along the mississippi

Featured on The Five Hundred  

The roads and rails, the drugs in natures veins-
Surging along the Mississippi River as it carries its name.
Charming, disarming, but it's all the same,
Plenty of space here for outlaws and outcroppings to claim.

Liquor likely locking everyone's minds into a smaller place
I try to pick up the pace, escape the rat race.
but just east of Hastings, no one moves with haste
They move, instead, to get lost without a trace.

To tuck themselves away and fish in the river bed,
To fuck on mattresses and regret what they've said,
Or to live as eccentric intellectuals instead,
Or just to make sure that they stay on their meds.

To build things with their own hands as country folk do,
To plow their own land, turn horse bones to glue.
To play their own games, brew their own brews,
To make their own claims without a fucking clue.

Plenty of modest things around to keep them occupied,
Sit by the banks and wait for the tide,
Money won't ever come in, but they're just along for the ride.
Hell, the days are always longer with time on your side.

I imagine there are plenty of secret, scenic trails around
Where no one can be found,
Not even the smallest of sounds,
From lone hikers who have been murdered and buried in the ground.

The local farmers watch the grass grow blade by blade,
Find relief from the summer heat in the deepest of shade,
Scheme up themes for the annual parade,
As their machines dig into the earth throughout the day.

Time slows down until it can barely crawl,
Wraps its analog arms around us all,
Locks everyone’s lips into a slow rural drawl,
As stories are told about the next big haul.

All the crops grow in rows, the wind barely blows,
The windmills standing still with nowhere to go.
Somewhere behind me the river still flows
and the sun glows behind an eclipse of silos.

The road continues now against the grain.
Speed limits escalate, fast foods eat the brain.
I struggle to keep inside of my lane,
The little white lines, white lies driving me insane.

Somewhere along the line I find the plants transfer power
Cultivation to coal, humans take control inside their lighted towers
Produce heat for their internet porn and their long showers,
Leave behind the corn fields and the tall sunflowers.

The scenery disappears on a goddamned dime,
Robs me of any moments that might have been mine.
I’m all too familiar with these tragic traffic signs,
When a road becomes this traveled, it’s just a race against time.

Its back to the cities where business calls,
Where the beckoning buildings stand tall,
The materialists all meet at massive malls,
It's back, dear boy, to the fucking free-for-all.