chem trails
by quinten collier
_________________________ . ________________________

El Topo II

The sunlight turned to smoke above the desert.
The caravan wound westward
In search of the naked thighs of mice.
A Russian gypsy named Takato Yamamoto.

The sunlight turned to dust above the mountain.
The caravan wound westward.
A Russian gypsy married to his mother
In a mask of self-hypnosis.

The sunlight turned to soot under the horse hooves.
Takato Yamamoto
In search of the everlasting serpent.
A puppeteer in a mask of human muscle.

A gunslinger, a pedophile,
And a Russian,
Crawling behind a miracle,
Turned to sunlight.

The sunlight turned to Takato Yamamoto in the fountain,
Muscle memory:
I appear terrifying. Fear Evil
And everlasting life, said the serpent.

The gypsy turned to ashes in the sunlight.
The mice have found her.
The caravan is now our mother,
We cannot be born.

The puppeteer shot a child in the sunlight.
We are not alive:
That is what draws us to the womb.
My name is Takato Yamamoto, the Blessed Serpent.

Only the mice are everlasting.

The gunslinger with a mask made of horse hooves.
Westward wound the caravan.

The snake’s crypt of sunlight.

*   *   *

The Cold War

I don’t know if we were spies
or just fugitives.
We were on a bus.
I was fleeing again
but confident this time
I would attain liberation,
insoluble levity,
Everyone on the bus felt the same;
we could see ourselves gliding across the map from above
through a country of weightless gold.

Sitting next to me was an Indian girl—
Hindu, Aztec, Iroquois...
I couldn’t discern her origin—
I thought she had the power to heal.

I knew I would never escape my native land,
though it seemed the journey itself was a sanctuary.

The girl asked me where I was going
and if I’d taken this route before.
I answered then asked her the same,
her eyes a window to the foot hills behind,
the desert a mask for the forest
absolved of all duration.
She had a baby in her arms.
I asked her its name.
Her lips turned ocher like herbs
and she was silent:

This child was a gift.
Our destination cannot be determined.
Her name is October
and she must never awake from her dream.

We entered a territory of wind and sand
and wheat.
This was America.

The girl pointed out the window,

We call this place Russia, she said.

*   *   *

Going Nowhere (A Middle Class Blues)

               they want to talk to rain with smoke
                       these misers in their gold belts with
                  ebony buckles
      ten gallon
                                                          cattle driver
                                     they want to acquiesce
to the wishes of their         oil riggery on
                 the plains
      under a perishing facade of   locust
          in the mountaintunnels they want their fears to subside
                               in a dusk of coal powder
                                     imported boleros
                                              for the women who seek them
                                   will never enter their masculine
                                               they want to catalogue
                                                                  the stars with
             a processor
                                                     for a posterity engineered
                for eugenics
                               they want to cultivate prisons &
                                     security implants name their
                           sexless vanities

            this train ain’t going

                            the sky is coagulating into glass
                          & i’m supposed to ask
                                   if you care

                            here is a hand that
                                        will never float over the
                             kitchen table again
    a choir sucked back              into the stereo
                               an implosion of fruit flies
                                       to compose an exegesis
                                    on the compost heap
           mother, let me back in!!! I’VE CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!
                      he’s swearing he’s changed & it’s this
miserable   mildewed   rag   weed   eyelash
dapple in the trailer park hush as the
methheads sleep still western annihilation
methods that slip through the heart there the
maudlin stricken unloved of god
w/her fifteen-year-old picture everyone’s left
their breath on so says the officer at the door
he’s changed I tell you he’s changed

                                  you have to please the neighbors
               & we’re all divorced
                                    at the barbeque
                                    in our company tshirts
             w/the composite sodas of flaccid eternity
                                                   to embrace
                                                   loosen your belt
                        at night in the lawnmower plasma drone
                                               subdued in the way
                                  there is nothing to understand

                    give me justice
                              or atleast
                    fatty human melodrama
                               to sedate me
                                     give me a naval aircraft carrier
                        that is about to sink but
                             give me the nuclear submarine that is ab
                                   out to fire torpedoes
                                            but on second thought
                                                                 m a y b e
                                              we should wait

