Scott Wannberg

the beasts don't like my style.
their number one arbiter of what goes
roughs me up whenever i dare to wander through
their end of things.
i'd run to the beast police
but they seemingly aren't all that pleased
with me, either,
everytime i go to make a complaint
they grab me and hang me upside down.
the chief of the beast police
is fascinated when the blood rushes down to my head,
or so he continually slobbers.
something i must have said,
as i don't remember how to think,
ever since the day the city went into a temporary coma
for 45 minutes
and all the shopping malls got pregnant.
ever since that strange strange time
all sales have had very hypnotic ways
of pulling you in
to buy buy buy
when you have no no no
money to spare.

ever since then the most rudimentary chores
zap me and make me turn on the waste your paycheck channel on
the beasts slither anywhere they've got the mind to go,
they run all the lights that actually work
half the time.
the beasts think they're tough shit.
the beast police leap into the closet
when the beasts get too close.
something they might have said,
if they could enunciate.
something they might have thought,
if they had brains that meant.

it gets frustrating for a good natured sap such as i.
i need to find an endurable atoll
and ooze in quiet and private,
since both beast and beast police
have no seeming use for me.
i once read in an insulting yet intelligent magazine
that you should attempt to be of use
for people and things
even for people who are no more than things.

if you see me hobbling along life's conveyor belt
don't get startled if i seem a bit awry.
i never fit anybody's game plan,
and my clock ran out of time hours ago.
best to not worry about the mundane things.
there are way too many of those wherever you attempt to flow.
the beasts and the beast police
can work out their mutual destiny
in their own idiosyncratic way.
they certainly don't need me.

i'm stumbling good naturedly north
toward the dobro mountain
where they say you can see your best intentions
in the water,
and the dragons there
have quelled their obsession with breathing fire
for no inexplicable reason.
i'm empathetic with that, i guess.
best to conserve your ability to breathe fire,
save it for those cold lonesome tunes of nights
when the chill siphons the marrow in your
good time bone structure.

i'm tip toeing to the big hoedown
that may only live in my feeble brain.
i'd like for you to feel the music,
but if you can't hear it,
i won't try to make you see it as well.
i'll soon leave the county of beasts and beast police
i'll take my chances in the unknown hopeful free and easy
i truly couldn't be either one
i don't have the stamina to be a productive enough beast
the species would crumble
i don't have the demeanor to be a beast policeman
a baton looks shitty in either of my hands

see you soon maybe
on the dark side of the fugitive moon
i hear they got some dance halls living there
they are currently hiding in deep caves
but i think it's about time
they show up for work.
send me a tune if you can.
let me know when you get out on parole.
don't wake the beasts when you head out.
don't get mistook by the beast police
for something i know you aren't.
i'll leave a light on for you.
just connect up to the sway.
i packed up all the borders
i buried them deep
it's free range from now on
and your seat at the table
is assured and
happily awaits.
      levon helm
      electric dirt


Scott Wannberg
Scott Wannberg is author of strange movie full of death. “lives the quiet florence,oregon life. believes in strother martin.”