Paean to Neon

The neon miracle of America
spreads in neoday
across the unblaspheming streets of our town
like butter.
Small towns harvest moon memory lane
has shined on into six lanes
thru present tense verb
al dazzle
fine art? (heh, heh, f
art)  no pomp gas pump
                     F A S
Self Serv
ing stations of the cross
town freeway
                       which is not free
                       where we cannot park
                      which is lower than
the Golden Arches of the feet of god
in the Goodyear Flying Shoe.
Listen, this neon strip is no Sunset sin-stoked roadway.
There are moms and dads among the crackers
(Nasbisco) in afeway.

And in  the formica counter

gleams beneficently at
a college girl about to graduate
ringing up donuts on the pink cash register.

BEER   ICE   FOODS (flashes green)
CLEANERS West East 60° tempandtime and all our needs are
“Hey, you two guys met? Well, listen,
Tex, this here’s Mobile.
who drives and
Fear not, for I
Diesel dreadnaughts
scour our interstates
on the way to TRUCK CITY
and in the valley of no shadow
the lights are reflected in low
clouds and the city is an oyster
in a rosy shell
Pearl of great
lowest prices     best coffee
tires thump over seams in the road as we go for
that only the
tangerine sahara boomerang shebang of this trumped up sky bump
ing buzzing bLiNkInG neon arrow
into the heart
land of highway bliz
zard and dust loneliness
in the green gas glare
make us all equal
to the distances

in the valley of no shadow
I am comforted
no more death no more night
Logos made light

Sandra Lynn (1944—2013) was born in Longview, Texas, studied at the University of Texas, and received her masters in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She published one full-length collection of poetry: I Must Hold These Strangers (Prickly Pear Press, 1980), from which these poems were excerpted, and contributed poems to the travel photography book Where Rainbows Wait for Rain: The Big Bend Country (Tangram Press, 1989). She moved to New Mexico in 1988, and was a Professor of English for fifteen years, first at University of New Mexico, and later at New Mexico State University: Carlsbad. Her last book, Windows on the Past: Historic Lodgings of New Mexico, is a history and travel guide to New Mexico's historic hotels (University of New Mexico Press, 1999). Prickly Pear Press also included her work in the anthologies Washing the Cow’s Skull (1981) and Three Texas Poets (1986).