Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 47 Days in a Mexican Jail Diet Plan

Six days on the road with Russell, Blaine, Jesse and Robert

The cloud chakra on the outskirts
of everywhere
tests how cool you can be
when facing the Antelope Valley
Diamond Jim’s Casino again,
morning gamblers, no cash
advance ATMs, chewing tobacco
prohibited in the urinals, and a
calming desert pink after you lose all
your Lancaster cash, grass so gray
it’s alien blue.
I don’t even want to step on the cracks
of clay with dirty-ass Jesus feet.
Each shard of trash is perfection.
You can ignore the rickshaws
‘til you get out of town
but the concertina wire
and armed guard towers
seem odd in a casino parking lot.
Officer UPS asks about me and my boy –
“They are strange but harmless.”
“Are you lost?”
Already by this time we’d become a song
played on our car by the unmarked Musical Road:
a clever set of grooves waxed in the warm cement
or part of an elaborating plot to plug us all back in?
It seems there’s only so far we can go into the desert
before we notice something we’re not allowed to see.
The first of the military-alien complex: Edwards Air Force
Base, and the first attempt at a band name:
Savage Messiah.

Then it’s “Welcome to Mohave, Home of Spaceship One,”
which is apparently an Amphicar with a broken window.
We find in Red Rocks Canyon, though, an entrance
to the Portal. How do we break through the holographic
stucco that covers the passage to inner earth?
There’s a temple of stone stacked over the hole,
a carved heart, a smiling face. Rather than run through it
fearless but unprepared, we go up the dripping rocks
in sabertoothed dress shoes instead.
A silence of ears sucking sand. We talk of women
and the rusted soda can we found that had turned
to a friendly face by years-old bullet holes. We break one
Frisbee, and try to follow a crow.

Back on Neuralia Road (“dips next 90 miles”)
the mountains are lighter than clouds
and desert woman suchness emerges like a mirage or an oasis.
Then a bathtub crank town Randsburg comes
“Hopen for Business.” We stop at the General Store
for hand-mixed Sarsaparilla and a picture of Sacajawea.
Burlap was over the window. The proprietress shook her
tresses, holding back more than she revealed, as she gave
as sassafras the secret ingredient, only available (unlike wintergreen)
to pharmacists. As she spoke the sign above her glowed:
“cows may come, cows may go, but the bull in this place goes on forever.”
Outside, the Surcease Mining Company has set up a ghost town toilet,
“hern” and “hisn” (caked with chisom jizm), and for all your tonsorial
needs, a barber shop: “hot baths, fine cigars.” And Slim’s Place,
with its haunted ceiling, antique beer cans, staring dolls,
a Happy Holidays doormat with a gray Santa Claus, a “yes we have
used dentures” sign, and outside a bone-dry wishful thinking well.

It’s creosote weather. We’re growing food in our car as we travel.
There’s a rainbow-colored Petting Zoo by the desolate highway side.
As we pass Shambhalla China White Dry Weapons Lake
there’s an ordinary mining operation running 24/7,
pay no attention to the boarded quonset huts or the swamp gas pipes
from the green trapezoidal building, or the advanced radar tower
turning in a fenced-in field of no cows. By the raspberry road of Trona,
the Pinnacle Inn is at one end of town,the Nadir Inn at the other.
And nothing living is in between, just the sadness of cactus
growing through the cracks of an old high school basketball court
and a football field without grass, and a dude in full zombie makeup
lurching along the side of the road like a method acting class
gone tragically wrong. It’s hot and cold at the same time,
extreme micro-climates that shift in nanoseconds,
lifeless mountains of straw
then a redonkulous oasis with date palms and elephant ears
and birds like warnings crying.

Nearing Death Valley you can smell the geology,
feel the alluvial fans,
remember the aeons locked in rock
when Papa was a Metaphysical Geologist,
sense the quicksand underneath the salt table
and the elusive Chocolate River
Manson attached gas tanks on his car
('cos Charlie don’t stop for gas)
to find. It’s easy to see
why so much weirdness passes this way;
even aliens, who have no problem
converting sunshine to water, have the same
problems we do when it comes to finding
places free of dune buggies and Winnebagos,
they need a vacation without people too.
We can see their landing strips
and runway lights made of unnaturally angled stone,
the cliffside triangles (the alien yield sign).

