Hippoheimer the King

By Ron Silliman, 12 January 2004

A section from the long poem VOG, by Ron Silliman

Viewing Private Ryan,weeks later I’ll dreamthe future of slasher flicks,packed house applauds seventh arrow in the skull.Laughing gull gives vent to its name.Special white, mosquito about the ear.Post-punk video adsshown not on televisionbut against warehouse walls.Sand flies by the cloud.Every third mansion begets a museum.Squirrel growls, mockingbirds wheeze.But our concept of the mansionabuts new tracts ofswollen executive homes.Clouds forestall the sunthen smear with dawn color.Behind reeds at pond’s edgeI find an old lawn chair –baby ducks (call fuzz) waddle up.Garbage truck roars tank-like amid the tiny houses.Goose cough. Flags leftto shred in the rain.California job caseprinter’s type standpopular now as wall mount for tchotchkes.Editing is rape.But rewriting, writing throughforms a mode of caress.Woman on rollerbladesat dawn to the sea.Giant water towerserves as point of reference,a blue paler than the sky.Second worst point dropin the history of the Downot even in Top 20on a percentage basis.Now and only nowmy shadow as I write.Old barbeque fork and tongslong crusted with sauce.Gold lamé one-piece swimsuitscalling everybody ‘honey’ –wrist turned backto let the cigarette dangle.But to have not donethe new Parent Trapwith Mary-Kate & Ashley.Two typosin Declaration of Independence.Two hours later, you feel the sun.Hold the handle until it really flushes.In this dream I’m given a keythat could only open the tiniest of lockswith no further explanation.What appears to have been an alternative futurein reality becomes a part ofthe variable past.Hoping, mid-ocean, to findmost of the fuselage intactthat we might recovermore of what we think of as the bodies.Projectile sneezing.Dreaming of waitingfor the next bus to comeyou burst into tears,unable to afford the pink sombrero.Dysfunction at the junction,everybody c’mon right now.Right pronounced rat,only broader.Sun quiveringin the haze ridden sky.(I am not I.)New style VW buginvokes old brand equityamid boomers.Close, Mr. President,but no cigar.Nuns with giant wimplescross the old plaza.Refers to the computer as a ‘build.’The sound of flushingheard as a sigh,an electronic handshake,Ciccolini’s Satiewell before dawn.Legos or logos, which one?Roofers to the controllerwith a bid.Dressing in the dark.The too sweet smell of a skunk.Sneaker’s tonguepermanently askew.Lone small planeaudible before dawnas is this cricket.

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