Saturday, December 15, 2007

Even Hell Has Angels


A hog at sunrise,
squatted on a hillock,
above the sea,
catching all the orange light
on its chrome spokes and chassis;
one swine in a herd.

A man stood
silently in the shadows,
quietly worshipping
the chopper as a shrine;
and soon he would fondle
and caress it
like he would a woman,
appreciating and re-exploring
all of its curves
and warm places.

A strange-looking thin young man
in dirty levis
and a buckskin vest,
with no shirt,
his arms heavily muscled
and tattoed;
a six-pack of adominals
flashing above his Harley belt buckle,
with a great shaggy head
of coal-black hair,
combed by the winds
of the city,
to the middle of his back,
pulled back tight into a ponytail,
bound with a Navajo beaded headband,
tied off with a piece
of rattlesnake skin,
with a handsome well-trimmed beard
and Christ's eyes;
an earring in one ear,
and a swastika prominant
on his wrist.

An army lay all about him,
fifty comrades
barely cognizant
of the earliness,
only seeing the sun
as a strobelight
penetrating the edges of a mountain
of beer cans
that stood proudly
in the center of the camp.

Black leather,
and nakedness;
a whole gang that had crashed and burned,
stumbling and staggering
through last night's nightmarish
alcoholic narcotic sombulis,
rutting like beasts,
screaming cataclysmic curses
at a huge bonfire.

Mamas, regulars, groupies, and drop-ins
had perpetuated a bacchanal,
dancing and teasing and making out
bare-breasted and bronze-limbed;
tight denims pulled down,
the powerful stink of lust
filling and flaring hairy male nostrils,
giving license and impetus
to savage love-making;
lathered bodies overlapping,
groping and groaning;
sweet Alice run rampant
knawing at the pleasure centers
of hazy cortexes,
wounding each other,
covered with sweat and dust,
and loving
within a multitude
of spasms,
a universe of
that for the encore
crawled stiff-legged
out of the ant lion's pit
to procreate in puke
for the real

in the blend of orgasm
and pain
and madness,
there was a discovery
that a kind of freedom
could exist
if enough hang-ups
could be exorcised;
And they all knew
this freaked out
the Man;
like a fist in his guts,
and they loved it.

Bleary blood-soaked eyes
greeted the California brightness
of morning,
that ultraviolet radiation bath
that now descended upon the landscape.

The thin young man slid
into a well worn saddle,
and squinted into
the forehead
of the sunrise,
while lightly fingering
the hard rubber handle grips
on his bike;
and he smiled
as he witnessed the labored stirring
of the camp.

Then his eyes changed,
as he set his jaw,
leaped up into the air,
and came down hard on the starter.

The Harley Davidson jumped to life,
and as the big bike growled,
the Angels answered
the call.

With an inhuman roar,
they scrambled erect
and swarmed to their motorcycles,
stomping and colliding with each other,
pushing, shoving, and cursing.

Soon Harleys did the talking,
coughing into a medley
of cacophany,
the lethargic corpuscles
between the ears of the rabble,
razzing their powerful engines,
until all choked
on the oil smoke.

The din from the hog pistons
into an incredible crescendo,
and leveled off,
to some kind of blended blur,
a promulgated pitch
pleasing to the ear.

The females scrambled too,
picking their rides,
gathering up ponchos and sleeping bags
and Nazi helmets.

Then like a burst
of dirty thunder,
they exploded into motion,
ripping up the turf,
throwing dirt, gravel, and candy wrappers
spiraling up into the air;
the howl of the pack
on their numb lips,
screetching and baying
at the new sun;
many tires squealing,
many voices hollering,
and then

Just a large scortched place
on the earth,
and the mournful sound
of the beach wind blowing
through the rubble.

Glenn Buttkus 1967

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