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Where is My Lariat?

by John McKernan


winter breaks the green vineyards
of nebraska sunsets and the geese

have nowhere to go yodel what shall
I yodel this universe is a powder

of lies and the deep sorrows that
have been hurled at Arizona who is

there to atone for them I drive all
night and Phoenix is a thousand no

it is two thousand miles away nothing
but telephone poles and the whelps

of coyote and semi who could be lonely
this is an epistle to the wealthy

and the comfortable oh Phoenix where
are you to drive west across America

one needs more than gas or cold beer
where are the whips that lashed our

fathers westward to Reno who planted
those strange hooks in millions of eyes

is there a fisher-god in the pacific
pulling us hauling us beyond ourselves

I wish there was a town named Lemming
Wyoming every cloud I see in this

strange new dawn is a vision of Susan
billboards for Wonder Bread are messages

written by Susan I have always hated
her facility with languages Serbian

Chinese the clouds say rain to the
Navaho they say Susan to me it is too far

I will just stop here in Logan Wyoming
and wait on the corner for Susan in a

million years she is bound to turn up
I am waiting for Susan with three candy

bars in my pocket three of them three

 

Read the introduction to feature poet John McKernan by Founding Editor Askold Melnyczuk entitled Where is My Lariat?: The Poetry of John McKernan. (Spring 1975)


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