Thursday, March 17, 2011

bad road up ahead

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by rhoda penmarq







people are bad
they should be good

i keep telling them
but they won't listen

i don't give up
i keep being reborn




but for every one of me
there are billions of them

acting bad
finding new ways to be bad

bad bad bad
billions









i don't give up
i take to the road

thumb out
thirsty

a car pulls up
in this life i am a regular guy






in the last one i was a babe
but in this one i am a regular guy

john garfield
to be exact

in the last one
i was lana turner







this time
lana turner is behind the wheel

and she says
get in

and i do
"where you headed?"






"anywhere"
"so how are you?"

"thirsty."
"there's a bar right up ahead."

the road unreels
the endless road







the road and the desert
become one








i look at the dashboard
but there is no radio














it hasn't been invented yet
in this universe














finally
we come to a bar



in the middle of this nowhere world
a car is parked outside it













and steve cochran
is sitting on the running board

to get a little shade
and he says to lana turner










"hi"
(he ignores me)

and she says
"ready?"

and he says
"yeah"








"then you might as well get going"
"yeah"

the door of the bar
opens

and rita hayworth comes out
with a red suitcase





not a word is spoken
as she and steve cochran drive away









and i am left alone
with the desert and lana turner

"still thirsty?'
"sure"










"let's go inside"
a bird flies overhead














and its shadow
falls on her face









i was wrong
i thought there were billions

of people in the universe
but

that is just something
they tell you in school







there are really
only four people

john garfield
lana turner

steve cochran
and rita hayworth

which one are you?









3 comments:

Dan Leo said...

Horace really outdid himself with this little madrigal.

Jason Gusmann said...

this is very special

kathleenmaher said...

startling, rhoda.