In the late afternoon sun you live for, it’s movie time.
We got served with raindrops, and the rainy desert smell.
Skulls along the side of the road
remind us we are going to a place beyond death,
beyond love and mercy.
The rain on the plain falls mainly on 2 Skidoo.
At the first official campsite some nervous campers eye us
like mules, some mobile government meth labs
disguised as “Goldtimers” retreat RVs roll by
the last pay phone on earth. The smell of mkultra bath salts.
We freestyle it, decide to go wildcatting,
head down the washboard road that
leads to Heebee Jeebee Crater.
The raindrops are gentler
than the touch of any finger.
No chairs, propane or ladles
for these intrepid squatting fools,
just a panhandling guitar played on the side of the highway,
a 12-string trained at the Waldorf School,
some Apache drums, a Yaqui rattle, a Navajo flute,
and a recorder of course to attract a Sasquatch.
We had to leave the piano at home
- such brutal choices test one's will to survive.
We practiced the art of mishearing:
Savage Massage and Clown Chakras
became poetries bequeathed to the Gods
as we uncorked the resin of our souls
in an air without ghosts
(just the hovering lights of a nearby alien base).
We all felt our fear but we walked in the dark
to a visualization spot we named reality
we tried to claim if ever so briefly.
The desert gave us a fire in the morning,
sprouts grown in a jar, and the rain
as a blessing. No insects
or jackrabbits for hundreds of miles
 - no way to even pay.

In the dim morning grandeur
we decided to head towards
the center of our fears:
the infamous Scottie's Castle.
I could see the blood dripping
down its bell tower spiral staircase.
We couldn't find the underworld slaves
to free them but we could tear it open
by pulling its sick bell cord
 - veritas vos liberabit.
"Let's follow the road to Scotty's grave," someone said.
"We can put the body on top of the car."
We could smell the ghastly horror by now,
nearly hear the agonized howls,
every inquisition, every torture chamber, every dungeon
compressed into this bizarre but innocuous-seeming complex.
The perfect front to process kidnapped children,
turn them into the ruling class as sex slaves. To the side,
past the Spanish gates and Arabian arches,
thousands of thickly stacked railroad ties,
with no train or road in sight, just a locked entrance
at an endless and inexplicable hypermodern security fence,
with a sign on the gate that from afar seems to read "warm slaves."
It's for the crates they ship the children in, we thought,
but the truth is always murky, it's always so much more
hideous in reality than you can possibly believe,
for that's how they get away with something so big,
so diabolical, so obvious, this rule over all we see and hear
through chaos to destroy people's minds and spirits,
through alchemic creation of impossible conflicts,
hopelessness and addiction to methodically infect
the entire population. We saw a strange pile of wood
nearly fossilized in the middle of this, that looks like
the corpses of Auschwitz. The bells went off, in a sick
out-of-tune tone like no religious song I've ever heard.
The sign on the bell tower said "private residence."
We went up the hill to "Scotti's Grave", to see his
warlock statue, his Satanic credo "don't say nothing"
instead of "don't say anything," "don't explain"
and next to his formal memorial, a kindergarten grave
of fossilized turds like unnatural skulls,
and one word, "Windy,"
for all the sacrificed children. 
There's a cross, of course, at the top.
A crow whirred overhead, directly over me,
so I stayed behind when the others escaped
before the winged monkeys were alerted.
She landed on the cross like a guardian of the undead,
then, making sure I'm watching, swooped
magnificently down to the palm grove below
and disappeared, to show me
they are only fooling themselves
more than they are fooling us, that
even in this most damaged and desperate of
places life can hide, it can't be stopped,
love is the only protection.
The bells infected the air again, the last note sounds
long afterwards like a HAARP wave;
even the birds furiously screamed to blot it out,
and so shifted the energy, even here,
from manifesting its total desire.
I returned to the group as they're conferring with
a blind park ranger and a lady from NASA.
"Don't touch the rocks at La Playa," she said,
"there are transponders on them so we can 
catch them moving." Meaning of course
that they were there to catch us.
When we asked if NASA had put them there
the blind ranger gave us the crazy eye,
asked what kind of car we were driving,
and where did we get it, and said we should expect
to lose at least two tires on the way.
The crow returned as we revved up the engine
to remind me of our lifetimes together, and
that she was keeping watch, as I was watching,
her black iridescent on the parking lot.

