Once regal chalets and lodges, fine motor courts, and inns with miniature golf courses attached, the coin-operated stallion out front acting as roper, aimed in bucking profile to attract the horsey set. And pools, of course, miles and miles of pools—Cary-Grant glamour for ten bucks a night. Modest cabins were upgraded again and again as restless Americans fell in love with their byways, as working-class couples imagined dynasties being born from their U-shaped estates—something to pass on, at last.
But the mom-and-pop drudgery was just too much for the next generation—too much paneling and Pine-Sol. The dreamboats decayed, became listing ships in their twilight years; wood-rotten truants one and all, bloated port whores sheltering transients and schizophrenic castaways and children mature beyond their years. Noblesse oblige, nouveau riche, elegant French phrases, but no cosmopolitan noun or compound yet for the motels’ newest jet set—the just-fallen—the bourgeois Romas blanched by bankruptcy then plunged into poverty’s icy depths, their sanity-skins peeling clean off.
My Meta-dinner with Andre: Maker and Taker Discuss Poetry: What an Old Friend Says (and what I hear)
Me: The poetry’s going well.
Andre: Why not write something that would appeal to the masses? (that would appeal
to him) Market yourself to a broader audience? (to him)
Me: I’m an Internet poet. How much bigger an audience can I get?
Andre: People are hungry, looking to be inspired. (he’s hungry)
Me: So my poetry’s not your brand of whiskey? Have you read it?
Andre: [He appears not to hear the question.] …should plant your writing seed where it
might bear more fruit. (where it might make money?)
Me: One form of writing doesn’t necessarily translate to another.
Andre: Be productive. (make money, or, at the very least, ease his angst)
Me: What, like Madison Avenue? Hollywood?
Andre: I mean, if you must be a poet, why not rap? Like Eminem. (someone who
appeals to him; someone who eases his angst)
Me: Yeah, okay, he has an authentic voice. But you’re a suburban lawyer and I grew up in a
small town. What do we know about ghetto life? Besides, I have my own way of
Andre: [His voice grows louder, indignant.] You should get paid for what you produce!
(don’t be dependent, a drain on society)
Me: What’s with the Willy Loman bit? Are we still talking about poetry?
Andre: My firm fired me three months ago.
—Maureen Kingston, Wayne, NE