“All across the middle of the nation
The dream of rural electrification.” --Carl Sandberg
Then came the twentieth century--
Debate was desultory and interest slack.
There’d been some stories going around,
Fellow came in there, couldn’t pay his bill
He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, boasted about it.
They had quite a struggle with him. Fought like a regular lion.
I’m going to kill one of those turkeys,
I want his pecker in my pocket
They put a little too much oil in his hair--
With virtually no oil at all, the effect was good.
Would rimless glasses do it for television?
Might want to experiment with that.
You-all made me some real light slacks,
Now I need about six pairs for summer wear
I vary about ten or fifteen pounds a month
He installed speakers to blare Muzak from the trees;
Unfortunately, the tape didn’t correspond to the man’s voice--
The sound quality was often flat and scratchy.
All day long, cheering crowds,
Interviews as long as a whore’s dream;
A cow horn bawled underneath a gleaming hood--
Quickly he flopped his ten-gallon hat over the speedometer.
Later, the car was so burned that you couldn’t get close to it
Agents were endeavoring to get inside
An intense heat had melted and burned
Everything into ashes
There were tracks leaving the car—
I had ten of them out there trying to kill a snake
And they couldn’t kill it,
They don’t even know how to operate their guns.
For example, no violation of law if you take a piss, or buy insurance.
What’s that call girl there? Is that a call girl?
This may be a taste of raw meat and they may want more—
Honey was a loving word and she hoped he would use it again
She was alone, alcoholic, or she stayed all night with him
Working on plane geometry
Her pacification of the beast was her greatest achievement
That little son of a bitch is always causing us trouble
They’ve got these big wide paragraphs and I can’t read ‘em that way
You put it out in concise language and everybody can understand it
The Black Bag contained instructions in case of nuclear war
He wanted to drop bombs on everybody
Millions and millions of bombs, day and night
This was a massive orgasm or something—
What I want is for them to start thinking of me in terms of initials!
Shapely cowgirls astride a mountain of tan,
Have you ever seen anything as big as this?
Look into the face of the life you are about to take:
Dallas was gay and festive in its generous welcome.
All our assassinations have been with guns—
Going to have to get the coroner there right away
How to behave with dignity and reserve?
Might drive out to the house, have a drink, a sandwich.
Can’t be checking up on every shooting scrape in the country--
Yes, it’s like trying to sneak daylight by a rooster
Mash a button, summon a secretary:
Just wanted to make sure I was getting a heart that had never been used
Toothpaste commercials blaring out of a television
Asserting both positions with equal conviction—
Just an impossible period.