Tuesday, 3 June 2008

8. The West Is The Best

Thumb cocked
bag on my back
here I stand at the road-side
like Tom Joad
like the Beverley Hillbillies
like Jack Kerouac
like every dustbowl pioneer who ever headed West
crossing the frontier
to the silver sea
and the golden shore.

I am a white man with a black soul
red hair, yellow teeth
greenbacks in my blue jean pockets
and emerald eyes on the shimmering prize.
Even now I know that this is significant
the first true phase of the dream,
but how can you truly dream
when your stomach is growling
you’re nicotine sick and
your bed is in a different direction?

To the sea, to the sea!
I want to see the sea
but I’ll settle for the city
with the swaying palms and
the nine white letters on the hill
and the rainbow futures
and the girls - the girls!
Oh, the girls, they won’t know
what’s hit them, they don’t know
poetry, freedom, success, immortality.

I am no longer William Bailey
I am Orson Welles
I am Arturo Bandini!
I am the sky upon which the stars will congregate
I am the bomb in the bag in the booth
at the bus station
I am the hundred dollar tip
the ice melting in your drink
the casting couch you fuck upon
the red carpet you delicately tread.

A car pulls up.
I get in.

1 comment:

straightfromthefridge said...

That, Benjamin Myers, is one hell of an existential poem...

It almost, but not quite, makes me want to listen to the Chinese Democracy..