America in my mind.

America in My Mind.

I love the America of my
childhood imagination.

Lost in my dad’s library,
I yearned to be in the land of
tumbling tumbleweed,
to see the bright yellow of 
maize fields gold paving the landscape, 
the eye watering blue of enormous skies 
smack up against the brick-red dirt of Oklahoma,  
and to taste a cherry soda at a 
pharmacy fountain whilst thrilling to 
the classic struggle of insiders and outsiders
in the peacock strut of rival gangs,
on the dusty main street of Tulsa.
 
I wanted to lie on the  green tufted grassy hair
of graves, next to Walt, his super charged
body electric, glowing phosphorus in my mind’s eye
like a luminous silver threaded
jelly fish.

Smell the fish meal stink of Palace Flop house,
know the sisterhood and savagery
of the Cat house,

the panacea that is Doc’s warm
embrace (loneliest man in the world),
the barking seals
and sardine fragrance
of Cannery Row.

See the picket fences
and petunias,
of the Maycomb lacy ladies,
dainty and dangerous,
hiding scalpel tongues behind
rouged lips as they gossiped tea.
Visit the poor white
fringes of the outskirts
and the warm tobacco
fragrant lap newspaper wrapped
inside of Scout’s world.

Taste the  gold of dandelion wine
warming winter nights.
Feel the chill of the ravine so black and sinister
as to loom monstrous,
daring youth to greatness on 

the winged feet of magical sneakers.

Befriend Ponyboy and Sodapop,
Greasers and Socs,

ask what it means to ‘stay golden’,
and witness the blood in the fountain,
the rumble in the jungle.

Live with cowboys and cactus,

soy grits and pan bread,
camp coffee, so sweet and black,
it set your teeth on edge,
meet the Hell Bent Kid
and all the lone guns that always win
but tragically never
get the beautiful Mexican girl
as they wouldn’t be
lonesome no more
(no mystique in
 married mavericks)

Dustbowls and Okies,
dark waves of humanity,
staining the landscape,
kindness and cussedness,
the dying and dawning of a
strange new world, 

beckoned me.
 
Home was 
never enough.

I wanted the beautiful  and gritty,

tarnished and tear-stained,
corn coloured, orange dusted, 
red barned, golden soaked maple syrup sweet
kaleidoscope world of America in my mind.

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