A Distant Lightning Strikes Michigan


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Sunday, August 8

My starting point, on this too-early-as-usual morning, is distant lightning.

I was sitting on the front stoop feeding our black stray Mamacita, inhaling deep aging summer from the garden, refreshed, as we must, by a single degree’s drop from feral swelter. (A bit of rain—-falling as I swooned in a nap yesterday afternoon–dispelled the mania of unslaked heat wave by that much.) The garden was dark, darker perhaps for the two mercury streetlamps in front of houses on either side of ours, creating a bowl of darkness for my attention to soak in. I read a while from Jung’s Liber Novus (The Red Book, just out last year after decades of hiding in a family safe) and reflecting on a dream of accompanying my father through a rural nightscape, following a witchy figure who passed through abandoned farms, first cutting out an animal figure (or genus loci) from a fence, then occupying a house that had been empty of human presence for decades, maybe centuries, leaving behind a record of her visitation in a strangely-inscribed book, or pages thereof which my father was collecting into a book, the mysterium of his journey into the dark.

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As Mamacita chewed darkly at her food and the garden satched in humid cricket-weaving darkness, I was thinking about the dream – how my father and the witchy woman were personae of self, my conscious and unconscious minds perhaps: yang and yin wandering the forest of this post.

And then a flash on the periphery of my sight. What? I looked up toward the source on the western horizon. Another flash: definitely lightning. But what storm could be afoot at this hour? None. So what then?

Back inside, I’m on weather.com looking for traces of storm on the radar; and though I find some offshore Tampa – and there is rain, thank God, in our forecast – I also see, on that site, pix of a solar flare on August 1 which created vast Northern Lights along the higher porches of our Earth.

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Left, X-ray photo of the sun on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. The dark arc near the top right edge of the image is a filament of plasma blasting off the surface, part of the coronal mass ejection. When particles from the eruption reach Earth on the evening of Aug. 3-4, they triggered a brilliant auroral display known as the Northern Lights. Right:  Northern lights viewed from Mohawk, Michigan on August 4, 2010 from the shores of Lake Superior.)

So a ghostly Finger perhaps reaches that far to here, crooking for me, calling my attention out once again, far into the night, my mind’s eyes seeing the vaguest contours of a female’s naked rump disappearing into northern woods, leading me on my father’s quest, this perusing mind, heading out on a path which leads to Michigan …

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That’s Wynona, you know, NASCAR’s goddess of fortunes for better and ill, as ample in her curvatures as the banked curves of NASCAR’s wildest tracks. And this blog is Her journal, blotted with the ink of this one stray fan’s journey through those darkened woods which fill a post’s distance from this chair all the way down from this chair to Michigan International Speedway. And something tells me that our luck – mine, your’s, NASCAR’s, Michigan’s – is about to change. Or maybe I’m just dreamin’ Her dreams, lost in charms which bewitch a summer night’s dreams.

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A good omen, that lightning-strung-to-northern-lights-flashing-a-trace-of-Wynona’s-heart-shaped-ass. I’ll take it that way, at least. A streak of Her freakin’ luck. Jack Roush, team owner of Roush Fenway Racing, got a bit of it recently when he survived the crash of the plane he was trying to land at Wittman Regional Airport near Oshkosh, Michigan, with facial injuries that has left him in the hospital but mending well. It seemed like another dismal turn for Ford Racing, which hadn’t seen a Sprint Cup win all season. But perhaps such sacrifice was called for; and as such propitiations go, this one seems to have paid off. Greg Biffle won the Pocono race on the following weekend, giving his boss the first Ford win of the season, and teammate Carl Edwards finished third. (Edwards also finished fifth at Watkins Glen this past weekend.)

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Jack Roush, Bill Ford and Greg Biffle celebrate a return for Ford.

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Roush Fenway Racing’s recovery on the track in Fords was seconded on August 6 when Ford Motor Company announced that CEO Bill Ford would be paid his $1.4-million annual compensation for the first time in four years, since the CEO vowed in 2005 he would not take a penny in salary, bonus or stock until the company consistently posted a profit. For the first half of 2010, Ford earned $4.7 billion, eclipsing the $834 million it earned for the first half of 2009.

Jack Roush is coming back, too, or so everyone says. Roush Fenway general manager Robbie Reiser talked with Roush on the phone prior to the Pocono race. “He sounded real good and we had a real good conversation. He’s all there. He knows what’s going on, knows what happened to him and he understands everything. His deal was to tell us that we shouldn’t worry about him. We should worry about what we’re supposed to be doing. It was typical Jack – more worried about what we’re doing than what he’s doing. That’s the way he is.”

Roush’s condition was recently upgraded from serious to fair, but he’s due for more facial operations. Lots of talk about Jack but no Jack yet: His corporeal visage is hidden behind a screen of the corporate one.

