New Jersey Turnpike

New Jersey Turnpike

These thoughts will die on the vine if I don't rough them out here. So here goes. Rough, but on 'paper':

A temple is built on the Meadowlands. Civilizations upon shifting, fertile muck. Weave a mat of phragmites to sleep upon. Strew stinking branches of ailanthus. Ghetto palm. Tree of heaven. Strew the stinking branches upon the hallowed berms on the Meadowlands so that the emperor may pass and not sully his shoes by touching soil. Crushed underfoot the parade of dukes and duchesses release tree of heaven perfume into the air where it creates an alchemy of golden clouds - a refinement of acetone. A strewing of herbs.

Once I rode the train from New Brunswick to New York, and no one noticed all those elegant, long-legged white birds hunting in the Meadowlands. I looked around for someone to tell. I looked to see if anyone noticed. Just me. No one tell. No one to hear the ravings of a girl who wanted to walk along the sacred berms of the Meadowlands.

And now, I travel along the twisted veins of blacktop that tie this place together. Why is it so inspiring? So that my eyes are wide and my nerves pulse? Why in the silence of the cab of my vehicle am I composing verse in homage to this empire?

At least the Cuyahoga isn't burning anymore
At least needles from hospitals aren't washing up on the Jersey shore
Not in the news anyway
At least they aren't shooting passenger pigeons out of the sky anymore
Not no more they ain't