John Wojtowicz : Poetry : February 2021

Southern Legitimacy Statement: My family is from Texarkana, Tx: my great-greats, greats, grands, mother and sister. I was born in the backwoods of what Ginsberg dubbed, “nowhere Zen New Jersey” and grow up working of my step-father’s azelea and rhododendron nursury. At 91, my grandfather still holds court in Texarkana and I visit him often. I’ve traveled the Lone Star State in all directions and if it weren’t for the heat, I would’ve more there long ago. For now, you’ll catch my fishing off my Coleman Crawdad in the south-west marshes and bays of The Garden State.

Cadillac Ranch

A trio of spring-breakers unload
from a ’91 Chevy Starcraft
stretching from a long ride
on the Mother Road to this cow pasture
just west of Amarillo.

In the distance, ten junk Cadillacs
stripped to battered frames
are half-buried, front ends down
facing west, single file
tail fins turned toward the Texas sky.

Club Coupe to Sedan Deville,
day-glow dominoes.
Each said to be lodged in the dirt
at the same angle
as The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Spray paint cans in hand,
Birkenstocks on cracked dirt,
they pass through the makeshift
graffitied gate, ready to create
their own mark on universal canvas.

One tags a roof, one the length
of a four-window, the other a wheel well:
briefly satisfying this human urge
to leave a fingerprint
among layers of glossy fingerprints.