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But I think it is exactly that sort of face presented to Wynona—raw, ravaged, plucked from doom—is just the one which turns her on the most these days. No glam, no supremacy (sorry Hendrick Motorsports coverboys), but hard-scrabble, desperation-moves survival. For that willingness to hang in there and do what it takes does Wynona unbutton her midnight blue bustier and let those frisky puppies exhale the starry night air of her feckless, freckled, milky fortunes.

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Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood. How shall I say
what a wood it was! I never saw so drear,
so rank, so arduous a wilderness!

— Dante Inferno I 1-5

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Monday, August 9

That distant morning lightning did thread into a constant wallop of thunderstorms throughout the day, surprising both in intensity and frequency after all these weeks of searing heat and impotent clouds. It was like one of those early days of love, fucking all night long and then all day, a constant downpour of passions unleashed from the bottom of the world all over the our noses nerps ‘n’ out-or-innie pudenda, Wynona having her way and how.

All day the rumble of distant thunders, big thunder, I mean that deep, deep, Zeus’ balls-basso-rumble, sounding like mountain-sized boulders falling on someone’s marble floor. What bolts could have produced such thunder, they must have been the girth of a man and the height of heaven, thrusting pure dazzling whiteness deep into some loin of Florida, the impact tolling giant steps for miles.

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And the rain: salvos of it, sheets and curtains and waves of ocean waters dumped on our house, clattering on our tin roof, making a small lake of the back yard and quenching the great, great thirst of our garden. Then it would still and clear for a while, swords of sunlight raking up steam from the soaked landscape, the sky too brilliant, too hot, with huge thunderclouds massed on every quadrant of the sky, ready to plunge our way again, announcing their approach with that whale-shit-deep rumbling, more than any land can handle, any tongue may repeat. A day of gasping declensions, rapid plunging and slick-clenched, shuddering repeats again and again and again after all these weeks of drought.

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Thank you most kindly, m’am, for the wham and the blam, Thor standing at the door of Wynona’s silver Airstream at the last light of yesterday, monstrous genitals hanging huge and slack, emptied of all purpose and porpoises, shit-eating grin on the god’s face as he turns to go, looking over his shoulder for one last gander at the languid voluptuous carnalesque standing naked before a mirror brushing her hair, ass slick with sweat, come leaking from between her thighs, her huge breasts also come-slathered in the mirror’s reflection and her face almost lost in shadow of the last light of day, red hair brushing out in thick waves of thunderstormed pleasure, her blue and moon-lucent looking eyes staring back in the mirror, fucked-silly the weak-kneed god with a look of possession and rule.

And on one naked, rug-scratched shoulder the emptied god sees, just as he shuts the door, Wynona’s single tattoo, that of two dice over a snake-wrapped moonshine bottle which is pouring its evil over a racetrack brimming with cars.

Ahem and amen.

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Wynona is obviously unhappy with Russia, lost now in the smoke of hundreds of wildfires produced by record heat – weeks and weeks of temperatures 30 degrees above normal – and resulting drought. Moscow is so wrapped in smoke now that authorities are telling EVERYONE to stay inside.

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Imagine the gloat in VFW halls around the American hinterland as images of Rooskie suffering are toasted to with redneckian relish. And who’s pouring the drinks for everyone in the miasmal murk of those drinking establishments but Wynona, her huge chest in a t-shirt which says “American Chicks are Better Than The Rest,” swaying her hips to Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”

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Take that, Pootin’. And how she smiles on the boys as they drown their horrors and sorrows, comforting them in the only language they can understand as they try to load up enough to sleep through the night without falling into the burning abyss of firefights and roadside bomb explosions that are still ringing in their ears. Burn baby burn, the chorus intones, with Wynona singing high harmony, her red hair tied back in a ponytail which swings like a metronome in counter-time with her ass–it goes one way, the ponytail swings another–a complicate rhythm weaving a spell over the boys which the booze then seduces, pitching them into darkness and a peace of sorts at last.

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For us here in the U. S. of A., Wynona has cracked a faint smile, weaving a trace of better fortunes over the heat-and-recession-wracked land. The Summer of the Spill didn’t turn out to be the utter catastrophe everyone feared – if you can believe the government’s recent estimate that two-thirds of the oil that spilled from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well to be gone, gobbled by microbes or dispersed or gathered up.

Dreadfulness repeated itself in Michigan in July with eerie similarities as an oil-industry heavy with a light-in-the-head approach to safety in the name of profit dumps a massive amount of oil into the environment, this time from a broken pipeline into the Kalamazoo River. While it was not Deepwater Horizon spill – a mere million gallons of oil compared to the 205 million gallons of oil in the Gulf disaster – it was enough to cause a section of the river run that familiar this-ain’t-clean-water-black, fouling Canadian geese and causing river residents to wonder if a way of life had been lost forever.

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The spill was bad, but the EPA now says that most of the oil has been cleaned up (from the surface, from the surface.) And the corporate heavy in this story– Enbridge Energy Partners – has offered to buy some 200 homes within 200 feet of the spill, stretching some 30 miles downstream the Kalamazoo River from the source, which had been evacuated after unhealthy levels of benzene were detected in the air. The offer may prove a boon for many of those homeowners who had seen the value of their houses fall 25 percent over the past three years.

