Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Ballad of Lula Del Ray - 3


No one was around to cut her down.
And she didn't mind it so much, really.
She didn't really have anyplace to go.
No plans. No friends.
She was happy to stay suspended, electric--
shot-through with the words of the world.

She knew all kinds of things thanks to the wires.
Like the capital of Mongolia (Ulaan Bator)
the atomic weight of tungsten (183.84 g·mol−1)
and the number of Emmys won by All In The Family (22).

She also knew things she thought maybe she wasn't supposed to.
Not secrets, exactly.
Not exactly.
But fractured half-thoughts
and muddled glimpses at
shapes without sides or curves.
It was a mess
and it made her want to scream.

It flushed through her daily
coating her insides with shine.
Her high-gloss mind was quick enough that eventually
she knew the answers
before she understood what questions to ask.

But if she could be said to LOVE anything
that glowed inside her,
she loved The New Baden Brothers.

Two brothers of dubious relation
bred from the great wave of Germanic immigration to Texas.
Originally from the quaint town of New Baden -- renamed Freedom
during the great early century German Hysteria --
they put on a downright quaint radio program
(as if there were any other kind)
but after a full day of brain-blasting by hot modern beams
she took comfort in their
sweet, corn-silk voices
singing songs that sounded like a made-up time.
Romantic songs about a prairie life she was sure they never knew.
Songs so fake they got real again.
But what she loved.
What she LOVED.
Whether they were singing from the 18th Annual Thistleberry Hoot and Holler
or White Ben Dunwitty's Cracker Barrel
they always signed off the same way:

"That's it for us now.
We're turning in for the night
and so should you.
It's late. Why are you even up?
Do you know how important a good night's rest is?
Shoot. Being awake this late will kill you right at your marrow.
So this is it folks. One last twang
pinging off this satellite of love we got here
floating round about the stratosphere
humming asteroid lullabies
to help warm up all those frozen comet tails out there."

And then they'd sing.

Bed is too small for my tiredness,
give me a hill topped with trees.
Tuck a cloud up under my chin.
Lord blow the moon out, please.
Rock me to sleep in a cradle of trees.
Sing me a lullaby birds.
Tuck a cloud up under my chin.
Lord blow the moon out, pleassse.

Then pop click hiss.
Then silence.

And she thought –
and she thought –
and she thought –
How big could it possibly be?

She imagined their satellite of love spinning button-over-telescope through space.
eternity, if there was such a thing
stretching in all directions and
here they were.
Stuck in our orbit.
Never seeing all the universe has to offer,
no edgeless twists of infinity.
Just circling, trapped by gravity and momentum all at once.

It didn't seem fair.

She thought,
"I'll free them."

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