SOUTH-WEST OF NOWHERE
When descending into Rouge purgatory,
that vast inhospitable landscape of ascetic death
one prays for hushed-winged Godspeed
and a chariot-full tank of Benzene.
For south-west of nowhere,
lies a desolate tinderbox
through apocalyptic urban decay –
the unwilling decamped,
moldering its motley kith by crater-light
of any aspiration measured
real or imagined,
beyond that cavernous wasteland.
Caliginous junk pile,
wailing ramshackle row
of saggy façades and trodden recesses
internalizing silent notes
distemper in unison
– one low sustained echo
no Motown ever knew.
Here, the piteous smugglers deal,
pithy tokens of kinship away
dangling loose smelly ankle socks
and aged red nylon parasols
from the gaped festering cavities
open wide as the Hotel Yorba.
Dislocated under jazz-velvet hairy arms
unaccustomed to the cool
accepting payoffs from billfold politicians
extolling what few square blocks of virtue remain –
untouched by greed and filth
while all around
these nicotine stained indexed hearts
billow the sacrament - ritualized truths
tossed lifeless and bloodied
in empty back lots
where no prosperity may grow,
crushed against the cracked holding lot
outside the Salty Dog Tavern.
Drive on, fair chariot,