for Steve Goodman
Heard this old record in a shop on Clarke ‘bout a train pullin’ out of Kankakee “singing good morning, America, how are ya?”
and figured ain’t no one a native son
if not me. Went down to the station
but the change in my McDonald’s cup
was only enough to get me to Champaign.
Winter was comin’ and even there must be
closer than Chicago to the sun.
Bought my ticket but didn’t find no
old men playin’ cards in the club car
or nobody passin’ ‘round no bottle
in a paper bag. We rolled passed
houses, farms and fields but didn’t nobody
know my name. Never made it to
Memphis or Mississippi. Had to get off where my ticket
ran out. Hung around this college town a week,
beggin’ from rich brats who can’t spare a dime of they
daddy’s money. Couldn’t scrounge enough
to even get to Carbondale. Started walkin’
south, figurin’ I’d get somewhere warm
faster that way. That’s the last time
I listen to some damn fool tellin’
lies set to harmonica and guitar.
A 13-foot Burmese python recently burst after it apparently tried
to swallow a live, six-foot alligator whole, authorities said.
-The Associate Press, October 5, 2005
Someone must have told
that stupid snake he could
grow up to be
This is something those
types really need to see.
Thousands of miles from its home
in Burma – or,
I think it’s called Myanmar now –
some genius probably let the thing go
after it swallowed the cat
in one gulp. A python
has to eat. The gator must have
looked tasty, with all those
jagged, razor teeth and thick
armor of scales. And dammit,
if a python feels like snacking
on some whole, live alligator,
who are we
to say he can’t?
He slithered up and sunk his
fangs into the gator’s leathery hide,
unhinged his jaw and started
to slurp down his lunch.
People may have doubted him
but that python knew differently; he
could eat whatever
he damn well pleased.
Well, the gator, he didn’t
see eye to eye. He clawed and
clawed, till the snake
burst open at the side.
Some things just can’t
be done, no matter
how hard you try.