Frodo, the Missing Years, Day One ...
Frodo then returned to the Shire, feeling dejected about his botched first attempt at being a glorified worldwide hero by taking this supposedly all-mighty, all-powerful magic Ring and plugging up the Oilcano with it … because, quite obviously, it lacked the proper design and research and development necessary to do that. Pretty overrated ... No, really, really overrated, as far as it’s solutions for saving humanity went. “So,” he thought to himself, “Wassup with this damned Ring?”
His grandfather had left it for him in a green metal box filled with other a bunch of Boy Scout-like badges and so on from some ancient war only he could give any details on, and he’s gone and dead now. He pulled it out to view since it was held close by a blue and yellow intertwined string, another remnant of history, his own, from some other Boy Scout year long gone. It had strange, and yet, not completely unfamiliar symbols. But strange enough for him to get distracted, if just for a moment, to dream on his truly unstated hope. And that hope?
All he really wanted to do was sit at home and write early in the mornings while listening to supremely optimistic days of his rebellious youth. So he could mock the flocks of sheep gathered upon some green field around him and listen to Pink Floyd. Or, better yet, to realize that Grand Funk wasn’t all that bad, damn the critics. Same for Three Dog Night.
Then he returned to thoughts of his grandfather, Charles Stewart Parnell, not the historical one of Irish political lore, but the one was quite clearly the worst racist he’d ever met. Elves were some of best friends now. Same for the Dwarves. He even met a bunch of Orcs and, once you got to know them, they had good qualities, too. Sure were handy when shit was going down.
“Why should I consider this proper attire, this stupid Ring?” he said to himself, nobody else was listening or watching or caring (as far as he knew, since he wasn’t online, mentally, anyway). Somehow, the symbols etched upon its gold surface were appealing, but unthreatening. It had a couple of intersecting compasses with the letter “G.” It had what appeared to be a symbol for a masculine sex act on one side, a feminine sex act on the other. Lot of sex implied here. Pretty fertile sentiments, overall. Really weird old thing, considering it was a prized possession well before the advent of online porno.
He put it back under his black shirt and sighed. Now supposedly safe at home in the Shire, Frodo understood full well why it was his view of his childhood home would never be the same again. He’d seen too much, he knew. To Frodo, the magic and innocence his youth had been replaced by a sense of ongoing dread.
He began to hatch a new plan. Always trying to be self-less, he knew if he hung onto the Ring he would become increasingly intolerable. He would become a loose cannon, mouthy, expressive, about how clearly stooped sheep were. What was he supposed to do all day long now, go around like some bitter goat butting heads with Flat Earth folk who couldn’t be convinced there was such a thing as being smart? No, the wise Hobbit could clearly see it was a different tree he was looking at, much more sophisticated and smart and needed, then the ones they all let their dogs just pee on.
He decided to take a sabbatical. To keep the Ring, but to get away from all of the sheep so that they wouldn’t be eaten due to this growing outrage his was feeling about not even being able to breathe Shire air safely anymore. No longer able to even abide, like the Dude advised (and where was He these days?).
So he packed up his bag, filled it with a flute and a pen and a notebook and a Swiss Army knife, placed a little day-old pizza in a NASA inspired aluminum foil packet, and headed out the back door and into the woods, thinking of Salinger …
Deconstruction of Arizona
Arizona, I don't recognize you anymore
Your creosote roots lie beneath
the perfect piles of McDonalds parking lots
Arizona, an unequal symmetry
of rubble piles collect
Ten thousand miles from here
Arizona, you are responsible ...
The middle-aged businessman
with expendable income
sweats for pleasure
Arizona, when can I stop sweating?
I swear in the heat like a pizza oven
Arizona, you are a car part store
but you got no glass to see through
and the beige collection
of air-conditioned caves
are conditioned to respond
in all the right meets wrong ways
The forests are in ashes
as the governor gapes
from a helicopter high
for the diversionary tactic
of the the unrael politic
Arizona, I can find no fluid,
no friend, nor car phone
to lean on
you can find me in the living room,
darkly lit, with rayolight flashing
bible black blurbs
Arizona, not even Ginsberg
would gripe about your tripe,
so blurred with anonymity
hell hardly matters anymore
Arizona, my life's belonging
sare melting in a storage facility
and there are more things that beep
here than I can count
Arizona, you haven't hassled me for a while,
though I'm a loose cannon at the mousy mouth
roaring at the corporate big box store
The world is flooding, bleeding, burning
and all of the above
as you dry up and blow away
a kid almost got crushed in your parking lot
and I went to one of your social service buildings
and was amazed about how many homeless lurks
were sleeping in the lobby,
dreaming of Mississipi burning
Arizona, I can't get assistance at the cash register
and the mountains are closed, cats run free
and all the lizards are gone
Arizona, you are sucking in souls,
eating them, spitting them out,
at very low wages ...
of sin ... I suppose ...
I think you should battalion
the borders with snow
and big bad bars of soap
~ Paradise Valley,
From, "Ginsberg Rolls Over,"
the latest book of poetry
by Douglas McDaniel