Oyster Boy Review 04  
  Spring 1996
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» Levee 67



C. Earl Nelson

it was somewhere near
tamaqua pennsylvania
which is an hour
or so
outside of scranton
and bruce had this very large pistol
and i, a bottle of cheap stuff,
and we would load up in his
old ford galaxy and roar up into the hills
out of the valley
really burning through the gears &
rod stewart in the speakers crying wake up
or something worse
and bruce would have this one hand on the wheel
and the other twisting a bit of pennsylvania punk
and me waiting for that joint with a zippo
and bruce somehow managing the delicate task
of rolling a fag and driving like mad
up one side of buck mountain and down the next,
on to the blue top range where stood an old trestlework
bridging a valley, over another old bit of rail below,
and we would park the ford, by now boiling over,
and hustle our stoned asses out onto that bridge
careful of the gaps (christ! lookout man,
that's a fucking big step!)
hands full of cannon and yeungling beer
and that joint (don't forget it)
and i would stand a hundred up in the crisp autumn air
of the lehigh valley, surrounded by the tops of pine
and oak and then some
glad to be away from florida and all the goddamned flat
of cities and insane woman and meaningless labor
and the nothing that devours there in such boredom,
and bruce would then lay down that bottle
raise the cannon
aim at the moving train, endless stream of cars carrying
the guts of northeastern PA to the few remaining steel operations
and the pistol was a big sonofabitch, an old fortyfive,
and blam blam blam! the cannon would roar,
and bruce would roar along with it: you motherfuckers!
and more shooting while i stood there drinking
swaying nervously with nothing but nothing beneath me
for too long a fall
and bruce would keep plugging at the cars
for five
ten minutes
until he ran out of bullets
which he always did,
and then he'd sit on the rail and begin sobbing
and i would join him there and remove the pistol from his palm
which was by now shaking uncontrollably
and nothing more needed be said.