Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Keeper

He blends, at first, with the corrupted landscape;
and then you see him: a gross blue figure
panoplied in overalls and contempt, moving,
perhaps, a step or two to survey
impassively, wiht porcine eyes,
each citizen come to cast
non-goods on more non-goods in this
anti-matter kingdom.

From ranched,
split-leveled, and garrisoned lives
they turn this Sunday morning, briefly,
as every Sunday morning, to leave
their leavings. Each car or truck in turn
receives his house-detective scrutiny,
for he sees that the simple protocol
is followed: drive up, dump, drive off.
Hands thrust importantly in pockets,
he nods them through the course -- salesman,
buider, teacher, clerk, who for a brief
half-hour play at being
the necessary pariah.

does not play. The dump is his,
and all that therein is.

uninitiated -- or rash, found a chair he no doubt thought
could be upholstered back to life.
He got it halfway to his station-
wagon, then, crimson-faced, returned it
to its resting place after
the thou-shalt-not's had thundered.

Our follies, set down in black and white,
that we so fatuously consign
to the waste paper basket first,
and then the garbage barrel,
were better burned, or flushed down toilets.
For at the dump our scribblings
don't die at first; they lie nakedly
or get blown about. And who is strong
not to yield to their temptations?
The man in blue overalls sees that only
the man in blue overalls sees.

power in the world to him who wants it.


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