The Coast of Kansas

Published in Coconut

Scene 1

(Walking through a corn maze)


According to this pamphlet theres some guy

in Greece who designs these mazes, this years theme:

Your mothers loverchaff or subsidized rye?


According to the bathroom walls, our regime

needs some old-time comeuppance. And Im just

the man for the job. What was that? A scream?


Every puzzle has its constructive trust.

I think well be fine if we take a left

at the scarecrow and shun the blister rust.


Day after day we fixate on the theft

but let the thief run a thumb through Moms pie

you dont hear that growl? Sharp hooves? Something cleft?

Scene 2

(MINOTAURS lairORESTES and ELECTRA are chained to a wall)


And so I says to her I saysif thats

what passes for love in this mad world,

you can have it, sweetheart, this dog

has his bone into the padlock

of the laughing academys door

if you get my drift, and she says


Who says?


Who says? Your Ma says, thats who says.

(Long pauseMINOTAUR flosses his teeth with the end from a ball of thread)


if you get my drift, and she says what?




Finish your story.


The! End! Satisfied? Happy, now?

Helsinki! That Finnish enough?

(MINOTAURS cell phone ringshe answers)

If you get my drift, and she says

Im Clytemnestra, when I say

jump you say Van freaking Halen  

and I say hold a seconal

I says I got ears, eyes and tusks

that tune your frequency, plus

I nabbed your kids, just like you asked,

so lets cold-cock these cynosures

I says and leave their corpses for gorp.  

(THESEUS and the rebel army break down the door and rescue the kids)


A villain on a traina fierce wolflet

with spywareapple green sunlight  

pods of tourists appear and reappear

there is a blue gittern-player plucking

strings pulled by a melancholy bull

a mother peels the pelt from her enemies

like skin from a tomatoa rock, a pram,

a sharp pair of scissors which a princess  

uses to kill the poet who wrote his dreams

there is a boarded up ghost towngood folks  

gather under a weak street lamp outside

the Palace Saloon as a platoon  

of dead buffalo soldiers march into

the western skya train growlshooves cleft

scraps of verse float across our screenred flags

lift and are kissed by the windthe rebel cell

advancesred-eyeddown a dark labyrinth

towards a padlocked door and boom-boom-boom

here we are, Robespierre.

Scene 3

(ELECTRA, ORESTES and the ghost of AGAMEMNON walk hand-in-hand along the beach on the coast of Kansas)


Above her left eye was a lightning bolt


shaped scar, the kind you lick for luck, the size


of a microchip and silver as smolt.


Her hair was yellow, her face was snake eyes,


her breasts were weapons of mass seduction,


her white hands were always wavinggood-bye.


She rode the waves of self-destruction  


like a wahine surfing a blue volt.


Hark! I hear the sounds of reproduction!


(The MINOTAUR sits in the soundproof booth)


Kalevala! Nokia! Aki Kaurismki!

last updated Tuesday, June 06, 2006 @ 6:00 PM