Asphalt Elegant

(For the fiftieth anniversary of Tower Poetry Society)

by Slim Volumes
Ontario, Canada

you too can beat poetry with our new and improved
pentameters they slice they dice they are fully aromatic the
rhythm of our efficient run-on-time quatrains will march
defeated poets right out of your hair donít worry they were
tired already - rimshot - TURN THAT THING DOWN YOUR
                wasp America
                slumbered before suburbia vision
                like vest-popped uncles after christmas dinner
                chevrolet in the drive with dinah
                and dad behind the wheel
                drives to manciniís 66 no kicks
                on these asphalt arteries
                feeding urban organs where
                niggers and kikes, dagos and
                polkas, bohunks and
                dpís too fresh for their own
                teem from ghettos
                backs bent from killing Hitler
                they demand to be whatís
                changed parade to a down
                beat as a self-loathing
                queen collects names till
                someone letís slip
                the dogs of Birmingham
                blasting choirs from under
                godsí steeples
crazed harmonics careen
            sweat slicked streets back
                                alley finger pop in
                                        smoke dense dens
                                evidence we inhale the
                      spoken word cup
                      java heat
as a poet ruminates the                       man this cat canít spell
footlights over his sweet red tuber                            neuf says
gather georgesí wrinkled smiles for a lint reefer sugared with
bug dust then leave verse in the piggly wiggly crisper for cold
meat and bread struggled past a check-out-chick hooked on
lines come morning sheís a round shouldered reminder of thin
cotton print over the swell of life
                back on blacktop her
                heat still in the palm
                a yellow bus coming
                BUT NOW
                for a limited time only
                before the moon and
                shelter from the sky
                its asphalt elegant
                    one line
                    two lanes
                    good miles ahead


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