Wynona smiles on the Gulf—t’ain so bad, now is it? And now on the Kalamazoo River as well? Perhaps. Perhaps all her luck is good for is the short-term sweetness, bestowing fame for one night only, one race. Appearances seem to count to her, though I suspect her endearments are only skin-deep, the same way that sex resolves little more than the itch to procreate and for as little as one hour before she starts getting crotchety again.

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But hell, these days we’ll take what we can get, even if a few drops of fortune turns out to be just more spilled milk. Wynona is no Lady of the Animals – her domain is in the warped libidos and egos and minds of men who think their misfortunes are the result of bad luck and girls like her, not a personal failure to grow up. She isn’t much-minded for the long-term sufferings of oil-drenched habitat. That’s so ABC News, and Wynona is a TMZ kinda media slut, reveling in the gloryholes of the 24-hour yellow news racket.

Geese are for shotguns, and turtles for soup: so what if they gleam a bit with petroleum as their gobbets shimmy down the gullet? Nothing like a little Tiger in the tank, a little extra octane to make the equipage lurch even harder when you step on the gas and haul on ass out of this dull, darkening and bankrupting life.

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Which is why, perhaps, that Carfax and Michigan International Speedway plans to sell gas for 99 cents a gallon at a station near the track this coming weekend. A  bit of Wynona’s plucky, lucky bounty, to remember the good old days of cheap gas and easy license. Just a whiff of that is enough to forget whatever doom is floating about in giant plumes around the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Hell with that shit. It’s time to party!

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Tuesday, August 10

Dark life. Confused. Tormented,
incomprehensible and fabulously
rich and beautiful.

— Tennessee Williams

Wynona may be smiling on Michigan just a wee bit more than when we last checked in on the state. Michigan is just now receiving some $326 million in education aid from the U.S government, thanks to a recent spending bill finally passed by the Senate for additional Medicaid and educational help for the states. The state’s government is hastily re-assembling to work out the allocation to the state’s desperate education resources, re-hiring laid-off teachers and decreasing class sizes. Michigan will also receive some $514 million in Medicaid aid. The state is also mulling a bill to extend unemployment benefits an additional 20 weeks to those in the state who have exhausted their federal 99-week unemployment benefits.

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All this is good news for the snake-eyed millions of Michigan’s unemployed—good enough news for Wynona, who provides her reprieves over the mere span of 200 laps at Michigan International Speedway.

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However, her smile is a bit sideways, you know? Crooked. Of mixed, dubious intents. As NASCAR’s goddess of good fortune, she is not pure like Athena, goddess of wisdom and strategy; she is certainly not virginal like Artemis the huntress, whose arrows will shuck the balls off any foolish suitor. The best fucks are also the most damaged, and Wynona’s wheel which spins between trailer parks and penthouse suites at the Bellagio is greased with heartbreak. Wynona’s hotties are the soul coyotes, having endured stepdaddies who groped and grappled them for years before they sprouted breasts, breasts which grew so huge they must have been filled with hatred and lust—the milk of human abandonment.

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And that ass of hers, so quaintly framed by a pencil-thin blue thong as she goes about her mid-afternoon ablutions in that sizzling Airstream located somewhere between Gotha and Athole, a single fan wafting her red hair as she applies makeup in the mirror, readying for another shift at the last honkeytonk just outside of town on the state road to hell: That ass of hers is curved with pure perdition, you know? A heart-shaped negation of all things lasting in love wiggling into Levi’s which have three buttons and are looped unnecessarily in a wide black leather belt with a big silver buckle on which is etched, naturally, two dice each with a single bone on it: Snake eyes, the sum of her ill-starred wild life.

Though late, late at night, back in the trailer after The Hound of Hell closes down with her next lucky chosen Joe, when she goes to unfasten that belt the dice always morph into five bones and a two – Lucky Seven – and her eyes burn unnaturally with a consummate lust which comes from far, far beneath the earth’s surface …

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Turns out that all the rain we’ve gotten over the past two days is from the distant swirling tresses of a tropical depression that crossed South Florida and now pondering her next move. Perhaps the system will grow cha-chas and become Danielle, the season’s fourth named storm; a fitting and voluptuous enough handle for a deep-summer, hurricane-seducing time like this, waters womb-warm in the Atlantic and the Gulf, the spinning of fortune’s wheel grown to the size of a hurricane teetering in its mad thrall. The storms we’ve had of late – more today as low-pressure runs its moist tongue under the stones of erectile cumulus, storms rising in fast fleet profusion, arriving in hard thunder and fusillades of rain as thick as sweet as a shower with Wynona, not so much to clean off the mess of the previous night as to lather and slather the portals of the next.

