the house

rigid lines channel my body to the post office
a neighbor eyes me as i eye his rusted pickup truck
my favorite yard drifts by in diverse growth patterns
concrete suffocation
sunlight hurts my eyes, burns my skin
frustration at the complete blindness of the crushing machine
my friends are all clients now
computer wannabes needing a free update

the dust is incredible here
my neighbor is a smoking cancer factory
woodstoves, barbeques, cigarettes

i live adjacent to a gas station
every night i can hear the sounds of a tanker
air brakes release, metal valves rattling open
beeping, and hissing
gas is the drug, grass is the weed
cars are knives, roads are scars
the chilling reality of this hellish civilization
ugly asphalt killing everything in sight
rampant human greed
the sound of car alarms here is incessant
no burglaries, just owners testing, testing, testing
junk mail flows like water
only 4 percent of california's redwoods remain
after the consumer culture came in the mid-1800's
most of the wood goes to build decks and patios,
fences and cabinets
the future holds floods, cancers, and burning drought
the neighbors concrete backyard echoes the
barking of a mechanical poodle, a human toy
our bamboo stand destroyed, nothing obstructs
our view of the 24-hour gas station
at night, brilliant halogens pierce our privacy
darkness lost
music, sweet bubbling music
electronic murmuring
acoustic resonances
brief respite from the tremendous mountain
of work to do to dismantle the machine
relearn the connections to vegetable nature
fantastic creation seen from ecstatic relationship
eternal learning

Greg Jalbert
Albany, California
September 28, 1995

Photos by Greg Jalbert. Special thanks to Fred Davis for use of his QuickCam.

Asphalt Strawberry Poetry