Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Freeway

(a poem for your amusement)

What a fertile, paradoxical name,
where the idea of a promised land,
of dreams fulfilled
and of a charmed and gilded path to get there
is so profaned by the experience
of actually driving on the Freeway

Its lanes,
beaten and frayed,
are pummeled endlessly
by those who are now harnessed to their dreams
and can't easily turn around and go back.
And as it takes, it gives.
Trannies slowly give of their lives in metal shavings,
oil burns and drips like blood,
and every hairpin turn is a memorial to a tragedy.

And concrete,
cracked and carmelized,
reflects the glitter of dreams
only for those who can see it from a great, great distance.
For those who are stuck on the freeway,
the glitter is subsumed
under the grime of daily, gladiator commuting.

I resolve that the next time I am caught in traffic
I will reach down
and pick up a piece of loose concrete as a souvenir
to be held in the hand
of a dreamer thousands of years from now,
long after the freeway has crumbled into ruin
and ancient Los Angeles
is remembered only in myth and relics.

By then its glitter will have turned into pure gold.

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