Big rains. Once in a while, a parched state gets lucky, and after weeks of impotent clouds doing nothing to remit high heat, this wet, thrashing, glass-filling-and-overspilling consummation. Such are Wynona’s fickle endearments—dangerous liaisons too, as we all know in during hurricane season in the tropics. Sometimes we get too lucky and flood out, lake- and river-side docks subsumed, waters crawling up the back lawns to nibble and lick at porches, doors, roofs.

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Back in 1960 Hurricane Donna made landfall in Southern Florida with a barometric pressure of 27.46 inches, making it the fifth most intense hurricane to strike the United States and the only hurricane to havoc hurricane-force winds through Florida, the mid-Atlantic states and New England in one tear. It roared through Orlando with 120-mph winds and dumped over a foot of rain as it passed, flooding neighborhoods and toppling so many oaks as to make most streets impassible.

Wynona loves that low, low pressure, it really shakes her  dark wet boogie though the big night hole in our hearts, urging clouds to a fertile stoutness which lifts to the roofs of the sky and unleashes the sea she carries between her thighs, til all the world is drowned.

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We are lucky to be rocked and rolled by Wynona for a just one night, for three days of storms, for a lucky break in the way of things–for a single race–but doomed when she decides to stick around and have her way her way, nature in extremis, lookout here comes the stout man in Wynona’s spread-legged boat, Noah can you row your zoo on floats to the last crust of shore to stand above her flood.

Ask anyone who’s hunkered down in a bathrooom as 100- mph-plus, grip and shake the rafters of their home, their single dot of safety and respite groaning and tearing in the raptures of the mad goddess whirling her great Oval overhead, her voice deep in the wild roaring of the bands just to north and east of her clitoral core, moaning, “faster! faster!” as roof-nails creak up stubbornly, aroused to her call, as the mobile homes float high in the winds like crumpled pleasure-boats, fresh victims hanging from her mouth, opened wide for more, O more, revealing a dark vortex which gullets all the way down to delight’s abyssal hell.

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Perhaps the whole superspeedway concept came to Bill France Sr. with Hurricane Donna’s red-zone cyclone in mind. Created that wide, wide track, 2-1/2 miles of it, with those 31-degree banked turns, the largest possible using the technology of that day, in emulation of her torrid breadth and g-force string-thong handling. Built that track with Lake Lloyd in its center and nothing to stop a car from careening that way. (Tom Pistone famously kept a life preserver and oxygen tank in his car when he raced Daytona because he couldn’t swim and feared crashing into the lake.)

A big, bouncy, bodaciously-swirlin’ oval track, monument perhaps to the huge-whirlin’, bad-girlin’ hurricanes to come: Donna (1960), Betsy (1964), Dora (also in ’64) and Betsy (1965). No wonder the races at Daytona occur in February and July and not around Labor Day. You try racing artificial Valkries in a real hurricane. (Some say Talladega was Bill France Sr.’s Babel, that touch too much which makes 3,500-pound cars lift and flutter off in a pack of black angels coming through Turn 4.

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Strangely, though the National Hurricane service has predicted 2010 to be a busy season, most of the systems to veer this way have been poorly organized, wavering between wave and depression and low-grade tropical storm. Wind shear in the upper porches of the atmosphere is pouring salt-peter on these systems, locking a chastity belt onto Danielle so far. She’s predicted to track towards Louisiana but no one expects her to develop beyond tropical storm. I’ll bet she’s pissed, pissing rain hither and yon but wardened off by The Higher Elements from raising her blue skirts into the malevolence Wynona’s thirst and libido is based upon. No one’s complaining about that in coastal towns of Louisiana and Mississippi, which saw themselves obliterated under the dancin’ shoes of Katrina in 2004 in the form of a 28-foot storm surge which flooded inland up to 12 miles.

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A little kiss from Danielle, lips sweet as berries, tongue tart-lush with Southern Comfort and menthol cigarettes, sweet heavy breasts unleashing just enough milk to water the petunias well, that’s the ticket … But with all that oil still stained up against the Gulf coast from Deepwater Horizon, even Danielle’s winds may prove catastrophic, combing all those petrochemicals further into the shore.

Well—that’s their business, as we whoever she deigns to fleetingly skirt or pass over, grateful all we got of her is this morning’s deep contented plush lush wet slow sigh, drilled at last but good and long and deeply by clouds for a few days potent after so many infertile rainless weeks. Whatever hurts and haunts the world, it’s elsewhere today, thank God. And the dark garden at 5:30 a.m. in this soak is magnificent, blooms rich, leaves that sort of dark green which shouts enrichment, crickets and even a few toads happily chirring and croaking in the soak.

For a dalliance with Wynona was all I ever wanted, a single night in eternity’s salt womb…

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Wednesday, August 11

Michigan doesn’t get any hurricanes – perhaps the furthest strands of an exhausted system now and then, marched down to a tropic wave  – but it has seen its share of tornadoes over the years. Tornaodes are like a single finger of Wynona, not skies-wide but torrid enough in its oval screaming, pressing down as if to tickle the balls of a sleeping giant while we surface drones get thrown hither and yon.