We left before we got the glitch chip in our brains.
Despite the desert finches, hummingbirds, butterflies,
the mechanical goat on the hillside, it was
Racetrack Playa dust or bust, we had to
get away from the rat race of Stovepipe Wells.
Even one car passing us was like being in Walmart.
"We won't rescue you from La Playa"
echoed in our ears, as we eyed drone seagulls
and heard the alarm go off in the distance
to put air defense on high alert for us
because we weren't driving a Ford Sabotage.
We saw the rock the crescent moon launches from
and bravely strategized
over frosted cheese loaf sandwiches
("leave nothing behind but footprints and teakettles,"
"no placing bets when we get to the Racetrack")
as we bounced to desert mixes the 571 miles
riding dirty on a Big Chief Runningboard keel haul,
staying strong as they turned on the weather machines,
sending a tropical storm through the Joshua Trees
then, getting desperate, turning on the hail.
The place, when we reached it, had an
absurd inexplicable flatness,
a luminous glow from within.
The sun was only over the Playa,
making it superreal, Kubrickian,
so white it was pink, a creme
brulee of salt, with smoke at its frays
from white dust griffins like wild horse vapor trails,
silver rocks the size of mountains at its edges.
In ecstatic tranquility the original island
(what they now call The Grandstand)
lay in the center, with supercharged rocks
and primordial beach. We had entered
the womb, the earth mother's pussy,
it was here in endless linoleum tiles
the akashic records are kept,
and there was no judgment
for all the suffering and loss, so beautifully
felt on the dry slate. Soft rain caused the seeps
to connect, in the brainscape of the cosmos.
The wonder was not the perfect paths of the rocks
as they move just when no one is looking,
the wonder was that in that maelstrom of wind
the rocks didn't move at all. They were
the male, aligning with female energy,
magnetically, in concentric scrapings
against a truth impossible to bear,
the hieroglyphs of life itself
captured in the salt. Some of us slept,
some of us walked, none of us could say
the thing we felt. We were at
the center of the earth, the pure place
even mkultra couldn't touch.
We were sailing on a sea breeze
through the emptiness of everything
and thinking of only one thing.
"Why do five guys go out all this way
for a woman?"
"That's what we do."
And, again, in her soft soft voice
she then said "you must stop this pandering
and do things for yourselves,
for suchness. That's all we ever want."

Crazy Charlie might have had
a Nazi swastika tattooed on his third eye
and all that but he had a good band
and great visions of the Chocolate River
of which there was still no trace
along the Panta-Breath-Mint ridge,
the strawberry hillsides,
confectionary clouds,
the seven-levels frosted bundt cake mountains,
as we drove gaping chasms
in the crevasses of the earth
to try to veer in even closer
to the sweetest desert,
by the 700-foot tall Mammoth Dunes
made of disappearing dust
in the perfect curvature
of a woman's body. Sand
for five guys roughing it,
and hobo shoe print floor-mats
at its base.We went up
the slow dune lava
to the top, our tracks
reshaping what it was
but no longer is (ah, woman is the wind).
We rolled like whirling dervi down,
and ran backwards like a lost Beatles
"run for your life" film, and by the time
we made it back to camp
we looked like Lawrence of Arabia
asking for lemonade as he emerged from the Rub Al Khali.
As we had our tea and breakfast
of Motherground peanut butter
and Bilderberger Berry Jam
from out of nowhere came an F-16
that stood on its side in mid-air less than 10 feet from us
before sweeping away to some hidden base
in a Jack de Ripper yee-haw cowboy hat roar.
"At last I see my tax dollars at work" I said
to this gentle reminder we were not where we were
supposed to be. The park ranger who stopped by
almost immediately was almost apologetic, almost friendly.
And again there was no way to pay.

We'd been living on medicinal chocolate and Death Valley sprouts.
There were diners and hot springs up ahead we knew,
somewhere beyond the Bristlecone Pines,
the mountains glass-stained holy white,
the river that once was a sea where we measured
and recorded a sasquatch poop.
We found a tectonic blue plate special hot food
in the Giggle Springs Mini-Mart,
near the "mule capital of the world."
Sacajawea served us strawberry and rhubarb pie.
I wanted to ask to touch her.
Then the throbbing metropolis of Bishop
with its rodeo stadium, Vagabond Inn,
Choo Choo Swap Meet at the Railroad Museum,
Paiute Palace Gas and Casino,
of dark plush wierdness, real Indian croupiers
and customers counting Indians on the machines.

Blaine whistled "Paint It Black" as high lonesome
theremin dune blues. Robert said "Rare Brare Rarebit"
in Baltimorese on English as second-language headphones.
Russell regaled us with squatching stories
of how they sometimes dive in bear-proofed dumpsters
but they mostly eat deer liver because it's good for the eyes.
Jesse talked about his only pair of socks, one dress
and the other cookie monster - "I even took them to jail."
As for me I just did what I do,
melding my mind with a passing Airstream.
It was clear as we passed Convict Lake Resort
(3 1/2 star facility with turnkey service according to prisoner reviews)
and the Prison Outlet Store
that we'd left Desert Woman
and were nearing Mountain Man.

We found a place we'd need a rental dog for,
with a self-loathing Scandanavian dark sauna,
where we talked about stealing the keys to our wildman cages
when the Mother was so far away,
and played love songs to caterpillar greasewood 
on digiradoo kazoos, manifesting
the Kalamazoo New Kazoo Canoe Revue.

