The Leaving the K-Mart 4-for-$l Photo Portrait Booth,
Junior Martin Flirts with Madness Beyond
the Blue Light Special and Rumors of Joy
From "The Hollow Log Lounge" series
Me, and me again, a strip of four faces
all sour and undone by work, trailed nerves,
weather, farm business, the wicked curves
of another man's woman. Disgrace is
the natural state of natural man.
We're born into a woeful circus, cursed.
There's whiskey, dope, politics, sex and God
to bring us to our knees. Vetch, goldenrod
and insects from Hotlanta to Charleston
to throw a wrench into the wretched agenda.
Here's guilt's quartet of mug shots, the crime
of being me caught in four separate smirks.
That closet's just a short escape, Just
light and dark four times, love and feeble lust
(whichever's which), to quarter me and send
a message to every appetite: it's time
to stop! Black swallowtalls and maverick
monarchs hover and flit. Immortal ticks
dig in. The wind is feverish, unkind
in the trees. Somebody save me from folly,
quick, please! Somebody who won't dally.
I'm a natural man who's sinned unduly,
who loves life and daylight but truly
hates his own image, his dark, his mind.
Somebody punish me. Do your duty
before my flesh and the flash drive me blind.