Friday, February 24, 2006

Oregon, in a ABAB rhymes and a Loose Iambic Septamete

Glorious and seductive Albany, Oregon!

Come for the food, stay for the accent marks.

It's about 30 minutes outside of Salem.

Salem - A Tragedy

The capital of Oregon, where sullen pigeons plop
Upon the Stalinesque expanse of bureaus for the state,
And downtown buildings crumble scenically before they drop,
And diners weep from hearing decomposing codgers prate.

There lived a girl (let's name her May) along a wooded lane;
Her house bore all the hallmarks of a lonely life indeed.
Her parents died when she was only eight, and it was plain
That little May would never get the love that young ones need.

Raised by older brothers who both sallied forth for fame,
Young May became the matron of an old and empty house.
With cash enough for sustenance, and no one left to blame,
She shot her father's rifle, and she wore her mother's blouse.

Sundays saw her walk to town along the railroad tracks;
She only went to Safeway, and she only bought canned peas.
But once, she saw a handsome man in pinstriped cotton slacks;
Her heartbeat grew irregular, her footsteps ill at ease.

The handsome man, he caught her gaze, and stepped up with a hop,
Proclaiming, "Why, I'm staggered that such prettiness exists."
"It doesn't," warned the weary May - she watched his features drop
And knew she'd love him always, so she took him by the wrists.

They wed within a fortnight, and the house grew less alone:
The bride put out a porch swing, and some flowers in the sills;
The groom put in a sunroof (the entire kitchen shone).
They cooked each other breakfast, and they rambled distant hills.

A mental patient, discharged from an underfunded home,
One day found them kissing in a sun-bespotted glade.
He killed them with a shovel, and he buried them in loam,
Thus orphaning their treasured son, who'd reached the second grade.

Never move to Salem! If you live there, please don't stay:
State capitals are magnets for the criminal insane.
They're put in homes for treatment, but they aren't put away,
So kill a mental patient, and prevent an orphan's pain.

The end. I'm thrilled to join this blog! Expect from me more cheerful poetry and depressing photographs.


will said...

sun-bespotted is my new favorite word that includes "be"

amber said...

you're a fool Andrew. A damned fool.