Nebraska 22 – ‘Holy Smoke’ by Clark Coolidge

Mother, mother, burning bright, in the sink piece to my right.
I talk to no-one, I’ll live longer. Who wants to. How about
instead of wishes favors grant me. The magic hand always out
in the door. Farms on the mind, a song I heard once on an itchy
Nebraska station rationing away as I drove west. The bird laid
three crystals and dissolved in my face. I looked up, only sky,
plain as a nose. The effort proved not even enough to rest the
one tire I needed from the field of junk. The other birds had all
thithered away. They, I suppose, got the call. I couldn’t hurry
enough to receive, I could only wait. A blur of neon on my hand,
green, the palm, the back gold. You wouldn’t believe me if I
told you so I’ll tell you, the first lie that comes along.
The god goes out like the sun might in time.

from Sound as Thought: Poems 1982-1984 (Sun & Moon, Los Angeles, 1990)

Thanks to RL for the poem

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