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Real-Time Poet Project: 'Exiled in Iowa'

Crawfordsville, Iowa, in the southeastern corner of the state, was the birthplace of Republicanism ...
Crawfordsville, Iowa, in the southeastern corner of the state, was the birthplace of Republicanism ...
Courtesy image

Down the Road
from Crawfordsville

Somewhere at the end of the road
Down where the railroad used to go
In her trailer she slept with a frown
Trying to stare her demons down
The statue of libertines came around
The wolf had already walked the town
I wrote poetry without much sound
Except for a laugh
from all of the dumbing down

Down the road from Crawfordsville
the broken motor man turned to stone
like Apache copters a'rotoring on
and wagons circling from raging clowns
they argued the point
till the town burned down

Though they paid the rent
for ten dollars a week
the world was shred
by wolves among sheep
as smokes he borrowed
he burned to keep from weeping
and anhydrous ammonia
came up from the deep
and she worshiped her stars
when lacking sleep
while pine needles fell
in symmetries at her feet
before the dogs all howled
in the morning light
down the road from Crawfordsville

They all got a book out
about self-proclaiming,
about water-board wording
and daylight savings,
burning bushes, barns,
the hay needle's laughter
about the unicorn dying
while the Republican Party's
secret headquarters
has gone to rust
down the road
in Crawfordsville

Yeah, down the road
from that tiny Ta'Iowa town
a pig farmer named Lester
is happier than hell
He's driving by
with a sleeping hawkeye
his parallax view
can tell no more lies
and the good book sold now
to the controverted
stands in the way
of truth's memory
of the local sounds
in Crawfordsville

Cardinal square in sharp-cut corners
the coroner croons with each hard winter
turning summer waters cancer cluster bitter

Down the road from Crawfordsville
"climate is dead" for the motorhead,
fertilizer falls from the fire-up sky,
we need not ask for the season of why

Down the road from Crawfordsville
the maharishi's prayer is for a limo
in need of more corn-fed gasoline
and up the road: the Wal Mart roadkill
is churned up dust from that shuttered
restaurant full of crap for the ghostly haunt

Down the road from Crawfordsville
that old shack is burning still
with bushels full of Monsanto seed corn
breaking your teeth on porky porn
as the Synergy trucker waves goodbye
but even with buckets full of energy
we want heroes, well here are three
with eleven cups of free coffee, cigs,
some sanity for satiety, a kind kinda
Fire Safety Week society
for squeaking toys and dogs
to run free

Down the road from Crawfordsville
there's good folks out there, out there still,
while the eye in the sky is scorching 'em dry
they don't even ask the reason why
since loose lips sink ships, Holy Reagan cow!
The washing machine's roll is terror, Wow!

But the tenderloin's pound is a tender drum
of country folk who ain't ho hum
Can you hear them tommy tum tums
of the super farmer's food taught, like magic,
by a hand-held Fibonacci sequence tool

Down the road from Crawfordsville
the Big Box trucker armies
broke 'em up bad,
so forget those things
you learned in school
about how Frodo kept the ring
and the Golden Rule,
about how mega Hertz
made German tanks,
cause techno Teotihucuan
gives good thanks
at the dinner table, to the cops,
to your loan at your banks

Just let it roll by, let it fire its blanks,
'cause down the road from Crawfordsville
you can still greet the sun in sacrificial light
and the morning moon will come a day too soon,
so swim with the shore you supper fools ...

Down the road from Crawfordsville
worms from the air get carved up, cool,
the super farmer's just awe right
'cause disinformation is far outta sight
and William Shatner just plain lied

to those poor folks in Riverside

and east to west the buffalo returns
to beat the dust from the Bible belt's urn

Down the road from Crawfordsville
a bard's lament is the ever-giving quest,
despite the wormwood, yer guns, yer tongue,
you'll give great thanks when mourning is done,
when her sacrificial second sight is Mary singing
about storms to come, about enough blood to drown
the terrorists of shock, awe, the dumbing down,
just can't avoid the daily bank scam man
who hits the train station burned to the ground
and the bump in the road will kill you if found

Meanwhile the ranch gets saved up the road
from Crawfordsville, where sileage choppers
look like haircut machines by day, E.T. by night,
like giant Sandworms harvesting spice,
and the golf course tanned Dan
is a thousand miles away, tinkering
with puppets to sway, like bobcats
shot and killed and made into hats,
the collection plate is eternal
as the frightly nightly news
the heroes go on despite these views
when asked how she feels she sighs and says,
"Peaceful," she says, "and peaceful is nice."

Dead Peasants Revolution

See there, over the Holy lands,
the lost McDonalds arch
over the sea
over the winds
between the digitized clouds
of moneyed imaginings ...

