15 MASTER SHOTS
How many times have I stood here?
With darkness falling all around
A deer path disappears into low hanging clouds.
Higher on the mountain the herd huddle together
breath steaming in moonlight.
A woman walks alone to an anonymous hotel room high above an airport.
We hear the dull roar of jetliners taking off and landing.
Her window overlooks a runway where restless travelers come and go.
She presses her hands against the glass and slides slowly down to the carpet.
A near empty parking lot at the confluence of the Delaware
and the Susquehanna towering lights glow 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 cold-blooded assassin?
A hard rain across the far-reaching parking lot muting everything
A diner in the distance is bathed in ruby and cobalt neon.
Big supply trucks roar by on the thruway.
A sixteen-wheeler covered in Christmas lights sits in the distant lot.
Tall reeds rattle in a late winter wind.
Sudden radiant joy.
In a hotel room Fox TV plays softly on a large flat screen TV.
Delicate pale fingers remove a cigarette from a pack.
A man pulls the tab on a diet Sprite. He is silhouetted against a picture window
framing other high-rises. His silver 357-magnum revolver glows inside a dark leather shoulder strap. Above the clouds he gazes through floor to ceiling windows
as vapor trails scrape the grey city. The room phone rings five times.
In the margin land under the runway
A Safeway market basket and discarded motel mattress.
Ghosts huddle together there under an overpass nearby.
Floating shadows of no earthly substance
their bodies translucent fields of blue radiance
trapped a while longer between this life and the next.
A dark line of hemlock trees in the distance
the spring earth erupting with the surge of life!
In early evening effervescent light glimmers over a plowed field
No wind the smell of cow shit I stare without discriminating
and my image field disintegrates into vibrating orbs
A bright cloud scrapes the deserted expanse around me.
The valley below is dotted with star-like aberrations.
Blue TV light emanates from far-flung houses.
The dull sound of distant automatic weapon fire in the wind.
In the foreground a rain-soaked calendar is torn in half.
An interstate highway ramp streaming with early commuters.
A Volvo station wagon is pulled off into a ditch. Front doors swing open
the engine left running. Inside the car a small child is wailing.
On the road’s shoulder a well-dressed couple is pummeling each other.
Under the overpass the ghosts huddling and looking on in horror fade in.
Klieg lights illuminate a rocky outcropping high above the valley.
Naked men around a great bonfire in an orgy of arms and legs
The ecstatic pleasures of a mosh pit? An obese man looks on in his wheelchair wrapped in blankets oxygen tubes in his nose. He screams to his feverish men:
“Want tofu and brown rice? Free love cult that’s the next mountain over."
"You want to finally grow-up soy-boy that’s right here on my mountain!”
A paint-neglected barn, a rusted silo
A mailbox with the words "7 DEER HUNTERS INC."
A bright blue motor home asserts itself on a Catskill hillside.
I keep moving forward thinking of the number
of times I have passed this forsaken place.
A blur of red neon pulses though a window over a barroom. At a vanity table a woman applies make-up and sips a cocktail. She slips into a blouse and brushes her golden hair. Her ear buds pound out a steady beat. She stands and dances wildly to its lurid thud. The widows begin to rattle then violently shake in their frames. Her drink vibrates off the table and shatters on the floor as low flying military jets scream just above her room. She freezes. Abject fear travels over her face. Something very bad is about to happen somewhere in the world.
Beyond the final ridgeline mist rises from the reservoir
Close by three tall cedars to the right of an old shed
on which blue green milk paint has been sloppily applied.
The floor is covered with molded Playboy centerfolds.
Stinging nettles have grown through the gaps.
Far behind, dark clouds build over an empty hillside.
Rolling thunder is getting closer. In the distance a pale man
In a long black coat he rides a mount to camera.
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 hang
motionless. In the car’s rear window a beautiful
raven-haired woman rises from the backseat.
A man sits up next to her.
A wide landscape with metropolis bordered with small hills.
A chorus rising out of the valley is only a river of cars
and their perpetual streaming on the thruway.
Below, the grey city appears neutron bomb empty.
High-tension wires crisscross everything.
A deserted stadium is lit up night game bright.
Unfathomable authorless creativity is not available to us.
The tree at the center of the world is on fire. The tips of the branches lit with tiny flames. A bind man looking far off and we see what he sees: muted figures walking toward him, men as trees walking. He rubs his eyes and his vision clears a bit. Could this be his wife walking toward him or another of his hallucinations? He can tell that it’s her by the rhythm of her alluring stride.