the emperor of maryland

This is a tale of a boy who left a fine, port city,
travelling north, seeking a dream,
into the land of the clog wearers,
undermining the prevailing natural order of filial duty.
This is the tale of a boy who wandered through a wintry landscape,
sleeping on couches, his bindle was a gunny sack,
yearning for the tender touch of a snakecharming beauty.
This is the tale of a boy and a 396, a drygood box for a pallet,
a holy roller in the redeye zone,
a left arm tan and a rag top, ducking chin music about salvation,
rambling though the lower fortyeights.
This is the tale of headlights, tail lights, rear views,
miscues, seeking the big score, a working stiff
where hard work ain’t the problem, the problem’s who you’re working for.
He had a ’66 Chevelle. He was the Emperor of Maryland.

This is the tale of boy who’d lay with the dogs,
and gladly wake up with the fleas,
the story of how he spoke pornographic argot
in the bughouses, how he happily rolled with the pigs.
He had the morals of a plastic dashboard Jesus!! –
shaky confederates, all cinderblocks and tarpaper
a dilettante, a gifted amateur, all dressed up
and tryin’ to hit a splitter in the bigs!!
And he liked it good, he liked it fine, he liked it raw,
he liked it bloody, he liked it savage,
he even liked the way the cat ate the cabbage!!
Nothing but nothingness ever comes to he who waits.
To him all things were paradise, loose talk, slap happy
and all things lay on the surface.
His heart was a rigged game show – everything was illustrated ,
even though it served no purpose.
He had a ’66 Chevelle. He was the Emperor of Maryland.

They say it’s a right ragged road from Richmond to Danville,
also from Beckleysville to Baltimore
it was high summer in a dry county, with a puppy in a poke w
ith a bullet of bread. Skirts high in the red dust, admiring the fillies,
sent him for a willy of a loop, her eyes were triflin’,
daddy’s cradlin’ his lupara, granny, will your dog bite?,
a knuckle of veal and a roll behind the shed
And they played at Soldier’s joy, he and her, they tore the stillhouse down,
in the mist of oleander by the American Legion off Black Rock Road
‘til he was hauling down MD 88.
With ½ the cotton, 1/3 the corn, blessing the day he was born,
and a waybill for her panties on his dashboard,
vanishing eastbound and down,
Quartering crow and rattling bones! He had a ’66 Chevelle.

He was the Emperor of Maryland.

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This entry was published on 04/27/2012 at 10:56 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

15 thoughts on “the emperor of maryland

  1. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People « tarnation and eudemonia

  2. largemargeuk on said:

    You were a saucy wag as a lad, weren’t you Seb? Rolling in the bushes and taking souvenirs! I like the way this picks up speed as each verse goes along. That’s one of the subtle little things that make your work so interesting to read.

  3. Lively storytelling, which is your trademark and just enough of that bygone gone language in a modernized context to keep it spicy and us on our toes.

  4. Score, Seb-eh. Score.

  5. Pingback: Latest Posts « A Small Circle of Friends

  6. go1flo on said:

    Another one of your great travelling poems, Seb – full of vibrant images and potent situations. You must have been a heck of a cut-up as a younger fellow!

  7. hans kreher on said:

    You bring back the parts of younger days many would recall, with exaggerated detail.

  8. hellznokel on said:

    Nice to see you back with your swagger. An American classic and a tale as big as a whale about an old fashioned American rounder in the new fashioned American South. Long may you run, El Sebbie!

  9. Plenty more rambling days ahead of you, bucko. Ramble on down to the sunny south sometime soon, won’t you?

  10. penniezzfromhellzz on said:

    Gotta love that – you just cut loose with the fancy stuff here and it is verbal fireworks and sexy shenanigans all down the line.

  11. I like it when you go big on the language and play around. A boy and his car. Sigh!

  12. littlewhitepagan on said:

    Yee haw! You’re like a slightly less muscular version of the Dukes of Hazard!

  13. isiscambassassassassian on said:

    You are too wicked. You just take this to amazing extremes.

  14. Very very well-written, Seb! I love your stuff. If I had an anthology of my favourite poets, you’d be in it.

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