(formerly titled “It’s Like a Whole Other Country”)
On a high plains concrete ribbon
(there is nothing) north of Amarillo,
telephone poles stand like crucifixes
after the condemned have blown away.
It’s like a whole other country
On the plains of San Jacinto, a story is told
in blood, in oil, where Houston routed Santa Ana;
hundred years go by, blood is dry, and
oil gushes forth from Spindletop.
Recoiling back to sacred ground
A monumental obelisk marks the battle field,
but the great refineries offering smoke, fire,
filth to heaven hide it from I-10. These are
the real monuments here: the refineries,
Rolling on to San Antone and overpriced margaritas,
overdone river walk and Hard Rock Café, once
Mexico’s northern town, now we visit the birthplace
of our finest ghosts. Remember that old Alamo?
Legends larger than life
Shrine to Texas heroes, and the arrest
of Ozzy Osbourne. The church still stands,
tomb of Crockett, Travis, Bowie, beseiged
now by hotels, offices, power lines.
Sparking into lucid dreams
They say there’s another Alamo near Del Rio,
built for a John Wayne movie set. More real than
the real one, the screams of ghosts and musket fire
still echo, reverberating loudest at the fake Alamo.
Drowned out by open windows
Stopping in at Luckenbach, we drink a round of beers
No one really lives here, but they all come out on Sundays
singing songs by Willie, Waylon and the boys.
Throw back a couple beers with passing strangers.
Let the journey be a story
Under these stars, above old dinosaur bones and
Indian camps, traveling interstate lifelines like
blood through arteries, we find freedom on the
highways, concrete and legend, forever
Binding this place to myth
This is for Read Write Poem. This week’s prompt was to find poetry in relaxation or slogans. I spent some time thinking about slogans and finally decided to learn the tourism department’s slogan for Texas, which became the title of the poem.