Smokestack Grimace
by Kevin Ridgeway

the face of the anonymous marble Greek god
puckers with a savage grimace blowing smoke
at us as we feed the fire in the pit below him
thrusting twigs and pricks into its billowing abyss

this backyard looks like a lower class Howard Hughes
nightmare come to life and its wonderful flies gnaw
at my flesh as we try to remember lines from Phillip Larkin
and the minimalist urban raunch of Lou Reed
we are surrounded by a fortress of junk, and we are the
hobo kings come here in our beater cars
chased out of our homes by our wives and girlfriends
to get drunk, stoned and howl at the moon

accomplishing the goal of our intoxication leads
to us moving the stack of years-old newspapers
from the grand piano to knock out a choir of Steely Dan
and marvel at the bodies of the local young women
but lament the fact that they hate our dirty, evil minds

Love Field is a few blocks away past the green
dead leaf slopes and shady tree walkways of
this wealthy suburb I can only imagine
what Kennedy thought when he drove past
the endless maze of us wild dead heat tramps;
we are the league of everymen dreamers, and we listen
to the stars explode in galaxies far away, and if we
get any drunker and loftier in our goals to write
epic poems translated into Spanish after killing
a twelve pack of Shiner Bock We’ll wake up in
Mexico battered and dreaming
of our ladies nursing away our bruised minds
that we kicked around like gutter balls across
the faded wood and steel booby traps of that
toasted backyard in the twilight of our
arrested development

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

Copyright by Dallas Poets Community. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.