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On June 8, 1953, an F-5 tornado ripped through the northern parts of Flint after dark, cutting a swath 833 yards wide and 27 miles long. One hundred fifteen were killed and another 855 were injured; hundreds of homes were destroyed. It was one of the worst tornadoes on record, human-munching-wise.

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The 1953 Flint tornado strolls into town.

Not so The F-3 tornado which ripped into the southern border of Michigan on June 10 – three days before  the first MIS race of the year – injuring 50 across the border in Ohio (take that, OSU fans) and tearing off the siding of a nuclear plant in Michigan, the end of a 10-mile-long natural skidmark. Another bit of Junebuggery spun from the weird blue crystal that swings between Wynona’s breasts. Hurricanes, tornadoes, late-night drags, a dozen rounds in Wynona’s Airstream, the sound of someone peeling rubber in the middle of the night, spinning those tires like cyclones, the dizzy spin of fantasies watching Wynona walk away, the shrieking swirl of Sprint round the track at Michigan International Speedway: all those Ovals are hers: she’s the eye of every storm, millibars sunk as low as the number of buttons she’s loosened on her blouse, low as the jeans which barely ride her hips, revealing a blue thong pointing its satin finger into the plunging ripe rounds below …

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Tropical Depression No. 5  (sounds like “Love Potion Number Nine,” doesn’t it?) is shaping up as predicted into Danielle, still a low-bluster tropical storm aimed at New Orleans. No one expects here to develop all that much, hitting the predicted coast with 45-mph winds and possibly as much as six inches of rain. Yawn: that’s kid’s play as far as storms in these parts go. Or foreplay, lubrications for the coast-fucking yet to come … Still, the system’s predicted path was enough to suspend bottom kill drilling at the Deepwater Horizon site, delaying the promised “final kill” of the well by about three days. Thirty feet of drilling to go before the relief well has been fully dug into the Macando field; so close, yet so so far. That’s a ruse of Wynona, you know: coming within a cunt-hair’s breadth of grazing her plump nipples against your chest, only to sigh and lift and head for the loo, your chances for her torrential downpour passing just east or west, leaving you once more high and dry, blue balls knocking like a pair of 8-balls on the felt. Sorry Charlie, some other time …  Enough storm to make ready all the equipage of emergency, though hardly enough to get to use any of it.

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Of course, just a passing whiff of Wynona’s dangerous perfume–composed of citrus and musk and the faintest scents of gasoline andblood—is enough to keep things hopping, psychelibidowise (this verbal horniness that keeps me dowsing down and down and down in search of adequate enough imagery of Wynona, a task which is proving bottomless, the way she dances on the bar after closing time for her chosen man o’ the night). We got just the farthest tendrils of storm from that system yesterday but they were assaulting enough, sudden appearances of wide surly grey swaths which seem not so much to loosen rain as erupt with it, salvos of sea-pearls almost banging off the roofs of cars and houses. And they came in waves, the way that feederbands of storms march through, mad eruptions bookended by sunshine and silence, punctuated only by the sound of drips off every surface. Then the next wave of storms, then brilliance. Then another wave, then gone. That’s how a tropical system combs out its wet hair, stroke by stroke. And what we got of it was enough for the garden – 4-1/2 inches since Sunday after three weeks where we got a half an inch of rain total. So again I write in a dark morning of saturation, the pinwheel jasmines which frame the garden’s entrance sleeping in full satiety, dreaming, perhaps of maritals or martials or both, its perfect white pinwheel blooms hanging heavy with the freight of just a little more than enough rain. Zzzzzzz.

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Passed over: that is the relief of feeling something great pass close by and visit its worst nightmares on some other stretch of coast. We all go through it down here in late August and September, in teeth of the season. Across the Atlantic til around and round she goes, where she visiteth nobody quite knows. Not that Danielle is anything to fear in great measure, but she awakens the seasonal drill, the guilty pleasure of imagining the worst and then being grateful it heads somewhere else.

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It must not be much different for the folks of Detroit, where things are bad enough (so bad that the Detroit Free Press trumpets little beautification projects and runs a tale of celebrities Twittering the populace for a good safe place to eat in town) but so far has been passed over by The Slasher, some multistate serial killer who has been doing time in nearby Flint, where 13 men have been attacked and five have died due to knife wounds dealt by what has been described as a muscular younger white male wearing a baseball cap. All of the victims were black, elderly, and out walking alone at night. The attacker apparently feigns distress, asks for help – and then what was described as the “whirlwind knife attack.”

  • Emmanuel Muhammed, 59, could be seen riding his bike along the south-side streets of Flint. He was killed in June.

  • Frank Kellybrew was a man who walked by himself and tat’s how he died, on Miller Road on his way to his room at the Home Town Inn.
  • Arnold Minor was killed late one night in July on South Saginaw near Barton on Flint’s south side in front of Deuces Wild Kustom motorcycle shop. The blood was still there four days later.

