Tuesday, March 02, 2004


an EPIC POEM pleading for parking mercy (soon to be sent to the Seattle, WA Magistrate)

Sharp! the eye and full the heart of duty
That clapp'd to my Honda the chastisement of
Parking potentates
Ere the sun reached his zenith
Tho I wept not-
(Cruelly but fair go to the eagle
His honest spoils
So that a man may park ever
in this County of Kings)

But 'twas in the gloaming twilight
Fell my burden,
hard and hoary and merciless

Late for the film and mind fogged by a lady waiting,
Still I pored line by each of the two signs
Looming above my prized new space.
I bored my eyes into the words as if
They were the lost final stanzas of
A great nation's poem,
My perception honed by the
Morn's harsh experience.
I read the lines as if they were
Marks of a grizzly in cold country,
And the perpetuation of my wretched life
My only reward.

Now at seeing, I fancy I am no slack-jawed
Stock-Jobber. I teach painting,
The Art of Seeing
Where I am rapt by beauty
And scornful of careless looking

Yet bootless was this preparation!

Cruel hard then did it fall,
When we returned,
Jagged and weighty
An avalanche of broken rock!
Tagged we were again in
the sheriff's wrath
Tagged by the penetrating fingers
of civic justice
Tagged as scofflaw, fiend and outcast
Tagged Again!

For there above the two signs
From which I gleaned all possible meaning
There stood in dark leaves and grey branches
Two more! Two More risen into
The Trees like squirrel attorneys,
powerful, disappeared, chattering.

Four signs! Four (Twas two e'en now!)
Who may rest here when this
Folio of No Standing teeters high in the
Deep forest like "Moby Dick"
Stuck atop a trolling rod?

Four signs! Scripted they were in
Colloquial Aramaic or Pidgin Latvian -
(Twas no penetrable language)
- Four signs coiling to spring a bear trap
from the high trees
Four signs to redouble my
outlawry and humiliation
Four signs and a fine to snatch
from my mouth a month of morning bagels

Four signs, say I,
Four Horsemen of the Parking Lapse

I. who all that day, mindful
Anew of vehicular obligation,
Strain'd my eyes and sweated my navigation
To park with honor and humble respect,
Ask your beneficence, ask you to reduce this
Many-stack'd misfortune to $20
(And perception quickened)

And for the Four Signs Yet Lurking
Darkly above this parking pit of tar,
Twice Scilla and Charybdis in hazzard and horror,
I beg that comes a month
One Sign speaks alone:

"Park Here, Nevermore"