in Poems, Posters

Naked Poles

August 5, 1995

ripping paper,
revealing
the beautiful rough wood
buried
under
all of those
littering
words,
ideas,
events,
messages,
images
of humans
gone out
of control,
seeking contact
right out
on the street
where anyone
and everyone
can see
and read
and get tempted,
get distracted,
get pulled
into i-don’t-know-what.

all on the telephone poles
on my avenue.

beautiful telephone poles.

so i make my rounds
pulling,
ripping,
making
our world
neat again,
making it
safe
and comfortable
and pleasant again
for tourists
and macy’s.

after all,
ideas
stapled up everywhere
are disturbing,
disquieting,
and messy.

i don’t look
or read
as i rip,
i just listen,
then pat the nude wood,
then move
on to the next pole
covered in scales
of communication
of strange communities
and subcultures
who don’t know that there are
right and correct
channels of
communications.

buy an ad
on a bus bench,
for pete’s sake.

ever hear of the classifieds?

get a review,
you lying nixons
and funky headshrinkers,
whatever you are!

they are probably
oily
slimy dark
so-called
beat punk
poets
writing pages
upon pages.

no sense of order
or of the correct style.

they wonder why
sensible papers
don’t list
their wailing sessions.

so they deface
my natural beautiful pole
with their crude
rude
announcements.

is your mutt lost?
check the pound.

lost child,
see the police.
but i’m getting carried away.
i leave
missing persons
and wanted posters up
as a public service.
after all,
the cops
always wink and smile…
except when i tried
to burn the disgusting flyers off…
it got out of control…
but i will keep control.

cops
and managers of up-scale chain stores
and the city beautification committee
all smile
and wink
as i pass.
i’m their agent.

i do
what they want
until
they can pass a law.

there will be a law
because there should be one
against
this rubbish of scum.

and when that day comes,
as it surely will,
the chamber of commerce
will reward me with a scroll,
and a grant,
and the position
of the keeper
of the poles,
complete with handcuffs
for anyone
i catch
pinning words
to nude wood.

i don’t care if it is
martin luther nailing his protests,
robin hood posting
his demands
to the evil sheriff,
tom paine banging
his broadsides
up at every crossroads
and outside every tavern
in the land,
ben franklin plastering
his newspaper
all over towne,
the girlie posters
by that french dwarf,
or whathaveyou?

it is not a question
of censorship
or free speech.

we should just keep things
in their proper places,
keep neat
order!

now i’m willing to let
the real politicians
have the use of
my poles
only
during elections.
after all,
i’m american!

but the rest of the year
the poles must be nude!

 


Andrew Goldfarb of The Slow Poisoners reads “Naked Poles” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, March 26, 2000.

Pole Art Series - Telegraph Poles by George Kauffman

Pole Art Series – “Telegraph Poles” by George Kauffman – 1994

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