Raising Eyebrows Raise your Eyebrows
Raising Eyebrows Gary Barwin

I saw the best lawns of my neighbourhood destroyed by
      dadlessness, water-starved, dandelion-infested, naked
drugging themselves on the sides of the blacktopped streets
      looking for fertilizers, whatever they could get for a
      really quite annoyed fix
steel-toed gardeners weedeating for the ancient heavenly
      connection to the verdant dynamo in the machinery
      of lawncare
who in pickups and hollow-eyed workclothes sat smoking
      beside the supernatural greenness of cold-water
      sprinklers spinning across the tops of the glass-sharp
      grass blades, contemplating the victories of the Utah Jazz

this is my life in the salad spinner
this is my life in the salad spinner & this is my wife
I am a fish
an emphatic proclaimer squatting in the kidney-shaped brainpan
      of history
I said that
I said that I am my own wife and we’re getting along – these days –
we’re getting along & we’re thinking of taking a family vacation
      for we’re a family who deserve a respite from the
      neo-atomic shopping cart hubbub of the prepubescent
      lawn gnomes
who in post-Reagan meta-Clinton ecstasy line the malls of our
      panfried double-dutch town out in the River Styx
we’re a family
who have planned a trip
who have got an autoclub map of the inner walls of history’s
      great punchbowl
who have packed up our stationwagon, our late millennial
      brainpan chuckwagon
who have crammed all we own into our lime-green asphalt
      air-bag chariot
who in the multichannel light of day have loaded our kids,
      Allen Ginsberg, our dog Rex & my old laptop, the one
      that I rescued from the red gaping-natural-wonder-of-
      geological-back-formation tax-forms-in-triplicate mouth
      of a tax-collector Ferlinghetti
whose great mangy head apes the variable mop-styled haircuts
      of a Linear B double-decker bus driver, careening
      through a metempsychotic coin-operated carwash
who then washes and conditions his public head in neo-Pavlovian
      Mike Harris retro-dog drool
who was raised in the tremendous heat of the plains and kept
      hungry, hungry, stomach-a-mollified-cocktail-hour
      hungry by zip-drive scsi port connection to the astroturf
      minotaur bookmark of the revenue-neutral religious
who burnished his frontal tropical botany text addendum,
whose parametric Armenian divining rug
yes the same valuable parametric Armenian divining rug that
      was pulled out from under me when I set out to change
when I set out to make everything better
with wool and with double-sided tapirs
what with the wife and kids on our family vacation
and me a fish
a Greg Corso among those of the piscine persuasion
not that I’ve ever tried to persuade a fish
hey fish, this is water
this is where you will spend your entire glinting sit-com gill-
      gasping fishy life, unless by some chance you have fallen
      into a punchbowl and what time you have, what time
      you have been given in the sweet bubbles of the crimson
      water of history, you will spend sucking in the red
      rum-coloured shopping-flavoured fruit-crowded festive
      liquidity of the punch-clock rippling waves
no the fish don’t understand, they just don’t understand
fear only their last gasping breath in the breezy earth-hugging
      bird-busy air,
the filigreed knife edges of their gills pulsing in their peripheral
      vision as now finally they can imagine water

did I tell you I was a fish?
yes I am a fish here in the brainpan of history
here in its very punchbowl
only it’s a punchbowl no longer
the punch all having been finished way back at that party I
      think it was the late Middle Ages, the Mesozoic pre-human
      paleo-get-together festival of Saurian land developers, of
      flightless investadons, of amphibious over-ambitious
the cathode-ray bathtub diet hipster salad-spinning party that
      was given to finish the last punch-logged fruit slices
      nestled along the lower inner surface of the not-really-a-
      punchbowl-anymore punchbowl of history where my
      wife and I and our children and our dog are travelling
      with Neal Cassady, my laptop as I mentioned earlier or
      above if you’re reading this in the gold-embossed,
      leather-bound, calf-skinned, french-flapped, spine-
      soldier, mass-market trade edition which is soon to be
      released in a deluxe hand-held user-friendly Internet
      brainpan-accessible politically direct blue bandshell-
      angel velvet-of-the-night-sky pan-urban cranial roadster
      edition copies available on the table at the back tonight

do I wish I was a Jack Kerouac millionaire philosopher
whose radiant cool eyes had found the Mother Teresa Louis
      Armstrong Princess Diana Kierkegaard Elvis boy
there in the wastebasket transcribing my thoughts in the blue
      light when the video ends
instead of what I am as I said a fish a brainpan surfer, some
      Jolley Cut hacker scheduled for a little r&r with his family?

did I mention my family?

Previous Contents Next
Order and Tip
Online Books

Top Next