Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hold it right there

Z221 at work

An Easter bonnet 

John 1.3

While the City Sleeps

Waukeshans complacently enjoy their town-grown-to-city
with it’s well-policed, clean, safe streets
and the cerulean blue skies overhead;
or when it rains

the rain washing everything anew and flowing
if heavy
away like dirty bathwater down the drain
out of sight, out of mind;  oh yes,

we think of everything and take for granted
that the solid terra-firma plane on which we work and play
 is as storybooked as it appears
and that the sky overhead here is relatively terrorless.

That covers two of the three physical dimensions
but we never think about the seething subterranean world
beneath the city where that dirty bathwater flows
unless we happen to be with the Sanitation Department

and as far as I know, they aren’t talking.
My friends, we co-exist over a nether-world
about which we never think
and the Sewer Raccoons down there - that’s right - 
count on our ignorance.

Their profligacy festers beneath us
growing daily, like whiskers becoming a dread-locked beard
but we don’t know it because we trust in our local government
and in what we see.

The coons, woe to us!  Phantoms of this opera are
just a few feet beneath Waukesha in archen coves and caverns
until nightfall, when every storm grate at every corner
becomes an open doorway into our elysian yards and gardens.

Marauders on velvet paws which they keep licking, masked,
they steal about under cover of nocturnal shadows, late,
when the windows of our proud houses show black.  
It is then the Sewer Coons take over the town;   by day,

These slick creatures have free rein in their underworld,
bartering our garden produce in little shops and bazaars
in their sub-city
where they swarm and reproduce like rabbits crazy.

They have their own school district where all the little coons
Study burglary and ankle-nipping.
So far they are content with their lowly position, hence,
the Sanitation Department, the Mayor and the Aldermen

only monitor them and do not tell us of their
 spreading presence.
 As Amos or Paul Revere, I send this warning
for I live nearer the Fox River in one of the town’s ruder huts
and the Sewer Coons are, though proliferating

concentrated only in our poorer neighborhoods 
at the present time;
by the railroad tracks and the Fox River waterway,
But the storm sewer web is beneath us all, free and accessible
and even now no one is safe!

I have again lately seen the coons 
emerge from the grate at the corner
As has my wife;  we know the desolation
Of having our grapes stolen from our vines;
We’ve actually heard the coons’ little “chick-chick-chick” sounds.

Close-up, we’ve seen the phosphorescent reflection of their eyes
In our flashlight beams; they run, are not brazen yet – oh, no -
carrying little bindles over their hump-ed backs
and make their dash back to their grated holes.

Furred hit-and-run warriors, in place,
waiting for their messiah to come, 
perhaps from Milwaukee or Chicago -
The Really BIG Coon, 
to marshal them into an invading army,
Meanwhile waxing stronger in secret 
on Dix grapes and other sacked left-overs;

And sometimes I think I can hear muffled “tink”s
As they pound on their tiny anvils under the avenue
Making suits of armor on foot-pumped forges; flaring
light seems to flash from the gratings 
after the clock has struck twelve

And I go out and listen at my corner sewer entrance
and hear their Russian-like “YO-OH, HO HO!” chants
echoing softly up from below.

The Sewer Raccoons are coming,
 the Sewer Raccoons are coming.

[D. Zep Dix 9-19-2002]
 OK, here it is 5-16-2012, ten years later
 but they're STILL coming