BY JAN HAAG
A TOWN CALLED BOULEVARD
A sign pointing to the left said:
"Boulevard: Population 12,006"
It was one block wide
and forty miles long, all the inhabitants hung
out on a line like
laundry, like clothespins put up for shooting at
with a twenty-two.
Strung out so long and so thin and so far
you would say it almost
doesn't exist, that town called Boulevard.
O God, if a
town called Boulevard can't make me serious,
if it can't divide me
from dualism, what can? Two streets
and a yard of grass between them
running down the planes
of the desert, planted with palms -- that's a
boulevard all right.
A strip of difference, a strip of nature between
lanes of flattened over earth -- and they named the town
I hear echoes in my head of poems and voices and cries and
screams about being run down, chased between concrete streets.
I'm that roll of grass between the paving that keeps the sky
the earth, that keeps the earth from sprouting green trees,
palms right up through the floor boards of Fords
and Toyotas. O yes, I
am that creature that keeps the macadam
down, the tar in place, the
LaBrea bubbling. I am that creature
that bought the oil that built
the road that ran through the desert
that once was nowhere and is now a
town called Boulevard.
If I can block out the voices, cut off the
that forms my soul, forms yours, if I could unpave
untemper the sword, replant the universe, reconstitute the
back to the chlorophyll that fed the dinosaurs that roamed the
and are gone, that roamed the earth with us and are gone like
will be gone when the town called Boulevard will be palmed on both
with dates, no doubt, and coconuts, and in the middle will run
of celestial harmonies, and all the voices now raised in
will even out into a smooth running unity that will mesh into
one psalm, one blade, elegantly divide with one back and one
one up and one down, one zone beveled ridge down the
one difference between the right and the left, then the
called Boulevard will be a gas station on the highway to
A lady in white and buff and hibiscus strolled
eating dates, whistling at the palms, she walked right up
off the boulevard into the cotton-soft sky.
Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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