Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Brazil" by B.H. Fairchild


This is for Elton Wayne Showalter, redneck surrealist
who, drunk, one Friday night tried to hold up the local 7-Eleven
with a caulking gun, and who, when Melinda Bozell boasted
that she would never let a boy touch her "down there," said,
"Down there? You mean, like, Brazil?"
                                                                   Oh, Elton Wayne,
with your silver-toed turquoise-on-black boots and Ford Fairlane
dragging, in a ribbon of sparks, its tailpipe down Main Street
Saturday nights, you dreamed of Brazil and other verdant lands,
but the southern hemisphere remained for all those desert years
a vast mirage shimmering on the horizon of what one might call
your mind, following that one ugly night at the Snack Shack
when, drunk again, you peed on your steaming radiator
to cool it down and awoke at the hospital, groin empurpled
from electric shock and your pathetic maleness swollen
like a bruised tomato. You dumb bastard, betting a week's wages
on the trifecta at Raton, then in ecstasy tossing the winning ticket
into the air and watching it float on an ascending breeze
with the lightness and supple dip and rise of a Bach passacaglia
out over the New Mexico landscape forever and beyond: gone.
The tears came down, but the spirit rose late on Sunday night
on a stepladder knocking the middle letters from FREEMAN GLASS
to announce unlimited sexual opportunities in purple neon
for all your friends driving Kansas Avenue as we did each night
lonely and bordeom-racked and hungering for someone like you,
Elton Wayne, brilliantly at war in that flat, treeless country
against maturity, right-thinking, and indeed intelligence
in all its bland, local guises, so that reading the announcement
in the hometown paper of your late marriage to Melinda Bozell
with a brief honeymoon at the Best Western in Junction City,
I know that you have finally arrived, in Brazil, and the Kansas
that surrounds you is an endless sea of possibility, genius, love.

Source of the text - B.H. Fairchild, Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest: Poems.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003, pp. 49-50.

TJB: This poem, an epithalamion-looking-backward, composed in four big celebratory run-ons, is most at home dwelling in failures & big gestures.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me