Pure signal.

The Mother Road

The Mother Road
for Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson

Route 66.
So named for the rhyme
so it would be pleasing to say and hear
and it is.

The road itself — is it
the named road? — historical markers on
current spurs of other roads? Is it
the collection of abandoned segments
as it was here and there realigned over the years?

I would hate to exclude all that
dead asphalt roasting in the sun
that came to be for the purpose of that number
and the branching roads too
that carry us to the foundations
of the homes of the families that manned the gas stations
and grocery stores — and the stores themselves
doors blowing open and shut in a hot wind
broken dirty glass.

Not the glib sociopathy of the familiar song though.
Too many kids have listened to it without going down to see
or taking the time to read or look at pictures
rock and roll reality has nothing to add to the dust bowl
real men and women road up and down years before
Hollywood taught them that they were somehow sub-par.

Does it or does it not include
the segment from the 101 to the coast
which was never really a part of the road at all
but is part of the mythology (coast to coast)
and carries a modern sign
with a modern name (Will Rogers Highway)
in Santa Monica?

Seems so pop — no offense to old Will
but shouldn’t it be the John Steinbeck Hwy?
Or would that perpetuate the idea
that America loves it’s writers
(which it doesn’t.)


September 25, 2008 - Posted by | Poems

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