                                my baby left me
                      for my lawyer
                                      i’m so demented by her wedding ring
                               she’d, hanging out at thrushcross grange
                                             & I’m stuck out hunting strange
                            my suitcase ain’t gonna
                                         leave my hand again
                                     call me heathcliff
 ugly gypsy looks fifty but he’s twenty-four
                                                   i can’t lift myself into the
                                                                   hot tub with
                                                          out her
                                                                  this ain’t my real life
                                                 i’m just vacationing
                                                     from cosmic unity
                                              in this corrupt amalgamate
                                                  of lacquered excrement
                                          & dew

                 some people were
                         just born to get ripped
                off     & i don’t care to
                                   ascertain it

                                             now that’s nonetheless for ya

          the curtains open themselves

                  the iris of granite
              printed on a translucent gray shawl  
                    who should be murmuring to the
                                 carpet mites at this hour in search of

              the cat has a urinary tract infection
                           he’s disqualified
                                   the dog has a glass eye
            & toads sleep in caverns several many meters
                                       under the topsoil:
            euthanized buddhas in the dolor of bloodless eunuch
                                               vacuum palaces

       we’re all connected
                      what the hell good does it do us?

                            can’t sell it
                    can’t eat it
                              can’t tell it what to do

      you get these microscopic illuminations
& they’re about as substantial as chewing gum
                 & last just as long
          but MARS TOM!!!!
                          you get this book
          & it unlocks the universe
      but the rose garden the plum blossom
               the crab apple
                                all irreparably cropped
          the elms will go to seed when you have to
      go back to work in the etc. & their regenesis is
                                      just a
                                                   pain in the ass

    the sheriff is a beautiful woman
wielding a vast amorphous prison cell
                                     to encompass the highway

              like some silicate silhouette
                                                when sprinting in the sedans of sentience
      the a.m. threethirty drunks flee their tremens of haunt &        
                  vermin-crazed they reel the towers of chrome city
                                          hallways peeling like paint
                            whizcrackbejingling slashed
                   barstools of faustian repose now jarred spiraling
through windows of lilac air in the heat mirage of august
                                     street lamps & cicada shrills
                            sawtooth winged newspaper clippings
                                      & warrant papers to arrive in your mailbox
                        everyday for the rest of this menial

no mumma
    tain’t meh awaidden un dat tring

                  in crepuscular
          fodder for the starving engines of
                    doggerel of magenta
                                    incision of hours
                  long since past she was
                                  the orange milk vermilion
                        of sacrament & sunfall

                                      the final motel sign
                     the cosmogonical orphan

                       you clean up nicebut your face is
             still planed & creased & discolored fingerstained
             as an old roadmap

                                                        it’s nothing personal
   the planets, the lunar/solar decompositions
                                   mimesis of atoms,
       the vinegar, the sponge,
                               the oracle in the catacombs,
        the violent, the pacified              
                                              manifestations of the gag,
                            the nefarious prank
     &                       flesh-hewn rhythms of the
                            blackdrum of space
this joke of angelical horror &          obscenity
              it’s nothing personal
                                                                & every electorate
                                                       is devouring itself
                                       & friday you will get a raise
then buy a brand   spanking     new         beer cooler  
                                     take the little kitchen cleaner
                                                         & kids out
                                      on the river
                                                   confused as to what is love
                                    & what is indoctrination

                            this train
                                  this train
                i ain’t even gettin on it
                          i ain’t
                  g e
                           i   n
                             ain’t no one
                               think   they
                              ain’t no one
                                       gettin off

                 the dove lands on a telephone pole
                 gray against the precise blue fidelity of the sky
                 she plays a harp of her own breastbone
                a girl with a blouse of washed sunlight
                stands corroborating soundless farewell
                with another mortal out of vision
                then i am lost in a cul-de-sac on sunday morning
                not worshipping a god

© Quinten Collier