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The Scene

ISSUE:  Spring 1980

I wrestle the American Actual:
legs, oysters. Huge signboards
from close up at night. I went
to the dump, as if to weigh and count
those flies like pebbles, black as crows;
unloaded the refuse of our past,
waved goodbye to a brassiere
as the spiked wheels passed over.
Unable to sleep, at the truck
stop at two I found the waitress
still alive, while trash was pounded

deeper into the ground, Juggernaut
dozer tottering on a flood of belongings,
boxes leaking nylons and letters:
cardboard movie in the head, catsup
or blood? In the seat with the man
on the dump, I wrestle to stay
upright as in a skiff in breakers
on the flood of this undammed spillage.


I’ll stand under billboards at night,
their lights ten feet off the ground,
wish myself a giant in the posters
for truckers. I wave three-dimensionally
to eyes charting warily toward Kansas City.


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