Saturday, April 30, 2005

Just catching up

on Mr. Babylon, who consistently impresses me with his clarity in describing utter chaos. I hope I won't embarrass him too much by saying that I am also regularly taken by his profound sensitivity. He recently received a shout from the Daily News, and rightfully so.

He also wrote this kickass poem in response to Adam Golaski's challenge of last October. Robert is truly a man of letters. As is Adam, of course.

The Afternoon Slant

Out South Candler Road a mile past the strip mall
Paulie runs a comb through his greasy black pomp,
Doob dangling dangerous from curled upper lip
Twists rearview mirror, checks himself out, & winks
Slides that Ace rubber into his back pocket
Shifts 501 ass, settling in vinyl bench
Casual slow looks over left-shoulder, sneers
Then sucks on that number & exhales real slow
Tap taps on the gas & up from a simmer
An engine boils afternoon air above &
Rumbles its firebird hood, a war eagles cry

Left lane Howard laughs, paying Paulie no mind
Pulls a Chesterfield out from behind his ear
Lights up & lets his lead foot fall, MoPar cams
Sing engine symphony, voices stoked by
A four barrel carburetor, volume amplified through
Dual exhaust pipes, it is a grand joyful noise
& as it fills the Georgia sky echoing
From loblolly to loblolly & rattling
Inside every watching skull, all eyes are on
That bulging hood, for one brief moment Howard
Is alone to flare his nostrils, focusing

Barefoot Phoebe walks up middle of the road
Little ass wiggling as she steps only on
The cool yellow of that endless broken line
Drags fingers along each car as she passes
Stops, spins, smiles & puts her hands on her hips
Looking back & forth from Paulie to Howard
Big Block to Hemy, right to left, hunker down
Engines, spray hazy heat in the afternoon
She raises two slender arms, ready, steady,
Barracuda & Trans Am locked & loaded
About to prove who the real motherfucker is


Anonymous said...

Phoebe's wiggle delights, as does the perpetuation of "Afternoon Slant." Add a syllable to the first line, though. & so glad people seem clear that it's 11 syllables PER LINE & not per stanza. Thanks, poet. Adam "sadistic challenge" Golaski

Mr. Babylon said...

syllabic fix: change "fields" to "strip mall"

Shafer said...

You can easily drawl "mile" out to "myull" and "fields" out to "feyullds" which would put you over the eleven syllable mark. It wouldn't work in Texas where mile is pronounced "mall" and fields is pronounced "fillds" but in Georgia it may be different.

Mr. Babylon said...

While a drawl is an appropriate (and melodious) voice, I actually prefer "strip mall."