Sunday, September 5, 2010

Japanese Animation - a poem

The sign above the concession stand reads

“delicious hot dogs,” and like the onset of

sudden changes, he’ll see them –

plump ones, basting in their juices, their skins set to

shine with the light of all their commercials –

Perhaps these are the hot dogs of Hot Dog Alley.

Why always this theatre, he’ll ask himself.

Darkened, except for the screen’s random strobe,

pelting his face like soft hail, this is the hall he always

seems to find his way to, arriving every time

with these same people to sit, to watch, and to see

the insides of these unlikely venues of small worlds

and skewed relevancies.

It’s been said at one time this was a building used to sell

Plymouths. And even now, after the ends of all the

days since, the cars still remain, kept in the rank

summer heat of the garage out back.

They breathe the fumes of their fresh new paint jobs,

lying in their new, unaccustomed traditions,

these spectacles for pushing coffee on the young.

Inside however, the cool rubber air bounces off the

processed chicken salad they make here,

and a group gathers away in a corner, the epic rolls

of their laughter setting this place to echo.

They remember seventh grade humor – days of “doing

your mom,” nights of jumping off bridges,

full flexing the charge of such young power.

At a piano, one plunks some chords in an Ionian mode,

like a rapture of old yesterdays, and swears

he doesn’t know the little things that make it work,

just what’s good to the ear.

It’s in this pierce of elder sun, his music becomes the

soundtrack to the unfolding scene, as the rest of them

cling to the toys and trucks that dirtied their childhoods,

these reaffirmations of other realities, the building

contracts of cartoon revolutions, in a cartoon nature,

where the cartoon wizard’s cold holds the kingdom’s

sway, and the only resolution resolves in such spaces

as between parted lips.

A small white coupe pushes up a grain bitten highway,

and with it, the young man rides his smooth gradient

of age, watching, as the dark hills of Arkansas slowly

absorb the orange sky, the sweet trappings of an old song

spinning the night before dissolving like cotton candy,

his month long toothache almost enough to ruin it all.

Somewhere else, a walking castle rolls a twisted chaos

through green mountains of another world,

and it echoes the percussion of his companion’s silent

concern. She turns on the headlights.

Perhaps later he will recall their weight, comparing it

to the gravity of all the things he’s seen today,

an old woman’s pain from falling, distances,

like threads of religion that seem to spark the spine,

and he’ll pace the floor before it’s all over. But for now,

all he can do is continue this motion past Shakespeare Drive,

and think about nothing else but dancing lemons.

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