In the Death Valley Daze Ronnie and Snoop had become fast friends
and on the long lonesome road to Rodee-Bodie-O
had disappeared in a blunt skunk haze into Mexico:
"Whell, you talk to Nancy Snoop and say we'll be late for lunch"
"Put yo trippin' bitch in check, niggah."
We contemplated swimming in Battery Acid Lake
where you might lose your leg and all,
but the kids are now cutting off their legs
'cos it's cool to be a hookfoot,
it's like a tattoo as a weapon.
The lake was pewter blue, with a strange crystaline stillness,
calcium spires that grew and breathed and were
for all intents living, even human, and below
an eco-system of incredible importance:
alkaline bacteria eaten by alkaline algae
eaten by alkaline shrimp eaten by alkaline flies
(or as they said in Baltimore, "Al Kaline flies!")
eaten by normal horned larks and sage thrashers
in rust where the flies dance in suchness.
Just then a snooty Prius came along
with picture-taking zombies inside
to condemn Mono Lake as an anamoly
instead of floating in the saline salve of the mother.

Then Dream Mountain Drive, where we felt,
as Nero said "at long last I can live like a human being!"
And Silver Lake beyond the veil, in cold tar mud,
with dreamcatcher visions amid visionboard scenes,
and the name "Cal Ripken" carved on a tree.
And Rainbow Street where the late sun made it clear:
nature offers nothing more, nothing less,
still we judge ourselves for what we have.
And, as if to turn that incandescent afternoon into physical fact
we turn into an obsidian mountain, the black loving mother
from deep in the earth shining like the sun
in smooth compassion, glossy unrelenting love.

And then we went back, just like that
at the Ranch House Cafe in Olancha,
the scene of the water stolen by LA crime,
for Indian fry bread and a sign on the door:
"Wanted: Saw Dust Charlie, the Pockmarked Kid,
the expense of said capture to be borne
by one hundred substantial citizens,"
and the waitress from Texas was told us
as we left: "drive safely and take care
of your women."

Despite roadside dignitaries
like Hot Creek Hatchery and the Lava Girls
the only tree for miles was a rusted fake
by a lone Southern Pacific railroad car
in the sand outside of Inyokern,
where we picked up K-MKUltra's transmission
like a long-extinct star still shining its sun upon us
"coming at all you Death Valley alters
'My Guitar's Gonna Kill Ya Momma'
by Frank Zappa for Mother's Day before we
count ALL the way down to our all-time top-five hits:
'American Pie,' 'All Along the Watchtower,' 'Hotel California,'
'Every Breath You Take,' and, at number one with a Manchurian
bullet, 'Whiter Shade of Pale.'"
Then, like a bomb, Johanesburg,
its "knife shop and casino," "Guns4us", "Jberg Junque,"
dead gas station lots, flashing glass in the sand,
"homes for sale," a blank billboard for rent
(we wanted to put "MORE COWBELL" on it),
a "senior pot luck supper" in a teal Route 66 camper;
everything dissolves here like a boiled peanut
in a bottle of sweet Coca-Cola. Snoop is slumped
way down in the seat, amid imagined billows
of cannibis cloud eating twizzlers.
There's no time-bender button in our Chevy Vortex
just more road by stone-hard sand;
the Black Hole Sun Solar Collector Facility,
the battery for the Matrix, and a "Cactus Shop"
by the transistor circuitry. Then the Joshua Trees
began: the shiva brush trees, ti chi windmill trees,
stretching gymnast trees, pom-pom cheerleader trees,
edward scissorhand trees, universal restroom symbol
trees, Musso and Frank's hatrack trees, Leonardo
di Vinci man on fire trees, praise Jesus trees,
dancing children trees, flying Nike trees, shrieking fencepost
trees, crouching monkey funhouse chickens trees,
laughing squirrel porqupine quill condenser coil trees,
then Adelanto, "the city with unlimited possibilities,"
like, I guess, the Big Rig Tire Shop, the Federal Penitentiary
and Garbage Smelting Center, the look on everyone's face
for an alternative to the governing reality of hopelessness
on this stretch between long kitty litter highways,
but then, on Mother's Day, in the middle of the desert,
we saw a 20-foot statue of our patron saint Quan Yin,
the Goddess of Compassion, "be kind to your women."
Then Victorville, another parking lot, another crow,
as we cleaned out the "all-natural" GMO imitation snacks
only to encounter on the way out a Coyote Dog
that drank goat's blood and licked Jesse's hand,
who saw that was living his dream: a pick-up truck,
coyote dog, and a gun, with the Mexican jumping bikes
derby nearby, every weekend.

Down the bad hills of San Berdu
there was crystaline suchness
but it was 98 degrees in Rivertucky -
we went to Death Valley to get away
from the heat (that's how we roll),
team Savage Messiah, secret
artist heart, learning how
we are the change.


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