No stabbings believed to be related have occurred in Flint since Aug. 2. The next day, the first of three attacks in similar fashion happened in Leesburg, Va. The last attack that police say may be connected happened the night of August 7 (Saturday) in Toledo.

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Left, Roxanne Pyeatt stand near Saginaw and Horner in Flint where the body of a Arnold Minor found Thursday, August 5, 2010. Right, Mike Goyette walks near a memorial at Dexter and Leith streets for David Motley Evans who was killed by a man police thinks has killed others in the area.

Death, apparently, has moved on, passing Detroit. And they don’t just have the Slasher to thank: The murder rate for the city has fallen dramatically since last summer. Is Wynona giving the Motor City a break? Perhaps, though she’s known to twist the knife a number of ways. Food pantries,  are reported to be scrambling to keep up with demand as the long-term effects of unemployment begin to scour and scourge the populace.

“The month of July we distributed 3.2 million pounds of food; that compares with 2.4 million pounds of food in July of 2009,” says Gerry Brisson, a vice president for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. “We’re planning to see double-digit increases in need each month.

“Until jobs come back, people will be running out of resources,” he says. “They have to depend more and more on emergency resources because their own resources are just not there.” (Detroit Free Press, online ed., 8/10/2010)

Maybe everyone’s too broke to have anything worth murdering over. Can a shadow economy go into recession, too? Is there such a thing as an unemployed gangsta? Maybe Wynona has changed the poles of her attraction, like the magnetic poles of the Earth which switch every ten thousand years or so. Maybe reverse bling is the new sexy, missing teeth replacing diamond-studded ones, ghetto streets at 3 a.m. become peaceful groves instead of war zones, rotting hulks of stripped vehicles beds for the new lover caste which has replaced the drive-by shooters.

So I imagine, and believe Wynona’s behind it, or her behind’s behind it, proving that turning things on their ass in bad times can be a good thing, freeing the gates of jail with a spandex blue whale tail, deliverance of the one who passes through and by us, for better’s ill … Some distant lighting and she’s gone, flashing just a bit of redemption our way before disappearing into the woods, headed for Michigan in hunt of her next prey.

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My job is to enter the Airstream trailer she left behind – the next one – and try to interpret the scratches left on the bedposts and walls, sum the butts and roaches left in ashtrays, account for the stained and torn and still-frighteningly-scented massive red brassieres and wispy thongs left hanging there like so many lovers hung from the big magnolia tree just outside, each left to swing from their tethers beneath the full moon with the rictus grin of pleasure still plastered on their rotting faces.

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These images, that quest, this journey is given both nipples and pneuma here, the spontaneous fantasies which rise like storm-clouds from a low-pressure, highly-unconscious center deep my mind, given texture and shape and magnified meaning the hermaneutics of assay, swirling around and around a darkly potent core til the jolts fly from my fingers onto the keypad, a form of lightning to illuminate the vortex yawning beneath the everyday toll of banalities and wearies and mindless pleasures which so damage and so nearly eliminate the soul. My 53-year-old brain sure must seem juvenile to revel in stuff lifted from the roadhouses and bordellos of my lost youth – as if to write of these things was to indulge in things I can’t otherwise as a sober, married man: yet grails are revealing only in dark castles you can’t get to in daylight; not in short crisp posts more to the subject you were assigned to write about (racin’, pure and true) but in long, digressive, lost-in-the-woods (or weeds) meanders round and down an image which burped in the night. This whole post started with distant lightning I couldn’t believe was attached to any storm, and has found a foundation down there rooted in unstable millibars and onrushing winds with a single fleeting face of a dark and mysterious and all-too-sexy female figure whose entire purpse is to lead me deeper into the woods of our falling, failing culture. She is the sound of things in breakage and intoxication, a sound of greedy fucking and the swinging of doors to an emptiness which is soul-sized, or portals the way back to soul which surrenders all conscious attitudes about it, accepting that the way I think it is is not the way it is at all. Wynona’s trailer parked on the edge of abyss offers shelter from a storm which only seems from without but sources from within, where the wild things still roam, no matter how much I’ve shooed them out from my day.

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There’s no way I can’t sexualize Wynona, even though I sense she only uses my hard-wired horniness to dowse me into the dark, my divining wand the leaping prick of fantasy, rapelling down paragraph after paragraph like successive beds on successive nights, unleashing new ocean there, a fresh depth. Her look and character might morph continually – here a track hottie, there a witch, next a road house barmaid, then a trailer floozie, there the flamin’ redhead groupie who took me home one night to piss off the girl I was chasing, a melusine, Cleopatra, the girl in the Publix bakery this morning whose red hair was hidden beneath a hair net and whose dark cobalt eyes were so flat taking me in, I’ve seen sharks with eyes more endearing, maybe our calico Belle with her mottled red fur and green Irish eyes – or, of course, the saucy fluctuating goddess of NASCAR fortune: but those are only the masks my hunter-gatherer libido attaches to her, the variety rooted in biological imperative and growing a vast tree up my brainstem whose canopy I write this post in, like a sea-forest anchorite.

