Sid Delicious: The Poet’s Prologue
The Summer Day
Andrew Marvell to His Coy Mistress,
“The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”
by Mark Kodama
The air brakes hissed and the bus slowly backed into reverse. As the bus driver left the terminal you could feel the bump as the bus left parking lot onto the main street before entering the freeway. Although it was just after sun-up, many vehicles were already on the road.
We drove north in traffic on Interstate 101 by the white cylinder-shaped thirteen-story Capitol Records Building at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The wide eight-lane freeway was packed with trucks, buses and cars moving in both directions. Motorcycle riders daringly sped by between the slow moving vehicles.
The iconic 44-foot-tall white Hollywood sign stretched across Mount Lee for all to see and Hollywood mansions dotted the hillside. White buildings divided by the straight wide tree-lined boulevards crowded either side of the highway jammed with trucks, SUVs, and cars, all impatiently making their way to their destinations. A gray haze hung over the city as the vehicles crawled north.
The Bus Driver:
T.S. Elliot and little soubrette,
Sing us your songs of romance in sonnet,
Take a chance on us and open your hearts.
Show us your poetry; show us your art.
Oh, lovely Erato, muse from above,
Please infuse their little poems with love.
I am a Bohemian poet with no name,
Laboring alone for the love of the game
What I most desire, I most disdain –
Approval of others, fortune and fame.
I dream of writing the world’s greatest play –
Something significant with something to say:
To extol the height of human achievement,
To probe the depths of the human condition.
But many compromises must be made,
Investors, actors, stage hands must be paid.
My work ends not with the death of the tsarina,
But with the expected deus ex machina.
And surely you must know that I jest.
A happy ending – that’s what the herd likes best.
In real life, all denouements end the same
By ceremonial disposal of one’s last remains.
I wink at those who know and laugh at the rest.
So here is my poem, for your review,
If you dislike it – this is America – you can sue.