A toast to all, a call
to the muse, once forgotten,
now nobody, nothing, plain,
wandering the land ...

Summon the post-insurance marvel,
confounding the co-fathers,
the commercial second foot ...
about to draw ... media mad ...

Like in "Network," yes, "Network..."

Channeling theocracy they are
the Fox net whizzes

A toast. A toast.
Jelly and jam for everyone ...
Falling from grace, falling

Juniper walks in, the challenger,
the maker of tastes, sweet whispers
of things once forgotten, now remembered:

She sings, leaning into the sea, O Juniper!
"Storms, storms across America ...
conjuring up Tiamat from the depths,
from the depths, from the depths ..."

Being Red, Day One

My first day as a red
went okay, I guess ...
we poisoned the apple
of knowledge
at the school teacher's
desk and I shouted
her down when she told
us about the census

I tossed a rock at her
on the way home from school ...
Then, at football practice,
we were given a rousing speech
to hold our ground

Coach Boehner, too
had been especially
incensed about the new
social contract being
passed around

Funny, he'd been so quiet
for nearly a decade ...

Shit, we are going to
hafta, like, take care
of each other now

Later, we went home
and watched bully pulpit
teevee and it lit up
the oven in our eyes

Bury My Heart at Broken Knee

They were high sock days,
white cleats, hard rock days,
daze of football glories
when I could sail over their eyes,
duck around their walls
since getting tackled
was well ... inconvenient,
hurt like a sucker, yes,
so I learned to run in fear ...

At homecoming assembly,
Coach Boehner cheered us on,
Lombardized and lobotomized
since winning was everything ...

Yeah, the kid's mind went squish
in that game last week, and yes,
we do teach our kids
to tackle like torpedoes

It's just a wink you know
O, certaintly yes it's
unAmerican to aim to kill

He just stood there, the tragic suited one,
at the kickoff, he did, and there was violence
and a collateral cry across the field
and the kid stumbled toward us, in a daze:
Fortunately, Coach told us later,
his dad was a brain surgeon

But now my broken knee has been plowed
into ploughshares, my swords, cow-pastured,
thirty years from that yesteryear
believing in that gridiron dream
imagined into a pre-existing condition
of crunching bone and graal ...

What's Next for Joe the Terrorist

This just in from Fox News:
Coach Boehner, well, he got bad blues,
gonna put an oven in the eyes
for and you and you and you

Like a rough beast backbeat back at last
the popular rage rolls in real time fast
flinging flags with snakes on the porch
of Democracy, livin' free while you die

... and all that know-nothing why

This just in from Fox News:
Joe the Terrorist just got refused

Searchlight Serenade

Momma def poppa
returned from their
red, white and black
road racer rally car
trip to Nevada
from drinking
too much tea

On the way back
they discussed
checking the brakes
at the East India
Trade-In Company
then stopped off
at the Wal-Mart
to buy a Krate
of Klassic Koke,
an eighty-four percent share
in Monsanto korn seed,
Kool Aid for the kids,
got home (paid for), checked
the U.S. Mail, tested the Teev-Ho
for the latest on the NFL draft,
and any new instructions
from Poppa Bear
on how
to resist
and thought

Unlike the usual church sermon,
they still had visions of posterized
black-faced Obamas dancing
in their heads and their bull eyes
kept konjuring the kulars:
Black, white and red ...

They found the kids at home,
waiting, playing Monopoly ...
They were playing with their
children, and the children
of their children ...

Momma def Poppa
had just missed the debate
about the rule about the rule
about the rule of how and when ...
you simply toss the board
and start over again
when nobody
has any

Reshuffle the deck
(Good game theory)

Despite the appeal
to those eeking
it out on Baltic Avenue,
too many remained
unconvinced the gig
was up, and they klung
like bees at the bank window
to their paper money
of reds, black and white,
to their pixilated imaginations
of digitized seas of more time,
more money
waiting to appear
if they just pray and work
hard enough

Meanwhile, Pablo sat
out on his porch
listening to Norteno
way too loud
into the night
since it was a full moon
and he could still
dream of amnesty
and learning how
to read
Thomas Paine

Marshall, Marshal, Martial ...

As anyone who watched
Wallace and Ladmo knows,
Marshal "Martial" Good
died jumping through the window
of the Twin Towers
holding the last known
of the Fourth Amendment

Which is why now
in the Verde Valley
the toothless methheads
just wave their rights
before the dogs arrive

Superman search
has rendered
search and seizure

Which is why Dick Cheney
can bring his shotgun
into the Pink Pony
and steroids are the drug
of choice before Sarge says,
"Let's be careful out there."