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It can be perilous stuff – to wit, from this poem, “Sea Forest,” written in 2001 when I deep in from the worst sort of mistaken quest, that of taking her voluptuous call all too literally:

Huge wood I can neither
resist nor enter. Danger
and wrong everywhere,
heavy like the petals
of an orchid moon.

My breakage an
artery gouting
her scarlet name.

Elusive verb, salt
metronome for
steely motions.

Milky hour of
beachside coil,
floating off on
the bed of dreams.

Itch and fever the
burnt clearing
in the forest’s center,
throne and
cruifix of every
damaged child.

My ageless jihad
against the gods of no
and don’t know and show
& go without.

A murmuring of
phosphor in the
depths long after
the last bell,
the low tone of
these hips.

A sound of distant
thunder reveling
in what wakes
when I bury
all I know.

Just enough light
by which to write
these last lines
with so much
more wilderness
to know

& endless teeth
spread wide below.

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All true enough, though the difference between the creative and the mad is taking any of this as literally true.  Grab Wynona and bury your face in her chest and she becomes a hanging tree in the forest, a noose you fitted around your own neck in the insanity of believing she could be touched with your real hands and more than a whiskey bottle could hold the depths it implied. That whale tail of a thong she reveals walking away is really a whale’s tale, symbolon of a quest which you can only undertand the half of, the surface blue gleam of mystery which calls you to dive and drown of all former sense, arriving at a trailer at the bottom of sea where she fullest arrives, with a bed made of a sunken boat covered with silt and rushes, a tomb which is her womb. You’ll never get there, though you sure spill a lot of pungent words in the search.

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Thursday, August 12

Looks like Tropical Depression Number Five can’t get its act together in the Gulf; it’s dissipating in contrary winds into a fading apparition of doom, disappearing into just another band of summer storms to creep in from the Gulf.

But that doesn’t mean it/she doesn’t’ retain some clout in the order of things. Around rush hour yesterday a far, far feeder band from that system raced up the Florida peninusula in a storm system packing 50-mph winds, several funnel clouds and a solid drench of rain. The local weathercasters couldn’t leave it alone—it was moving into Orlando’s heavily-populated neighborhoods exactly during the 5 p.m. broadcast —jabbering incessantly about strike areas as they stood before radar maps where clouds were yellow and angry red and cored with purple zones of pure threat.

All of it was just east of here, walloping Altamonte Springs and Lake Mary. A waterspout hit just offshore Volusia County in Edgewater, carrying off someone’s boat (some kid claims to have been lifted a few feet into the air) and tearing up a boathouse, but that was about it. All talk but no action, like a pubescent playing “truth or dare” managing to finesse her way out of French-kissing a boy with a boner in a bedroom closet.

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Not Wynona’s style, actually, though the image of it was threatening enough. We saw little of that rain here – a mere half-inch from a fast-moving finger far west of the main system, enough to blow loose a few fronds from the palm tree and glisten up the garden.

So it’s all just been a drill; we’ll have to wait for the next system to billow up into the buxom reaches of Danielle, spawned by the next diving low pressure system. It surely won’t be long before the next arrives; we’re getting towards late August when the conga line of systems rev up, marching across the Atlantic with coconout shells on their breasts and shakin’ their booties like a Polaroid pic-ture.

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Lord knows there’s enough mayhem elsewhere – towns in Iowa flooding from so many thunderstorms, Russia burning, massive floods too in Pakistan and China. Planet Earth like a bonbon in Wynona’s hot pink mouth, its earthly pleasures dissolving sweetly on her tongue, about to be crushed and devoured with a single crunch of her pearly white choppers.

More on that to come, I’m sure. Here we go back to high heat today–mid- to upper 90’s–with a surer threat of thunderstorms mixed in. Back to regal summer’s thresh of royal fucking in the groined magnitude of sun and sea, sweat and swelter enough to make the entire state sweaty and dewed with Wynona’s vaginal receipts. Happy are the lovers these days, broke and futureless as we all are, finding in each other’s surrender and abandon the salts on Wynona’s fist before she licks us clean and then drowns us in a shot of bad tequila, the pure Aztec fire of sacrifice which reaches in and tears our heart out and is lifted to her greedy mouth in an arc so fast we don’t know she’s swallowed us until we look around and the world indeed is a stomach of lost parables, the relics of civilization heaped about and shattered amid smashed Corvettes and shard-mountains of shattered bottles of Rebel Yell and all those flaccid condoms fused to the floor of midnight’s dancing floor.

