Kalifornia Stop

Gargoyle Brand
sunglasses in a rear view
mirror come back at you

like fly eyes swathed in spider’s
web, as you check it
for the vanity, not

midday in late
March, and sleet takes over
your windshield in weepy
fits and starts, as if to

yet it only
spatters, sheet
after sheet after
sheet of it, with rolling cloud cover
dark enough for blinkers to cast
red swaths
if you ever

used them
one time with wiper blades
set to Intermittent mode, you cut
across four lanes from Western
to make
a U turn at Wilshire,
all that sepia-toned
scenery sliding past
like rose petals in
amniocentesis, your six
precious Big Lebowski
bobble-head dolls screwed
on the dash...

And you’re thinking of a line
from precisely that movie, something
like the DUDE might say, "Dude, dude
d u d e, the right

of way is mine ..."

-- or about that time
you shoved it

into Cruise Control,
on Pacific Coast
Highway, coming down
from inhalants and speed,
with GF passed out
in the passenger seat, you reached
for her unclasped purse, tangled
in safety belt,
your fingers felt
for her pocketbook and
Percocets, you didn’t see
the county corrections crew
stacking litter bags on the shoulder
of the road, until the right front
tire exploded the fattest Hefty sack,
sending a geyser of grease, tin cans
condoms and adult diapers halfway
to the center line, and one angry dude
in his orange jump suit, hopping
around, giving you the finger
as you shook your fist
into the rear view...

because it’s true, road rage is
sorely wasted on you, plastic Jeff
Bridges on the Blaupunkt, nodding,

you’re what the ticket scalpers
down at the Forum call ‘Waiting
To Happen,’ or ‘Had It All
Coming,’ slouched way
down in your drivers’ seat
when the glass shards rain
upon the pothole no one ever
sees, like a lawn sprinkler spray
you once stood under
for a half hour at age 43, just to
shake the torpor, for Christ’s sake, sit up
straight, check the spider cracks, ask

the jet-black rosary on Lebowski
if you’ve ever once been

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