Palace Amusements (poem)

Photo by sergio souza on

Asbury Park

greets me

within your thin lipped

toothy smile

At the end of every labyrinth,

you straddle the seashore’s yen.

You are a fun house mirror

distorting my figure

yet always finding

abundant embodiment

within my gut

My navel yearns

for that connection

to amusement within

these vibrant walls

Love was the product

of jackpots

won from slot machines

dispensing ducats

Tokens tossed from one hand

Arm pulled by the other hand

You were the windfall

stashed within this chest

of hazy nostalgia

Adulthood proves more haunting

compared to the cart

carrying me through

those mysterious halls

Wishing I could be hypnotized

just so I could catch a spoonful

of what once satiated my satisfaction

One taste of the sacrament

derived from riding the roller coaster

before it became a cliche

denoting a diagnosis

Before mania

surged through my synapses

like a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo

After bumper cars foreshadowed

the accidents I’d face

throughout these

static frequencies

of depression

If you were a Eucharist

I’d be an idolator

For you were the body of a god

I tasted before knowing what it meant

to be a righteous Jew

You were the excuse I needed

to play hooky from Sunday school

You were the choir who greeted me

before I possessed the voice to echo

any calls I desperately needed to answer

You were the calming voice I needed

before my own soothsaying emerged

Now the tongue with which I speak

needs to taste the honey

into which I dip my apple

Now this fruit

stores nectar

of passing years

in a cloud

Accessed via my digital thumbprint

Repressed via my carbon footprint

Pollen is carried by a generation

of workers and drones

If I left an intention on my doorstep…

I’d wish for it

to be carried

by the Westerleigh wind…

I’d hope the corners

of the crown

in my castle

mirrored this palace

of amusements

I’d pray the pleasantries

could be contained

by the channels

from which we feel joy

May our data be easy to transmit

even if our devices are outdated

May said devices be reused

as analog anecdotes

Let them be paperweights

for the childhoods we cherish

Preserving a trail

back to the inner offspring

struggling to spawn and survive

-Jack M. Freedman (AKA Jacob Moses)

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