15 MASTER SHOTS


1

How many times have I stood here?

With darkness falling all around

A deer path disappears into the clouds.
Higher on the mountain somewhere

the deer huddle together
breath steaming in moonlight.

 

2

A woman walks alone to an anonymous hotel room high above an airport. A giant window overlooks a runway where travelers come and go.

We hear the dull roar of jetliners taking off and landing.

The woman walks to the window presses her hands against the glass and slides slowly down to the carpeted floor.

 

 

3

A near empty bowling alley parking lot

at the confluence of the Delaware and Susquehanna.
Towering light poles glaring against a darkening sky.
A black unmarked Buick glides to a stop.
A stranger in a long black coat gets out.

Homicide detective, the last priest, or a dangerous criminal?

4

Hard rain across the far-reaching parking lot of an abandoned mall.

A diner in the distance is bathed in ruby and cobalt neon muting everything. Big supply trucks scream by on the thruway. A sixteen-wheeler covered in Christmas lights sits in the distant lot.Tall reeds in a late winter wind. Sudden radiant joy.

5

In a hotel room Fox TV plays softly on a large flat screen TV.
Delicate fingers remove a cigarette from a pack. 

A man drinking a diet Sprite is silhouetted against a picture
window framing other high-rises.
His silver 357-magnum revolver glows inside a dark leather shoulder strap. Outside through smoked-glass windows vapor clouds scrape the city. Far below, the confluence

of two swollen rivers.


6
In the margin land under the runway

a Safeway basket and discarded motel mattresses.
Wide body jets take off and land.
Restless travelers moving to and from.
Ghosts huddle together under an overpass nearby.
Their bodies a translucent field of glimmering blue
trapped a little while longer still

between this life and the next.


7

A dark line of hemlock trees in the distance
the spring earth erupting with the surge of life!

In early evening effervescent blue glimmers over a plowed field
the smell of cow shit but no wind
I stare without blinking, then sudden bliss

as my image field fragments into vibrating orbs


8
A bright cloud scrapes the deserted expanse around me.
The valley below is dotted with star-like aberrations.
Blue TV lights emanate from far-flung fantasy houses.

The dull sound of distant automatic weapon fire in the wind.

Who could live in such a God-forsaken place?

9
An interstate highway ramp streaming with early commuters.
A Volvo station wagon is pulled off into a ditch. Front doors open

the engine running. Inside the car a small child is wailing.
On the road’s shoulder a well-dressed couple is pummeling each other.

10

Klieg lights illuminate a rocky outcropping high above the valley.
Naked men around a great bonfire in a tangle of arms and legs.

The ecstatic pleasures of a mosh pit. A obese man looks on

in his wheelchair wrapped in thick blankets.

He screams out directions to his men.
I gather myself and think, “madman or guru?”

11
A paint-neglected barn, a rusted silo

a mailbox with the words "7 DEER HUNTERS INC."

a bright blue motor home declaring itself on a Catskill hillside.

I keep moving forward thinking of the number

of times I have passed this place.

12

A red neon "diner" sign glows on the boulevard. 

Jets scream overhead. In the distance, the rusted-out city

of drab row homes.  In the foreground, a strip motel

that advertises short stay prices, and mirrored ceilings.

A jogger passes talking on his cell phone.

13
Beyond the final ridge line mist rises from the reservoir.

Close by three tall cedars to the right an old shack.
Blue green milk paint has been sloppily applied.
The floor is covered with molded Playboy centerfolds.
Far behind, dark clouds build over an empty hillside
rolling thunder getting closer.


14
Snow flurries down on this sorrowful place.

In the foreground a man is doing push-ups.

There’s a purple birth mark on his right temple

in the shape of a heart. He brings a sponge dripping to his head.

On his body we see a crude tattoo of a handsome blue-eyed Jesus.

Over his shoulder the muted bellowing of cows on a treeless slope.

15

A little Fiat is slanted into a ditch, the doors wide open. 

Rear directional lights are left blinking. There is no sign of life, only

the wind through the morning grass and icy thin clouds hanging

motionless in a cobalt sky. In the car’s rear window a beautiful

raven-haired woman rises from the backseat.

 

POSTSCRIPT

A wide landscape with metropolis. The chorus rising out of the valley

is only a river of cars streaming on the thruway.

Below, the grey city appears neutron bomb empty.

High-tension wires crisscross everything.

A realization: incomprehensible authorless creativity

creation and destruction live so close!