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Well, it’s on, at last, to Michigan, the destination of this post which you can only get to following Wyonona through a wilderness of distant lightning. But it’s time to start surfacing into the droll of the real. NASCAR has announced its schedule tweaks for next year, moving a few races here and there; rather than give the impression of any weightiness to the decision, instead it feels like crumbs being offered for lack of any meat. No announcement on changes to the Chase format though everyone figures that’s coming soon. Danica Patrick returns to Nationwide Series racing in the Carfax 250 at MIS after a 5-week hiatus from racing in the series—a marquee draw, perhaps, for what has so far been a dismal experiment. The Fords of Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle are getting hot—just in time for a return to Motor City–while Denny “All We Do Is Win” Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson seem to be driving in reverse. Tony Stewart keeps a rageful finger pointed at The Media for the fall of NASCAR, as if saying the bad news out loud trebles its affect. Juan Montoya’s shouting, “one in a row! one in a row!” and Dale Earnhardt is cruising round the track like Mister Magoo without apparent horsepower or vision.

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Danica is hot but not on the track; Carl Edwards promises a hot run at Michigan; Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson, once hot, aren’t.

So it all goes, or comes, to Michigan. The party boys and girls who make the Michigan International Speedway one of the more soused stops on the devoted RV trial are loading up their coolers and there’s a big-hootered gal who calls herself Shot Glass Girl who goes around proffering nip-sips of moon-juice to everyone. The race is always incidental for this mobile legion of ovalscream junkies, a background  thunder which makes the foregrounding foreplay that much more tumescent.

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The Shot Glass Girl serves ‘em up.

And Wynona will be walking the grounds there all day and night, invisible to direct sight but everywhere else there’s a nook which engenders a dream—in shadow, reflected of blazing chrome, whirling by on the hoods of those Penske Racing Fords, dancing atop an RV in the crepuscular pink and gold of sunset, nubile exactly where your vision doubles and spreads wide when your darkness settles down with fairy tinkles and hard rock from someone’s speakers.

Wynona will be busy at Michigan International Speedway, saucying things up, casting a spell of lascivious danger over all as she sashays by, eyes dreamy, hips and hooters knocking unawares from their folding chairs and perches atop campers as they sway this way then that, sucking the entire race into wake of her passage, all of it diving into the drink with a simple view of her tight-jeaned big ass, whale-tailed-thong riding high and diving deep, deeper than any of us can go without becoming lost forever down there in sea-forest of delight and delirium and depravity, decapitated of all right-mindedness, diving in a muff which inhales you whole.

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So that you might be born again to the rapture of mystery, become pregnant of mind, and deliver this mewlin’ monster not of art but purest human nautical nature, back again in the great salt womb of your beginnings.

Just don’t think you’ll ever get her, or get her right. Ask any compulsive gambler about their best score, far far back down the road of their eventual ruin. Wynona may only look like she’s smiling with invitation: The skew of bad times which seems to light her up may just be a fuse as she giggles and waits for the damn thing to blow up under our assses as we sit there trying to unclasp her brassiere on that dank cigarette-burned, whiskey-and-sex-stained couch we’re trying to get past second base on. This next day there’s always news. The stock market’s been diving as investors feel the spreading cold of dread in the economy, growth spluttering, unemployment claims up, retail sales down, all of it sparking fears of a double-dip recession and deflation, with wider woes to come. (You want to feel the depth of that chill, read Paul Krugman’s August 8 New York Times op-ed piece, “America Goes Dark”). Wynona’s lavish midnight smile may be shaped like a lucky seven, but she takes as much delight—maybe more—in the soul-consequential disorder of snake eyes in the dark.

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But whattayagonnado? I can no longer lose the fantasy than cut off my Johnson – or rather, I can, but I’d rather live with the puerile peril than go old and dry, dry, dry. When I go out to feed Mamacita at 5:15 a.m. the rising heat is again palpable, like a moist breath on some lucky country singer’s balls as he reclines on Wynona’s bed in her deep-forest Airstream, plucked from closing time at the honky-tonk to this plunge, this consummation nowhere close to where I am sitting at the moment. The garden sighs. Mamacita’s mouth works wetly, greedily at her food. A hummingbird flits about the Mexican petunias like a black seraphim. Dogs howl in the distance. The sky is clear and high in the roof of the sky floats Jupiter like a diamond swinging between Wynona’s witchy breasts, big, brutal, glittering with promise though its only the reflection of something else, as Wynona’s eyes reflect nothing within her but the passion of our own gaze.

I sense that Wynona is close by, cloaked in silvery blue moonlight, her eyes huge, almost owlish, taking my reverie in, tanking it somewhere in her deepwater equipage to pour back out over the hoods of Jack Roush Racing’s Fords come Sunday, blessing the engines and gearing the brains of those jaded pro racers, giving them a jolt of gambler’s hope—going for it this time. Co-grand-marshals–Evander Holyfield and 17-year-old Virginia Craig, a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan suffering from spina bifida—will shout the anointing words as Wynona retreats to the stands to watch the show, words which not so much blast from the massive PA columns as fall like lighting bolts from the sky:

“Gentlemen … Start …  your … engines!”

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One response to “A Distant Lightning Strikes Michigan

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