The Roadside Ghost

Out here the sky is just wider they say
The cold is much colder, the dry much drier
And the wild is just wilder
It will change you without your permission
It requires no submission, no admission, this perdition
A radio tuner hidden in the mind, it’s knobs twisted
An array of antennas listening beyond deep space
Turning their wide and wan faces orbitally tracking
Scanning the waves littering the unseen landscapes
Oscillations becoming piercing poniard rays
Thrashing through windows illuminating floating motes of dust
Which swirl and dance on eddies of temperate turbulence
Stirred by slender slinking feline movements
Inspired, disturbed, affected

For some the plangent clanging served a steady beacon
Crude carillons running roughshod over others
Ushering them into the faded rusted yellow cabs
Idling at the curbside with an eerie silent sentience
Whisking them through the mottled shade and sun
Coasting winding jungle roads and into crystal caves
Where humming subterranean supercomputers
Penetrate and probe their squishy oozing meat brains
Entering the nascent nuclei, the recipe released
Transcribing the unspeakable sequences unique and holy
The hushed clicking of the hard drives locating writable sectors
A dull mechanical whirring as the magnetic stripe is encoded
Sequential instructions for manual reassembly
Operations much too delicate for the clumsy hands of humans
Machines of mythology, from the future delivered far into the past
To fall into the warm clasp of the mythical mothers’ arms
Where the heavenly heartbeat ebbs and throbs

Many others merely drifting drab and sullen specters
Wandering off the shoulders into the widening expanse
A vast and measureless desert to disappear into
Lies in wait, a beckoning, a welcoming, an embrace
Becoming invisible, unapparent, intangible
Veering into vaporous vagabondage
Tattered cardboard signs scrawled with scribbled glyphs
Indecipherable epigrams, tragic and acutely angular
The bells turned to howls, like the roaring of the wind
Rippling through riparian ravines and cavernous crypts
Under the gaze of eidolic idols weathered and worn
Their voice and visage waxen and wan, fuliginous
Creeping toward a crusting crepuscular
As that which amongst us we choose not to see 
Chooses in its own turn not to be seen
Passing through into the pale purlieu
Sleeping at the side of the road with a bundle of blankets
Where the tall straight rows of cottonwoods grow
Drifting off into sleep eternal and listlessness
Beside the ever-burbling bubbling brook
Where none but coyotes lap quietly at its jagged egdes
Content to doze dazedly dancing into deaths bony embrace

Yet others still heard nothing.

The sonorous signal never penetrating their consciousness
Their lives continuing as they had, patterned and drab
Remaining convivially compliant and conformable
They roll up the windows in their vehicles when driving past
Or turn their heads to not meet the gaze of monsters manifest
Fading further with each passing plume of road dust
Unacquainted with the rippling undercurrents
Their lives remain unchanged by what is unheard
As the experience speeds and swerves around them
They are the least interesting, the bit part actors
Extras in the scene, to simulate a sort of realness
The credits roll at closing - their name is not among them
A reality we are prone and primed to readily ingest
The wheel of fortune spinning, dazzling the guests
With glitter and money and fantastic plastic prizes
A miniscule pill far too easy to swallow
Gulped down with a gasping breath, unbeknownst
Unknowingly saved, plucked up by pinching fingers
From a fate they would now never know
And never understand