Locator

A white gob on my truck’s glossy black hood. Bird shit. Crow shit. Hear him cawing at me from the tall pine trees behind my driveway—

While turkey hunting I’ve blown a crow call hoping for shock gobbles, hoping to force some big old tom into giving himself away. Rarely happens. Old turkeys and old bucks didn’t get that way by being conspicuous. That’s what the young are for.

Crow. Peckerwood. Owl. Coyote. Another turkey’s gobble. These are locator calls and they sometimes work.

Except with crows. Blow a crow call, it’s usually just crows that answer. Wild turkeys don’t read hunting magazines—

I hose off my hood, wipe the white shit away with a shop towel then go for my .22, the old Ruger I’ve had since I was twelve, knowing the crow will be quiet when I return.

He’ll see me but I won’t see him.

###

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Your Job Through Your Employer’s Video Surveillance Equipment

(with apologies to Wallace Stevens)

I
Among twenty gray cubicles
The only moving thing
Was the ceiling-mounted camera.

II
I saw three cameras
But more importantly
They saw me.

III
A camera whirred high up in the corner of the ceiling.
It was not conspicuous.

IV
A male co-worker and a female co-worker
Become one.
A male co-worker and a female co-worker and a video camera
Become one big HR problem.

V
I can’t decide what’s better,
The beauty of the double-entendre
Or the beauty of my intern’s fun bags,
The video camera’s rusty hinge squeaking
Or knowing it’s going to squeak.

VI
A small bird flew into the round window
And left a bloody smear.
The shadow of the video camera
Swept the window, back and forth.
The mood
Of the office:
The exhaustion of doom.

VII
O husky Harpies of HR,
How do you imagine your golden years?
Do you not see how the video camera
Whirls above the heads
Of the men who ignore you?

VIII
I hear lofty pronouncements
Of interpersonal cautions at regular intervals;
But I also hear
The ceiling-mounted camera
Turning towards me.

IX
When the southwest camera was removed for repair,
It marked anonymity
In one office quadrant.

X
At the sight of surveillance cameras
Covering all public spaces,
Even the prophets of misandry
Would spontanesouly combust.

XI
He banged a chick in Connecticut
In the back of his Trans-Am.
At one point, he worried
That he mistook her large clitoris
For a penis,
And the shadow of flying blackbirds
For video cameras catching it all.

XII
The people are working.
The video cameras must be working.

XIII
It was a long day
The longest,
All day long
And no one was leaving early.
The video cameras hung
From every corner.

Manifold Density

The old limits are gone. Even the spectrum is magic the first time. Then it’s science and all sinks in. You can reinvent the wheel, but light is light.

You can tell a better story, but history happened. It passes through. Lingers. Manifests.

Window. Lens. Prism.

But what of the pier glass?

Put the top down and hang a right. Catch your destiny in the windshield or the rear view. Drive until you see cactus. Then keep driving.

###

A Mexican standoff with tits and ass

At twelve years old I saw my first tit in the flesh. It belonged to the the thirteen year old babysitter of a friend’s infant sister. It was 1979 and she came in hot with a full bush she showed us, too. Of course we pulled our pants down. We were Southern gentlemen in progress.

Facing each other, frozen, unclear protocols and how to get there from here.

Then she quickly fixed her top, pulled up her jeans and left the room. The baby was crying. I covered back up quickly, too, and ran home.

We all had bikes then but didn’t ride them. We walked everywhere but with energy to burn we ran while we could. Ran everywhere. Walked only when we tired from running.

###

American Romance

We threw darts until our shoulders hurt, drank until our livers lagged behind one long night of vomit and piss. I didn’t hold your hair. You didn’t call me “Sugar.”

I might have got you pregnant but I didn’t get you off. It was awkward. We reconnected over breakfast.

I barely noticed your lazy eye, didn’t even mind that you were almost blonde.

###

Reductio ad socialmedium

The Misfit caught up with the grandmother on a dirt road in South Georgia.

The only real difference between “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and National Lampoon’s “Vacation” is the illusory theme park ending and maybe Christie Brinkley. The reality is that John Candy killed the Griswolds, killed them all, then drank their blood and curled up for a nap in a rollercoaster car. He gets a life sentence being studied by frauds who pretend his brain is some kind of worm farm so they don’t have to work for a living which turns us round back to the actual reason why the Misfit killed the grandmother in the first place.

She would have been a good woman if it had been someone there to shoot her for Instagram every minute of her life.

Parking Lot

Around the edges toward the back is where divorcees and never-marrieds change diapers on the tailgate while exchanging kids for the week.

Arguments over weekend schedules and car-seat ownership bloom from empty baby wipe packages but the grocery is right there

where it all started. Rushed window fog undressing. Rent-a-cop scooter headlights while sweat dripped on ripped upholstery.

It was the best sex they ever had.

The Disappointed Telecaster

I bought a brown-and-white Telecaster in 1993 while digging
Lindsey Buckingham arpeggios
Keith Richards rock harpsichord
Joe Strummer musical chainsaw
Andy Summers stabby string reggae-rake echo flutter
Albert Collins bent-over blues
Steve the Colonel white soul twelve bar backup
Mark Knopfler twangy clean walking country Brit boogie

Eventually the strings started
pushing back and my rent was late

Doused in envy
with a streak of sulfur
burning brightly
in brown and white
but not as bright
as I thought it would
cash in hand,
on the pawn shop counter