Friday, January 13, 2012



The Last Leonardo
Apocalyptic Abandonment
Football Fantasy

The Last Leonardo

“It must be an inside job.”
—J. G. Ballard, “The Lost
Leonardo,” The Complete
Stories of J. G. Ballard

They found the Leonardo—
In the Villa Venus propped
Against the wall in a gilt
Frame in the Ballroom

To nobody’s surprise—
The Ballroom was completely
Empty in the once-lavish
Showroom of the Fieldhouse

The Director and Staff—
Of the LSU Louvre relaxed
As well as the weeping
Widow of the Governor

Great limousines came—
And vanished after tense
Exchanged glances of joy
And irreducible gossip

Elegantly dressed Huey—
Radiating a tremendous
Restless energy moved
Rasputin-like thru the crowd

His eyes glowed with—
An intense luster, black
Eyebrows rearing from his
High forehead like wings

His machine-gun bodyguards—
Hustling him into the Cadillac
His strong jaw jutting forward
Expensive black pin-stripe suit

Sitting in the backseat—
White-cuffs and gold tie-pin
Glinting in the limo shadows
Gloved hands waving goodbye

Louisiana Press Lords—
Vieux Carré connoisseurs
French and Creole millionaires
Sprinkled with young demimonde

Moving steadily amidst—
Flashing cameras TV coverage
The Kingfish an Election Surprise
Up past the Fieldhouse & Pool

Up Dalrymple Drive—
Past the Memorial Tower
And the august Law School
Down Highland past Tigertown

Back to the Governor’s mansion—
A posse of police motorcycles
Escourting the great Kingfish
Back to his Capitol Mansion

The Villa d’Huey P. Long—
Past a nexus of pot-holes
The groaning art deco Capitol
Skyscraper of Delta Destiny

Elegantly suited with—
His tremendous restless energy
His powerful charisma stretching
All the way to Washington DC

The Senate silhouetted—
The usual irredeemable kitsch
And hallucinating anticipation
Of what was to come

Like some immense—
Half-crippled resigned Angel
FDR greets the coup-dé-tat
The Kingfish as New President

Apocalyptic Abandonment

“Fiction about the present day”
—J. B. Ballard, “Intro to Crash”
The Complete Stories of
J. G. Ballard

I didn’t want to write—
About the Huey P. Long Pool
Or the eerie Ballroom
With its spooky balcony

I didn’t want to—
Mention such a nightmare
The slow shrinking of his
WPA Thirties leitmotif

And yet he made me—
Reaching out of the past
Somehow knowing what
Happened to his Fieldhouse

His Stage Scenery—
Gone Dixie panorama
He made me write about
His WPA Thirties dream

The voracious Present—
Having annexed his Past
And now this sacred
Set piece in dismal ruins

Devoured by us—
Concepts of past, present
And future usurped by
Apocalyptic Abandonment

I feel off-balance—
Fiction and reality changing
Devouring everything with
Mass Merchandizing madness

Higher Education conducted—
As a Branch of Advertising,
Football preempting just about
Everything with greed

Football Fantasy

“The fiction is already here”
—J. B. Ballard, “Intro to Crash”
The Complete Stories of
J. G. Ballard

Football fiction thrives—
Huey P. Long the very first
Cheerleader Governor who
Invented this Genre

We live inside this—
Enormous Football Novel
It’s already here and it
Dominates everything

The LSU Tiger Stadium—
Pete Maravich Assembly Center
The huge new Natatorium
Assuming a complete Fiction

We live inside this—
Enormous perverse deviant
Crash scene cataclysm
This Sports World Novel

A pandemic pushy—
Marriage between sex,
Technology and education
A Kingfish Nightmare

A Porno Novel—
A corporate politicized
Form of Fiction exploiting
Urgently, ruthlessly

The aging Fieldhouse—
A glowering Node of Horror
A sty in the Eye of us all
Worse than Katrina

But to renovate the Pool—
Temps Retrouvé the Past
With Banana Republic Style
Perhaps it’s the thing to do?

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