by David Lawton

“One cave inward” — Jack Kerouac,
Mexico City Blues, 16 th Chorus

This is the space we escape to
A cavernous hiding place
From what passes for reality these days
From the blasphemous lies
Of both imam and preacher man
Entrenched bicameral partisanship
Bloated imperial powers and
The thin blue chalk outline

While our heroes are dying off
The music on the radio’s just
An audition for a car commercial
Every place so thick with product placement
We struggle to come together as a tribe
As once we did without even trying

This place pops open its jaws
Like a cold blooded reptile at lunch
And takes us in
Huck Finn, Tom and Becky Thatcher
On the run from vengeful Injun Joe
Without a blazing torch to light the way

God gives us the potential
For both good and bad
But you must struggle in the dark
To find the balance you can live with
The lights go down on our sense of control
And two soccer moms kiss each other
With their tongues

Churning organ meat grinder
Stirs underworld metalloid rumble
Constant ship bell’s toll in my inner ear
As the ghost boat’s deck begins to sway

Lean necromancer shadow climbs the wall
Purgatorial lounge singer slick with oil
Primordial drip dropped in brackish water
The bituminous beat which repeatedly throbs

A girl with her tits out descends the stair
So graceful our gazes turn vastly demure
While Little Fats lap dances his closeted guy
Stalagmites and stalactites both endure to make a point

Battering ram of galvanic brutal sound
Misty light that’s stained with blood and wine
Dank skin extrudes a brimstone stench
Of highway exit thunderclap

I stomp the blister out on my toe
Adhesive press-on fiberboard
Tramp black tar magma pothole patch
Straight down to China if I can

My lost love echoes from far off
I can’t tell if I give a frack
Our host is filled with sweet contempt
Throws up the house to bring us back.