Winter 2017 — THE POTOMAC


Gil Hoy

I walk behind you, Allen Ginsberg, under the bright neon lights
of your California supermarket. I worry you'll turn, bite my neck

Suck out my blood, while yawping hysterically. I am America's
homophobic store detective and you are under arrest.

America apologizes for your headache self conscious. You, for your
apostrophic Whitman and Lorca mirages. Lonely Graybeards don't
board Lethe–bound black–water ferries poled by Charon, nor palm

Artichokes and icy foods. Spanish playwrights can get shot for their songs.
All of the drugs have gone to your howling head. You've dangerously
strayed from strict iambic, short line free form and quasi–iambic rhyme.

Why be a saint when you can be mad? Your store aisles and shelves
are filled with counterfeit images, computer enumerations 1956,
Constitutional penumbras. Neon fruit supermarkets are sawdust

Bars filled with chains of drunken oversexed bikers—filled with
Bluebeards and Blackbeards. Alienated supermarkets never close
'till too late so don't go there looking for love. I saw you talking

With the grocery boys after midnight, asking your bone–headed
questions with strung–out eyes. Lots of night–shopping husbands
and wives out to scold you—you disobedient absurd, LSD grubber child.

Stop your whining. Your poem is structured like a red brick shithouse.
Your catalogue of horribles offers no positive programs. Your breath
thought waves should be shorter.

Your Blake–world is out of this world. Lugging baggage in Greyhound
has crippled your obsessively wild ego. You should've stayed a fair-haired
student at Columbia. There'll be no teaching jobs for you.

Why not open your brilliant stacked cans on sterile shelves?
A full moon epiphany will blind your hungry fatigue. You'll be
satisfied, satiated—inspired to new heights, like Sputniks.

Don't you know that chicken is healthier than pork chops?
When you poked among dead frozen meats, did you see
assassin styrofoam containers containing formerly feathery,

Now frozen flockless birds? Did you hear the birds whispering
to their manufactured foam package cellmates: "Et Tu?
Might you spare the Jew?"

Did you feel privileged? Do you feel saved? Put your hands
behind your back while I cuff you. We'll ward off
sex–frightened censors on your behalf.

But don't be discouraged, you mad naked hipster. Charon is still
poling his ferry, searching for you. Keep encouraged if you can't
find him. He's stopping near the furry high–glycemic peaches

And seedless watermelons, looking for you. Where Penelope's
unruly suitors also await your return, from the sea.


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