Three Poems

by Theo Henson — 2022-02-15

Pax Americana

What's past can't change, can it?
The winner wins the right to write.
They set the writ to teach what's taught.
Come, sit, listen to the pedagogy.
Never any demagoguery; autodidact's evil.
Vines of vile grip the books compiled.
A historical dictatorial makes and breaks time.
Lime tastes sour and so does past salt.
"Halt!" The soldier screamed across the hall.
Fame's lame said they, now look.
Buy the new edition every year.
I know, it's much too much to justify each tear.
Sé, demasiado, peel back the ugly avocado.
Denim jeans thieves churn butter cream.
Cowboy, how boy, do you do it?—Move it?
Millions run up and down town allies.
Pallies, ally? Gal, shall I? Man, damn it!
Apples break grim secrets; quietly cry it.
It's silent, wouldn't you say?
Decir, ir, or stop? Fear makes the cleaner mop.

Grope the luxury on your stroll.
Think of the bugs you see headed for the hole.
Bowl, no water, don't tread on her.
March the fine line, not astray.
Think of all the games we win this way.
Don't think, just play 'til the
Time stop,
Ball drop,
Brain rot.
New year? Who cares? Go until the special pen.
It judges jewels not finely carved.
Writes "Diamond?—That's hard."
Name tags stickered on the surface.
Pen writes the wrongs long undone for fun.
Purpose: grimace, learn this, menace.
A no-frills quill bills you obsolete.
How does it feel, freak?
A dejected projector gestates your lecture.
Heard this, you learned pig?
Wear a wig, looks better.

The goal's reached, stopwatch at two o'clock.
Glock cocked, unblock it. 
Bigger war, bigger world, you heard?
Read the history on thee; Pax Americana.
Beam the thoughts into the rind of your melon mind.
Cantaloupe or Honeydew? Either way I'll get through.
In you I see a body for freely turning.
Work the machine until the crank breaks, and
Believe you're forced to bet your stake, yearning
Is a commercial pilot:
"I wish just once to fly over that next island."
Do the math, flight path won't allow it.
No gas to pass too far, you'll blast.
Smithereens, pieces unseen, no one's looking.
You're a crook in my book, read it here.
Robbers get no attention, Hood.
Run back to the woods across the brook.
They need you there if you're not square.
Beware the dogs but remember this:
Peace waits for hogs so please be brisk.

Why Would You Want to Live in the Dust?

A floor plan knows no one,
For it plots where feet go.
Doors open/close to hallways marching to and fro.
Some tiles up against the wall,
Build buildings three by three.
They never make anything/everything for free.
An architect draws her line,
Diagonal, angled as the pines' pear.
Freestanding structures jump/fall into the air.

The Desert is a place I've been,
Rather drab and full of sand.
Armies mold/place bricks by hand.
A few towns left me wondering:
Giza, Las Vegas, Dubai.
Why/how do/don't they even/ever try?
An ancient, religious, far-gone gambling desire,
Old oil's money hire people to make them.
Big ones store business/agitprop, a fake gem.
Once thought of as a parking lot,
They're going to need parking, lots.
Since 'twas accidentally a city,
And it doesn't look very pretty.

Your Culmination

Velvet Roosevelt invents tents for your backyard.
Sequoiahood waits for no man on land.
Post-war dream makes cities gleam of
Not talling, sprawling—Don't like it?
Pout or shout, but Ford's motorcar yearns for hairpin turns.
Bike lanes steal real estate from Main Street.
Gas makes poor motorcar go;
Only a Devil could shove it.

Who are you to build here?
"Stand clear of the closing doors, please, and leave."
It's cornucopic in the New Cornwall tropics.
Something-something like
"The grass is always greener on the other side of my picket fence."
And yet, it still demands me whence.
New Amsterdam, Old York,
"Two peas in a pod; two tines on one fork."

Washington tells Bethesda to make it smell
Like bombs dropped by
Everyday Johns on Lebanon.
—Or somewhere like that. What did you expect?
My geography's like "My Cat from Hell".
Does that go good, fuzz?
Of course it does;
Reality TV's the realest thing
Until The Next Big Thing, TM.

Terse complaints come from saints singing by hand:
"The echo of a distant time comes willowing across the sand"
—Oh wait, wrong song, guess I forgot to hit record.
Never neglect to take out your camera;
Be always ready, case one slips the gourd.

"Urban planning's the worst thing since that quarterback I hate."
—Picture-snap—
Who are you, Jack?
Why won't you answer, fool?
What, do you really think you're not a tool?
You're in the box, in the shed;
Think of the great teleology brought on by mainstream homogeneity.
Lead the path others thought impossible yesterday but
Is now written in your silent style guide that only today you see.
"Just Do It."