Searching for Hugo’s line about degrading yourself
on the road again, a flashing red banner ad wonders,
“Could your lawn use a second opinion?”
Absolutely. And how good it would feel to be certain
of something—certainty you’ve done the right thing
when you’ve done the right thing—which you did.
So how come this feeling—so dumb and wrong?
Dumb and wrong seem King Kongs of the season:
not real, yet their eyebrows evoke more empathy
than familial human vegetables. As for the real…
like what? Florida? Where seawater creeps into
tracts’ new cellars and garages sink like T-Rexes
in tar pits? What’s real in that sad, blanched country
but death? The snow-covered cabin at the back
of your brain where you live with many dogs until
the whole world’s wholly smoked out of you feels more
real than the crappy lunch you ate moments ago but
it’s only vapor—a refuge of blindness—the vision’s
edge fades entirely to white.
Jennifer L. Knox’s new book of poems, Drunk By Noon, will be published in fall 2007 by Bloof Books. Her first book, A Gringo Like Me, is available from Softskull Press. She is a three-time contributor to the Best American Poetry series, and appears in Great American Prose Poems: from Poe to the Present and Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books. She is currently studying avian linguistics via correspondence.