Marshall law provides cover
to the car part store
of the mind

Marshall law is broadcast
behind pulled-in blinds,
spitting out Bible black blurbs
... just ask your doctor

Marshall law is so grisly
in Meachamite-glories,
the Constitution hardly
matters anymore

Marshall law is punishment

And as anyone who laments
for Marshal "Martial" Good
might remember,
we adore our enforcement
with a tinge of tragi-comedy
Which is why the photo radar
captures images
of Sheriff Joe
out breathalyzing tonight
so breathless and bluesy...

Which is why soon
Marshall law will battalion
the border with snow ...

The Eleventh
of Twelve Elves
of Mars ..

Gorgeous sun,
mother of sun
uneasy to appease,
easier to please
but bitter in death
untaking the taste test
after dinner thinker
but not much
of a drinker

This insane chain
around you was sympathy
Overpowered by your pedal
mad but no longer snoring
dreaming of diamonds, Goddess!

She law languid but stolid,
a cool, brilliant underwater
apparatus, but hell ...
no damn Illuminatress ...

... at least not quite yet,
she barely got wet

Bathed by a winged white
Macaw, disorder and the law,
unloved in luscious whispers
beneath the yellow gown
of a new moon, a taste both fast
and sweet, in glory, in flesh
and in heat ...

El Cathedral

Light leaking through the trees
in a voice of sun music
as a Jesuit-taught cowboy
poking gruff holes through
the forest, a well-worn
horse-made trail ...

In the morning's blaze
Sunshine Peak smiles
through touristas
in hangover cobwebs
after a night's
culture shock therapy ...

She is kind, but wise and cautious
as the deer but fearing nothing
except for the coming bulldozers
and coyotes of commerce
preying on the young, the weak ...

(Ah, the weak,
now there's some
cheap meat ...)

And it wouldn't be here
in the future, which is today,
and yesterday is just
this poet's old ghosts ...
roamin' ...

The next day and for years
after that, Set would go on nibbling
on greens, for no one,
said Horus, the hawk,
could crunch on greens
better than Set ...

Among he are those times
is monies folks, old blokes,
who pushed women around
for centuries, like cattle,
due to God's half-written call

And they were good
intentioned men,
just like me ...
who went home,
all unsatisfied,
to beat on their wives,
to then sleep for another day
with their brokers, pork belly
stokers, livin' among chain
smokers, all bragging about
how they had this girl and that girl,
when, in fact, they had not ...

She is kind, and wise
and no longer
free to be
alone ...

The Valley of the Single
Black Escaped Pig Fiasco

The engorged valley
was wide as the Grand Canyon,
but wider the Abdominal Void,
and shale-white stone,
a single one, most noticeable,
pointed toward the West,
toward a happy life, happier endings,
than the imaged hat-brimmed
man left in the dusty dust,
the aquarium rescue dream,
of turquise particles, dust,
and a ghost, perhaps, or a lover's
old friend, who left a single marble
from her head, to point the way

With great fear, fear alone, tore back
down the mountain ... which shook loose
again after a mere ten minutes
at the insatiable blue counters
of your local Walmart crack pipe dealer ...

After dinner, her hair turned blue
and she got the shingles from shaking
too many demons out of the newborn
skulls of other ... and she wept in the morn' ...
and the sound of a single-family home,
another of many more undone for the day
burned a new red hole in me ... and I could
barely smoke, or speak, or feel, or touch
my own nose from looking so hard to see ...

But somewhere out there in middle America
a single black pig is running free in the streets
while a shadow's brilliant pink red Father Sun
has also come undone from the blazing glories
of incomprehensible amounts of feminine hunters
charging in the last great light brigands
inspired by trampled patriarichal old souls ...

Black Hawk Up

Eleven a.m
and the unarmed
dying of the dark
can't catch up
to pre-dawn me

Upon the Midwestern plains,
the planes boss, the planes ...
Their thunderbird songs sing
to thee ... tho many of those bros
have never flown
much further West
than the Miss Yi Yapee

Dark clouds move
across the red sky
from the Southwest
airlines, all guidelined
by pill pushing plumbers,
electrostatic electricians,
by zombie-eyed truckers
dumbing down magical,
no longer mysterious
or even once mythic roads

Full moon all day headlining
to disappointing misfortunes
of Dionysus, who died that night
well before the clouds move slow
and covered wagons move fast
to confuse the fine old sun's
meandering eyes, red satellite
rounded ...

Since we are at war now
against cosmic nations
in corporate disguise
and a single black hawk
emplores the baddass
updrafts to remain,
to be still
and wise ...

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