer's glue. If you let me,
I will let you slip on my nostalgia
like a patient's gown, let you relive
a tiny moment of the childhood that was stolen
even if it's just for a little while, even
if it's just pretend.

— The End —