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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nativist Memorabilia

this isn't your cognition. this is experience
my county has been distorted and all the fantastic omitted

there's hidden here a myriad – as a native I know the story
those times looked back on legendary
those places, someones and adventures all make up
a hidden county that never boasted but was always there
not suburbia's underbelly, or the closeted minority, but an unmasked face

usually guised in sun-bleached hair and over-topped plastic surgery
Fox or Billabong shirts, beat-shit Rainbows
concrete city blocks like islands and asphalt roads like oceans
platinum SUV's too big for already inflated parking space
a constant background of cell-phone chatter
– the menagerie of superficial wealth & beauty in perpetual summer –
it wasn't all strip malls or car dealers or
evenly spaced street lamps that blocked sky-sights with illumination
(stars used to be seen instead of imagined
now we've brought the constellations down towards the ground
shaped like dim freeway lights and bright house bulbs rarely turned off, like
year-long Christmas decorations at Trinity's church-palace)


[jump to continue - click header]


I can remember home once had nature
the hills used to hold miniature locomotives, Indian burial grounds and Spanish ghosts
sterilized parks of portioned carpet grass or high schools cover them now
the pueblos have become unvisited museums and you won't find any arrowheads
coyotes don't yowl in the morning, owls don't hoot at night
turkey vultures circle infrequently and hawks die on the power lines

but there's more beyond this diatribe, my illustration for you must be read
so take it, the picturesque I have to give:

there were run-ins with beach Nazis shouting Zeig Heil
swastika armbands patched onto their skin
and me alone, wanting to yell at their ignorance
but the rage intended was all for show – we sat next to each at Wahoo's
(haters need to eat like everybody does) and I passed them some napkins

afternoons of dry wind, sun-sticky warm
talking with scene kids in their constricted jeans about Death Cab
about next shows, about useless parents and their eyeliner
cried under the heat, dripping onto cuts along their wrists raised up like speed bumps
(they lived too fast for their own suicide) while I shook rivulets off my forehead at poser-bros
walking by in fur-lined parka jackets with a t-shirt – interchangeable weather clothing
but their flat stare like arrogance wasn't as all-purpose

insomnia-made nights at 3DO with gamers and otaku
sweating down office chairs till they were so slick we slipped
laying on the floor in a roomful of computers pumping out: Quest, Starcraft, Counter-Strike and Diablo
that didn't quite numb us the from the pain of being who we were – lamesters
without friends except in pixilated avatars
obsessive for new realities: Love Hina, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Akira
we'd devour those worlds to cover our real-life in easier-to-deal-with constructed imaginary
it helped against the pain, dulling the throb into an ache

serendipitous drives when my eyes
sleep-needing, exhausted half-moon shape illuminated in odd intervals
from opposite running cars along the 5 freeway – never quite deserted
even at this time of morning…of night
the headlights and brake-lights and street lamps and city luminescence
all combined to make half-day, like we drove outside of time
radio past being blasted, just murmuring us on in a quiet
stillness you don't want to break because it doesn't feel oppressive, only introspective
going to see a friend of a friend (because she was cute and sad and asked
so we took up our self-stated duty – reversals being the primary occupation of cum-filled fools)

mornings plopped on Dog-beach listening to the stories
of tiki-shaped carvings in beach-cliff sand and rock
they had apples in their mouths, an offering to Beelzebub from Lake Forest Wiccans
who frequented here in the foggy June nights to celebrate
the fruit was never eaten except in decay – not even a hobo's nibble
but these were legends and I never saw a pagan
when I camped out just above the tide waiting for green bonfire smoke
the cackle of folkloric witches, a goat bound in sacrifice
all there ever was, was the mist and the homeless asleep in self-dug pits

midnights of mostly-drunk ultimate-fighters descending from lifted trucks
at Sharkey's rubbing up on boobed-up floozies with blonde hair and black eyebrows
half-open shirts mussed by lipstick colors. they flipped off the cops and drank more Bud Light

the abandoned army base disguised as oil refinery
my buddies and i cutting through fence holes and wide Manzanita bushes
below Goat Hill were rusted carcasses of yellow buses, orange CAT dozers
and the ground looked pale-blue under the heavy night as we walked in taciturn
past oozing puddles of black tar mixed into flood-water
past choked Coyote-Brush stained radioactive, sickly neon colors
past pyramidal stacked pipes with sleeping bags left in them
we snuck up on a corrugated iron shed, peering through the gaps
abandoned looking, except for the Simpsons on a gut-bucket television
then we heard feet scuffle and stood up, baseball-bat protection in hand
not-set but willing to fight a poltergeist that became a security guard
he chased – blinded – us out in a truck with cab mounted halogen lights
our stumble back to the car not at all spotless

those times have cut themselves on my inside skull (and never completely go away)
yelling and screeching like seagulls over a half-eaten taco
as I sat alone on a pier bench, trying to watch the ocean and moon reflect each other
but felt only the spray stiffen the knuckles in my hands

the memorabilia memories for my uncertain owning
testament to where I came from and just as easily not tossed aside
because they're all that's left as the definition to a deeper meaning in home
so I'll bundle these stone-block thoughts and keep on carrying

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