-with apologies to Arthur Tress
It all starts with Adam West and Eva Gabor
(having been cast, here, as a sort of
flawlessly wholesome American Hansel and Gretel)
gathering up sheaves of wheat
in the red-gold glow of a setting sun,
the whole thing set to a lush accompaniment
of angels with Chinese eyes
playing strange, other-worldly instruments.
And now, the smoky ghost of a former farm cat,
A miniature horse and a miniature shark
Are just about to embark on a truly incredible journey
Of potentially epic proportions.
And Johnny Socko and Giant Robot
Are finally done with their daring-do adventuring
For another day (having saved the day,
Once again, from the clutches of the evil Professor Hex
And the Dragon Lady from Mars)
And are now slowly spiraling down
Into a deep and dreamless sleep.
And Caruso, reviving his most famous role of Pagliaccio,
Is giving voice lessons to Anne Boleyn
(or is it Jane Mansfield) while some
Bit-part player (you know you've seen her
A million times, before) done-up in cliché
Antebellum slave-girl garb is grinning
A near-rictus grin and beating out a jungle beat
On an old washtub and a tambourine
And an (as yet) unidentified goddess or muse
Is waiting, anxiously, in the wings for her cue.
And down in the coliseum,
The wise man Laocoon and his sons,
Antiphantes and Thymbraeus are training
For their big steel-cage rematch
With the hot and deadly snakes of the under-world.
And all the while,
A butterfly sits dreaming on a railroad spike;
A dream of suddenly waking from a dream
And finding oneself to be nothing less
Than The Great American Everyman, himself,
Who (it will eventually be revealed
through a succession of wildly probable events)
Has somehow come into possession
(one could very easily name it either a curse
Or a blessing) of a magical toy chicken
That lays chocolate eggs covered in 14K gold leaf.
No one could possibly predict what happens next
Or how the whole thing finally ends.
-Jason Ryberg, 2010