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 It Was A Hell Of A Thing...
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Passions in Poetry

It Was A Hell Of A Thing...

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icebox
Member Elite
since 05-03-2003
Posts 4333
in the shadows


0 posted 12-21-2016 04:07 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for icebox




It was desert two-lane blacktop back then
all the way to Boulder City.  
The night sky beckoning South
was alive in darkness.
Thousands of glowing eyes reflected light,
Male Jacks on the prowl
looking for Jennies, looking to make their mark.
The whole drive I saw less than two dozen cars.  
I knew I couldn't stop to park along the road
to wash clean with sand in a sea of stars.
I was running hard and heavy
until I was safely into Arizona
heading for a plane.

Ten miles out of Vegas I started shaking.  
I'd done a man's work,
an unmade man in the making,
then celebrated with a working Pro.  
Broke the weapon into pieces
tossed out into night
a little here a little there,
like scattered holiday bread
a piece for luck spilled off the dam.
I crossed the state line from Nevada
breathing deep chilled desert air.

Every night some of us living,
every night some of us dead.
When I was fifty miles past the lights of Kingman,
as desert night again swallowed up the world,

     "Ave Maria"

done a capella
by a strong young woman's voice
blew out starkly on the radio.  
A Pro's cash laughter
still sparkly on my brain
her scent still too strong on my skin.

      "Ave Maria"

The night's work still blowing
darkly through my soul.

     "Gratia plena Maria"  

Cordite smoke acrid on my clothes.
Should have lost the clothes
but even in Nevada
driving naked was a bad idea back then.
Next time remember
lose the clothes;
sweet Jesus
can there be a next time?

     "Et benedictus
      fructus ventris
     Ventris tuae,
     Jesus"

No moon in a desert's clear Winter sky
so pocked with stars
there were shadows
underneath Joshua trees.  

In a borrowed car that seemed to fly
I drove the old highway
like it was sanctuary
almost abandoned
down the west side of the state.  
Less traffic, no point in tempting fate.  

     "Ave Maria"  

It was a four hour turn around job
no time for the town, made time for the Green Door.
Hadn't I earned it?
Eight hours to Phoenix.
Who's keeping score?

     "Ave Maria Mater Dei"

I laughed
being too young to gamble
too young to drink,
not too young for the chore,
not too young to know what the Pro was for.

     "Ora pro nobis peccatoribus"

No speed limits back then
once a town line was crossed.  
No forgiveness back then
when a wrong line was crossed.

     "Ora pro nobis"

The mark saw me coming;
I left him right on the lawn.
Four hours later and both of us gone,
I'm threading through
potholes and tumbleweeds torn from the earth,
my left eye waiting for slate gray streaks
that bleed from first pink shades of dawn.

     "Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus"

Once in a while
some ramshackle buildings
some tumbled down bars
poured past the car's windows
in flashes of shadows and lights
and glow from the stars.

     "Nunc et in hora mortis"

Dead gas stations
so old I didn't know the brands.

     "Et in hora mortis nostrae"

It was the old stage road to Wickenburg
then down to the Valley of the Sun
where a hundred years of anglo dreams
lay scattered crumbling on ancient desert floor.

     "Et in hora mortis nostrae"

Midnight Juarez radio blasting Christmas carols
up from the border all the way to Canada.  
1,000,000 watts of guerrilla blues, rock and roll
and a capella tinsel blowing cowboy preachers off the air,
crushing U.S. stations from el Paso to Calgary.  
Before cell phones, email, internet, cable TV,
they were selling plastic Jesus,
beer and cigarettes and soap without a soul.

     "Nunc et in hora mortis"

Seventeen years old
a blooded contract killer
with a fresh gym bagged bankroll...
  
     "Et in hora mortis nostrae"

Souvenirs for dreams
left to years that followed.
Some burned out tweaker DJ,
sipping Tequilla and Robitussin on Alvarado Street
tripping on White Dove and holiday nostalgia,
set up these memories of that pure sweet voice
carving through a desert night
singing.

     "Ave Maria"  

Redemption and a year's worth of living
if I just could make it home.  

     "Ave, ave dominus"

More than 50 years now gone,
glittered memories still shining on,
but the work itself was easy.  
It was getting out alive that took my breath away.

     "Ave Maria
     Gratia plena...."

2003, 2016 by icebox (with apologies to Franz Schubert)

  



© Copyright 2016 icebox - All Rights Reserved
Ari Squire
Member
since 04-05-2016
Posts 446
In The Phallus Lane


1 posted 12-21-2016 09:03 PM       View Profile for Ari Squire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ari Squire

Never write with a blued pen.

Loving Linny Jean is poetry.

latearrival
Member Ascendant
since 03-21-2003
Posts 5489
Florida


2 posted 12-24-2016 01:15 AM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

And  you lived to tell the story and more to follow. you haven't lost your touch. Just  dropped in to see who was around Glad you are still writing.JO/ latearrival
icebox
Member Elite
since 05-03-2003
Posts 4333
in the shadows


3 posted 12-29-2016 02:47 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

Thank you both for your time and your comments.
 
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