Out There Was America

On a long journey across the night of an America

I drove into the desert landscape and beheld

Elvis and Morrison, Hendrix and Dylan

In a ditch to the side of the road, with trash bags in their hands.

They seemed to whistle while they worked,

But the notes just wafted into the night, not nearly fast enough to catch my speeding

Cadillac.

 

In the morning, I stopped into a diner

With my breakfast and coffee,

I saw a newspaper that was guaranteed by the Andy Warhol himself

to be one hundred percent truthful.

I didn’t read it.  Had to get back on the road

 

The desert went on forever, and in the oil fields

I saw Jackson Pollack, standing by a gusher,

Wearing a cheshire grin.

I smiled back at him, secure in the knowledge that I would have enough gas to get

where I was going.

 

The announcer’s voice blasted through my car’s radio.

He said Poe had solved overpopulation,

and that Emerson, Thoreau, Uncle Walt and Miss Em

had got their hands dirty and fed the entire continent of Africa.

I shut him off and bore my eyes down on the asphalt ahead.

 

I passed a drive in theater on the left side of the road

and caught a glimpse of Scorsese accepting the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Someone told me later that he and DeNiro had stopped genocide.

I politely nodded and got back in my car.

 

Out there was America and I was going to find it.

Out there was industry and capital.

Out there was ingenuity and hard work.

Out there were my own bootstraps waiting for me to pull them up.

Out there was

America,

and I was going to find it fast.

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