Are there pastorals in a pixel?
I’ve heard it said so.
That a perfect moment holds life’s memories…
yet the playback waits for death.
No better than the world
in a meek man’s hands:
show me the roses growing naturally in the graveyard,
or a romance with a wick for the years.
We can get high enough
if we run the old Buick
with the garage door shut.
We can get high
walking the Lincoln Tunnel,
or gasping for breath
from a Newark overpass.
A thousand office faces
find their dreams in computer screens,
still glowing when the day shuts its lights.
Wither the aortic valve,
just from a lack of use.
myopic Coke-bottle glasses.
The smoke-stacks in a Cezanne.
in the gold mines of a wedding ring –
are we done yet?
Febrile seizures on a death-bed
awaken his famous past:
canyons in the skin
that ran the red of roses.
He’d take his books for walks
till his legs got lost,
down by the waterfront,
down Washington Street.
The clamor of half-built high-rises,
soot of the tent towns
under the highways:
the fast clacking of sharp shoes on the sidewalks,
a briefcase to withstand the bullets.
Strange creatures that lurked down the streets,
mange and tendon and quiet whisper.
The dog with chopped ears
pawed the Plexiglass shell,
as the clerks and the lawyers brisked past.
A daisy grew in a pavement crack.
A daisy grew and the seasons churned
on a playback twice as fast.
Stuck at a stop in the traffic-thronged street was a truck,
hauling concrete to the next empty lot, being filled.
The driver could barely be heard:
the hum of idling traffic,
the overpasses rumbling above;
beneath the sounds of airplane thrust
and the debates of World News Tonight,
the truck driver,
“I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass!”
Mick Hugh is a writer for Sudden Denouement, and the groundskeeper at Mick’s Neon Fog.