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After the Elections


Beer bottle through the rear window isn't that big a

deal. Random ace of spades or drunken joker ritual. There's

even a kind of redneck beauty. A glass nebula, from where the

longneck Corona shattered, poking its black hole through a

windshield wreathed in stars.


Elections are over. The signs are down. & at Cloud Acre

it's back to wood-weathered fence, rabbitbrush & our bare

bones dry grass barrow ditch.


At least nobody got killed exercising their right to vote.


Except the beautiful Jan Lemon, a few days before,

caught in the cab of her pickup by the falling arms of a

cottonwood trunk, tottering on the brink of drought-dead

roots, thick as a tank, her doing 50 in a 55 zone. Driving into

Norwood, as we all do, 2-3-4 times a week, to pick up the mail,

stop at the bank, get bread milk & a video. "Shaggy" they called

her, a lover of horses & her three-year-old & her old man

ranchhand, Dale. The tree crushing her instantly.


Weeks later & still we drive by the same tall row of

pioneer cottonwoods, north of the Jensen place on Highway

145 between the Cone Road & the Cemetery.


It's the 21st Century of the Christian Era (or year 15002

of human habitation on the New World continents — Turtle

Island, Isthmus of Panama, the Andes & the Amazon). No

word of hanging chads this time but still Capital's acquisition of

loot & its nuclear O&M mounting up like coin hoards in the

trophy home vaults of Scrooge McDuck clones, clothed &

coiffeured in their Armani chic & Brooks Brothers best. Men &

now women who continue to take control of the Third World

like booty, flying their corporate flags.


Who needs a crystal ball to see first the ballot wins &

then the national ID cards & then the international ID implants

& then the scifi future scareware we've all been dreaming about?

Not my utopia. But maybe theirs. Eco dead zones. Gated luxury

mountain peaks & caves for the neo-Anasazi in retreat & on the



But that's yet to come. Right now it's just another turn

to the right. Private property ascendant. Obscene profits & the

slow death of the middle class.


All this & more in the richest country in the First World

& all we messianic good-doers can do is keep it from going

postal & wait our turn to swing it back to the green. Living

wages. Solar power & the grassroots democracy of wilderness &

natural hot springs.


Waiting once again to vote out the rascals & vote in the

lyric valuables.