U.S. City

Kelly Shaw

Art experiences a hundred times vaster
than the cineplexities where jujubes make
the teeth stuck and where board members
build their barracks from the number
of snow-globes they pawn off
from the acropolis ledge.

Groups of playful kids sit in these people’s
houses eyeing their nicotine candy.
Outside a little muskrat sneezes in the glare
of the billboarding Come to Mamma flashes
that wall the thruway.

The limousine drivers want to have
more interesting lives thanks to
open terraces and the arms of the sea
that come close and allow them
to glimpse the depths of
the topography from time to time.

But for today’s up-and-comer, orientation
is baffled beyond all sense of old circuits.
Kebobs of bling-bling are weighing down
hunched women and attempts to connect
with a unifying osmosis from big and flat
screens are trumping lateral moves
whose options are dwindling
with each successive ecstatic binge.

But there’s drama at the corner
underneath the strange new laws
the forefathers would laugh at or pee on
while the new silent automatic cars scare
the eyeballs out of everyone.

Out pops the head of the Corporation
to take a look below from the iron armature
of his unpolluted enclave, thought to be
more spacious inside than a museum
within three hundred miles.

There are so many moving stairways,
it’s hard to judge the depth,
but there are enticements everywhere –
an opera of little lights dancing
with the bountiful rations, and
sparkly blue cascading holidays
flanking the way in – enough to delight,
for a time, in the desert-dusty air.

Secessio Vol.1 No. 1, Spring 2012