Big Bridge #10

An Open Letter to America


Steve Dalachinsky


the seasons - fragments from the journals of CACTUS HEAD {PRIVATE}

1. finally that rooftop garden...what to feed the dinner guests.. new sinai...absurd material this icing..pins &
        haystacks  everywhere...    this city where a glass of water costs so much ...oh as i was saying...entry for sumday the 1st of when..those black hi-tops i bought the other day in the salvation army  they walk me places i've never been.(she) becoming sticky tar under foot    & me still holes in the layers wow at the barnacles on my more cold days at the beach holy ocean to worry about    warm beer    SPLIFFF...scratch my prickly head
    these needles springing from me as thought////////,,>>

    i'm twilit in the nozone & can finally leave the windows open every hr.
    every day every month of every year & sleep now comes to me like the            television darkening after the FOOD CHANNEL goes off the air for the               nite.....::::]]]]======

       the roaches have taken their final vacation
       the swallows too need never leave  again
       all those angels have become stunned ghosts inside my concrete                    secretions & your folks don't ever have to think about moving to                  Florida..again....these needles springing
       from        me                    like    thought.

  .....& these faded black hi-tops, i'll just cut out the fronts
       & pretend that i'm in Greece.

2. the summit - do you see how god reveals himself to us \/ double vison/union city/those gracious pts. of light cracking thru a cloudover/5 glorious moments  of music in an otherwise uneventful overexcited hour of noise..east.west.north.south...ROWHOUSES & the dark little girl running in a small lifeless garden happily biting her lower lip,her old black dog's tail wagging.           the family store/houses for sale/laundromats pinched nerves & clogged               plumbing/ vegetables discounts & the polar ice caps becoming a summer            resort..liquor first names & project  headstart/reservoirs & popular                  brands.wisdom & stupidity.
do you see the way she shows herself to us - it is dumpsters cosmetics & is the strong round sun mortgaged yet free again..steeples & mufflers..signs signs signs fuel fuel fuel heat heat heat
my face cooling down my heart beat & open

3. oratorio - can't say which house of worship i feel more uncomfortable in..sleeveless  contemporary  potted  plant compositional structure constantly changing..warmer bowels warmer marrow  then rightly you angels shout & sing "no more goulash in my galoshes in the gulag.." no more earlaps for this schmuck  no frozen extremities or frigid more white X-mas..alot more warped & melting wax...but no more  "....someone left the cake out in the rain i don't know if i can take it for it took so long to bake it & i'll never find that recipe again..OHhNo-o-o OH NO."

4. no-pointilism -
                     psychic goats
                     organ grinders
                     organ donors
                     skin cancer
                     hell on earth
                     no gloomy hole
                     a good time was had by all

                     & the sun seemed filled with
                     many suns

coda. vivaldi -
                        unbroken summer -
                          light streaming through
                                    the pale stained glass.


the 10 plagues thru eyes of a working class Egyptian{PRIVATE}

Amun Hotep (no relation to the king) awoke as usual at 4 A.M. to get ready for his job as third janitor at the 4th Great Pyramid on the outskirts of his small Egyptian town. He'd been trying for 2 years, to no avail, to get transferred to a pyramid closer to home so that he could spend more time with his wife and young son (both fast asleep in the next room.) As was frequently the case Hotep was plagued by the same thoughts while having his cup of morning java..The Jewish Question. "..Why were they so mistreated and was this slavery thing right?..after all there were many unemployed Egyptians who could use the work even at menial salaries like the one he received...but then again this slave thing meant free labor and that saved the government money..or did it? .. after all these slaves had to be clothed, fed and housed no matter how poorly..and if this Moses guy really wants his people to be let go, what's so wrong with that? Let some leave and hire some of the others as "guest workers"..but that would rouse greater anti-semitism amongst my already disgruntled countrymen. Ah well better finish my bagel and get to work.." He shivered as he did so and when he left the house a strange foreboding came over him.
There was a weird ringing in Hotep's ears as he began saddling up his camel, as if a voice from somewhere outside his realm of hearing was musing "I MYSELF AND NOT AN ANGEL..I MYSELF AND NOT A MESSENGER...I MYSELF I MYSELF..." a roaring in his ear and he tried to shake it off..A tingle up his spine and he tried not to notice as he got on the camel and rode in the direction of his gig.

"This OLD MAN HE played ONE. HE turned water to BLOOD for FUN. With a Knick Knack Patty Wack give your cat a chill this Old Man sure gets his thrills."

As Amun passed the river he could not help but notice it seemed to be turning a deep crimson..."Sunrise.." he thought.

"This OLD MAN HE played TWO frogs frogs frogs for me & YOU.."

"Wow! Frogs everywhere. Maybe I'll catch some later and take them home for Cleo to make some frog's legs and stew." As he reached Pyramid #4 he noticed lots of cows and other beasts of burden acting peculiarly sluggish, some literally lying down on the job as it were, with their owners trying to get them to move...

"This OLD MAN HE played THREE reduced all the farmers' productivity." Hotep entered the pyramid went to the broom closet and proceeded to the 10th tier to do his duties. He noticed the place was much quieter than usual.

"This OLD MAN HE played FOUR and pestilence stopped at every door."

The day passed slowly Hotep never being able to step outside until the lunch gong clanged about 6 hours before the end of his 12 hour shift.. When it did rattle he rushed down the steps toward the rear entrance of the tomb to sit by the Sphinx and have his lunch...That's when he noticed the hordes of flies and locusts everywhere. "Holy Cow.. What's going on here." He jumped up swatting hundreds of little gnat-like things away from him and his meal."Better finish this inside..." He turned, went in and returned up the stairs to his isolated station, ate and began polishing the golden staffs lining the wall.

"This OLD MAN HE played FIVE no Egyptian livestock remained alive." Night fell late in this region so Amun was very surprised upon leaving work to find that the sky had turned a deep blue. He was further surprised, no, shocked when he went to unhitch his camel and found it dead.. "Oh my GODS" he shouted, "I haven't finished making the payments yet.. What a crazy day. I'm goin' bonkers. Better get over to Moehab's and have a couple of drinks."

"This OLD MAN HE played SIX and the sky above grew dark thick.."

" Oh Camel dung..What now? What's this? It's raining rocks..and these eruptions on my skin..OW they itch they burn they hurt. There's Moehab's Pub, better get in before I get clobbered.

"This OLD MAN HE PLAYED SEVEN and giant hail stones rained down from HEAVEN...."

Minutes later he was at a stool ordering. The place was in pandemonium. The other customers were all going crazy as if extremely stoned or demented.. even the belly dancers and musicians were freaking.

"This OLD MAN HE played EIGHT Boils for those Philistines'll be just great..."

While Amun ordered his second round, the streets filled and emptied with screaming bodies and rumors of ghastly deaths. Gulping down his Cairo Dark, he sighed and thanked Isis and Osiris that he was not the oldest in his family.

"This OLD MAN HE played NINE Freeing those slaves took quite some time."

Suddenly his son's image flashed before his eyes....

"This OLD MAN HE played TEN killed all the Egyptian first born men.. with a Knick-Knack Patty Wack give your cat a chill..this OLD MAN knows how to kill."

Amun got up and bolted for the door.......