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Texas Deer Highway (i-10)

by cgs

crossing texas
is always the largest feat of the trip
the rest is smooth and uneventful
and light yes drowning in light

but it is always in the darkness
that we cross that damn texas
trapped behind trucks moving homes
filling up at out-of-the-way stations
(with still half-a-tank)
getting lost on straight-aways
bewildered by the same dark nothings
(can we still be on the same road?)
(can we still be going west?)
and passing only small highway towns
that exists on gas and midnight snacks
and t-shirts and mugs and bandanas
I heart texas they all go
and the smell of slaughtered cattle
staining the air with blood
sneaking through the vents
eating your nostrils raw with death

and the deer:
spring out
from the woods
eyes big and sparkling fear
it hurts to see that fear there
looking at me
bearer of their doomed fate
yes their eyes
big as ocean pools
expanding past the whites
the deer: poor deer
frozen in its gentle spring and
raped by confusion
robbed of reaction
so beautiful and helpless
sacrificing its life to chance
to the will of the driver myself
wary or not
perhaps asleep
perhaps the cold killer
or fallen in a trance
of white dotted-line texas
curving through their home
for the tenth time tonight
i’ve had to brake hard
swerving the shoulder
half-in half-out of ditches

once more and
i braked this way
for baby does
who could not force herself
out of the approaching headlight death
i smiled and put the car in park
and waited and waited and waited
and finally her mother came hopping
through the darkness of the forest
to nudge her baby’s rear with her head
out of the road
and out of man’s greedy nightmare path
into the safety of the wilderness

the wilderness:
which one finds
crossing texas
that it isn’t the wilderness at all
but the highway crossing texas
where man’s headlight death
shine they shine they go:
do not move, my dear deer
i’m coming to let you go.

jesuschriss; aka jimmy condomhead (of jimmy condomhead and the rubberband peanut stand, featured on myspace music); aka cgstarling; aka johnny longhead; aka lib raulphf; aka jc bibble; aka jc; aka christof gee starling; aka (jcgs); aka

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The following comments are for "Texas Deer Highway (i-10)"
by jesuschriss

doomed I was to be reminded of Ted Hughes "Roe Deer" and doomed too to draw unhelpful and irrelevant comparisons between the two poems, which ruined this for me, first reading...

second and third times worked better for me and I got to appreciate the poem on its own terms… there's something about its inward-looking desolation that really works, something uncompromising and not entirely pleasant, yet deeply atmospheric, particularly the second stanza…

The deer in this poem are less spectral and more pathetic than they are in Roe Deer, they are solid, flesh and blood and likely to leave a dent in the car and a mess on that Texas highway… both man and deer are casualties of a collision has nothing to do with tyres and trucks… apologies, rambling, abridged version: enjoyed. thanks for sharing.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: June 23, 2007 )

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