Wheeling

11 Apr

With lit­tle idea of how emphat­i­cal­ly alert
the car­rion forces of irony would approach me
in this odd doohick­ey state of mine,
I was cel­e­brat­ing with mov­ing trucks
and farewell glimpses like sig­nals from anoth­er fron­tier
that I, yes, the roy­al rov­ing eye
had final­ly escaped the nation’s cap­i­tal after twen­ty-two
hos­tile years of sti­fled scream, fish tales, and orgasm,
my for­mi­da­ble punk rock years froth­ing and frost­ed beneath me,
pun­ish­ment enough I had hoped for choos­ing the prophet­ic mus­es
of blath­er­ing fifth angel gui­tar heaps over the dead­ly aims
of the fine­ly papered greed and arro­gance creeps
the city of Wash­ing­ton breeds, imports, and exports
across its con­ti­nen­tal colonies and beyond, far beyond,
ges­ture con­trol, this leer­ing law­mak­ing
jeer­ing jaw­break­ing city’s major indus­try,
and by that I mean ONLY indus­try…

but obvi­ous­ly I had mis­cal­cu­lat­ed the odds—
the shady odds not even a straw hat hom­bre from south of the imag­i­nary
Men­doza line as legal as lint, can beat. Flat­tened by repeat­ed fail­ure,
and by fail­ure, I mean absolute and uncom­pro­mised fail­ure,
I had become noth­ing more than an aching sub­urb of my for­mer self.
I had gone west by God. In smut­ty nut­ty wise­crack­ing Wheel­ing
                      West Vir­ginia
I soon found myself smack dab in the mid­dle
of the next pyg­malion effect.

Allow me to elab­o­rate my first full week
here on Main Street in Vic­to­ri­an Old Town, I saw,
and by that I mean O‑L-D, the flak­ing, rot­ting, stink­ing car­cass
of a for­mer glo­ry gone des­per­ate­ly poor, I saw myself
perched eighty feet on a bluff above the his­tor­i­cal
but now quaint yet peri­od­i­cal­ly swelling, rag­ing,
bank-defy­ing Ohio Riv­er down below.

First week here POTUS came to town,
a speech at the Capi­tol Music Hall,

Floods in Wheel­ing, nope, in DC.
Pres­i­den­tial motor­cade.
punk city, nope, wheel­ing, mas­sive tats & nose rings—
few hicks, lots of itch­ing though.

[ 2006, Wheel­ing, WV ]

© 2006 — 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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