Monday, March 13, 2006


My town is junky with weak stabs at civility, sometimes painted gray and Bahama blue. But mostly the paint is peeling and dilapidation sings songs that sound like animals croaking, especially frogs.

Up over the signs through bricks and agecracks, red leaves appear in plaster as in the days of Roosevelt.

Nothing loves Crescent Road except pick-up trucks and roosters—and saws run by chains, and dismembered fingers.

What do people have against wood here? Against fingers?

The water tower fumes; the stones blame the track, but the tower points backward, and the track clacks heavily under trans-Atlantic bins. People admired the sidewalks, circa 1953. This settlement had prostitutes, but they depressed themselves and left in the early 21’s.

Two cops shot a bank robber in 1925. They stood him up in the corner so that little girls could wave pansies at him. They dressed him in a funny hat matching the gurgle he left Earth with. I think about him often, when the bank temperature fades.

The town here is Still Life with Weeds Growing Up. The smith makes shoes off the nail in the sod over the handle of his saddle-whapped horse, then leaves. The only cure for depression here is bananas, freshly peeled. Stare at the virgin banana flesh; stare. Off-white banana meat makes such happy eating. Devour the meat; it could never be nourished here.

No one cries for mercy in this town; I alone do that. People buy white bread and the cancer sticks of camels. I do not buy white bread and cigarettes. Interesting.

The trains come barging through this town, do they ever. Fat, stupid trains; lumbering crapyards laden with coal. Rusty tipbins, dory-sized, and ‘numdrums, too. The trains bangle bridges and fart out their hopes. They knock out the canopy people and pass o’er graffiti. They blast from their chutes and dangle where they are. Down go the dead cars past bins of recyclement.

Nothing recycles here, though; nothing at all. Everything is old and stays old through the weather. Loose dogs mangle down the sidewalks like monkeys. Cops cruise through dishevelment to inspect the crumblings; their speeding faces wax cherubic in the rainlight of “discovery.”

The wind blows, always.

People knife people here, and shoot people, and hit their brothers, then lumber through the woods on four-wheeled escape buggies. Twinkies sustain them on their branch-infested getaway. Someone won the lottery once—eight miles away.

The ice cream stand is God, and sundaes are Jesus. Some women should not wear sweatpants, ever. No woman should ever wear pajama bottoms in public. Men should and do wear sweaties and sleeperpants whene’er they let doors fall into the faces of fat mamas. Birds continue to crap here when they fly o’er the traincars. The band marches past the Independence Day puddles, and e’er out of tune are they—e’er out of tune.

I wish they had fixed up the robber in ‘jammy pants. The girl wanted him wrung on an ATV, but her mama got him whapped on his stubble with Marlboros. Cover him, I say, with ice cream that is soft. Bury him in snow-colored bread that is old. Suffuse him with bologna that is perfectly round, and discount his milk, no, not ever.

Soon, it will be over, and it will probably be windy. God will arrive; He’ll destroy all the quirkies when He’s finished with Babylon.

Come quickly, one world religion, thank you. Thank you, God, for placing me here, for I do like the statuary and the discounted milk. One woman wears miniskirts, and there are lights on the poles. I like the gas and electricity; I like cats. No one will ever find me here, no, not ever. I like all the roads where the cows shit bran flakes, all done freely without benefit of pants. The smell of the wheat dung justifies my tenure here; the wind brings it to my nose. It returns me (the wind) to memories of Jerusalem and the Bethany Road, when Barrabas shot the bank robber and dressed him in a Sponge Bob hat.

© 2006 by Martin Zender