Surface and Wallpaper

That’s the situation
with the magazine
business in Phoenix,
all expressed oh so confidently
by the editor of a local fashion magazine,
who was trying to
what kind
of fill goes

between the ads at his

Print journalism in America
is so far removed from
the First Amendment
it can scarcely raise
a mute defense
“surface, wallpaper.”

The skin-deep marketplace
dictates all.
Economic forces shape the printed word
in order to appear
before the overpopulated media frenzy
to promote “surface, wallpaper.”

And my career?

An attendance
at the end of the age of newsprint,
a more sophisticated form of wallpaper.

Thin pages of paper,
papyrus, as rendered
originally by Guttenberg,
then Hearst ... over.

Like wall paper burning off the screen for
the opening of “Bonanza.”

My first thought, immediately looking
at the “wallpaper” round the offices
of the magazine, tucked into
the rococo renaissance of
gilded logos at the Esplanade,
where even Donald
Trump gets shown the door,
was to ponder what kind of
lives go on there for those
covered in wallpaper.

If I
cared to take the time
to do a study, I would examine
what kind of flora adorns
the Esplanade: As above, so
below, the sages say.

The desert has been eradicated
for many miles, and so this shiny
coated surface is a curtain
of death, the death of the printed

sheet of paper for the
purposes of print media,
for all I can ascertain.

The “surface” and “wallpaper” ...
everything sucking
the planet dry, and the planet,
sucking back, has decided
to claim print journalism,
through the untimely
appearance of turmoil
in the real estate industry, one of
its first victims.

If you had read this far, certainly, you
need little convincing of this: originally, an
electronically charged posting.

But it’s worth railing on,
all the same. That’s because behind it all, there’s
something to live for. There’s something valuable to
know behind the notice that you can’t drink from
fountains, but hey, bottled water is still freely available.
There’s something valuable in casting a review of the
song cast by the Vampire, who’s sucking sounds ring
loud and clear, only to be filled with endless port thirsts
worth of water, all being poured like the waters of
Google myths, by vases into cracks in the earth, a
mystical sentence then, for endless words disappearing
beneath the land ... a sacrifice to the god of information.

The Biltmore shopping mall, across the street, is one
big mirror to the surface and the wallpaper. Notice the
mall-dressed manikin chicks as they glance at
themselves, half secretly, in the window shop
reflections. To see my own reflection is to live in a kind
of torment myself. I can't even laugh at the shallowness
of “surface, wallpaper,” if that’s all I’m looking for. So
trying to figure out how to fill in the spaces between the
ads is a pretty pointless event, I see. Anyone with a
global conscience is going to feel that way, if asked to
observe the surface of high-end consumer paradise, and
by swimming in these dry environs they will no doubt be
likewise lost in the despair, hopelessness and banality
cast by the controlling mechanisms of the ruling caste.
You the one, the order of the Red, which made a brief
goodbye at the nearby Biltmore Hotel with John
McCain's capitulation beneath the starless of skies of
Phoenix by November, 2008. But still ... the Vampire
sings: “Think surface, think wallpaper.”

All platform surfaces are even, yes, safe for high-heeled beings, but
there is nothing eternal about the surface of concrete.
And this is really, really valuable to know. Because the
days of such pleasantries are over. Nothing left to do
now but see what the most Dangerous Creatures on
Earth will leave on the silver plate after they are finished
with their feast. Forget about trying to keep up by
putting on new Euro-trash clothes (to feel better ... free)
Forget about getting a free drink of water. Realize that if
you are thirsty, you can always slip into some men’s
room and cup your own hands in the sink, like Pilot, I
guess, and drink from the basin bowl of “surface,”
enjoying the “wallpaper” as you blow your hands dry on
the electrified blower (this is the desert, there’s not a free
water fountain within 10 square miles; and you would
think we could save the juice and let ourselves dry

Somewhere in the Middle East there's a bunch of
crazies dreaming up a way to crash this surface and burn
the wallpaper. But they are no better than the guys
dialing up dollar digits to make sure the enemy surface,
doesn’t gain supremacy so that they, themselves, can
cover it with their own name brand style of “wallpaper.”
So sip from your tippy cup, sweet babies, and hope you
are born with the right pattern and style on your faces.
The days of such pleasantries are over. Tip the cup of
vampire blood for just one last great sip of the concrete
basin. Drink. Drink! Your mangled engines may wine
and dine, and the pretty glossy sweet dallied lies may
glint for a month on your tabletop surface, but seek no
truth there, just empty descriptions of “surface,

An excerpt from Many Moons to Mythville,' collected road poems by Douglas McDaniel: