Monday, August 2, 2010

Flight of the Chickadees

Editor's note: this screed was written shortly before the Day of the Tragic Events. The subject matter has gotten much worse since then.

They are all getting back and flitting
near the moat, the residence hall desk monitor:
Klackety klack
Not one not in black.

At least three tightly-clad body types,
each indistinct in that uniformly vacuum-wrapped way produced when
insecurity buts against a pandering to the loins,
they glide and stamp about in tight skirts and stretchy flared pants,
and overcoats of glamorous manufacture,
they shine in the cold of autumn.
against the cultural backdrop of normal non-Greek girls,
they are outstanding,
like nuggets of golden corn,
gleaming in ordure.
A gamedays' gross disappointment
has fueled their frenzy full to a
strident uncontrolled silliness
by this point,
packs of plump and anorexic banshees
shrieking through the streets as
they return from floating about in
impenetrable class nuclei,
from on high heels
presenting steady and disdainful resistance to all
but the most reassuringly groomed stock of fat-headed Anglo-Saxon princelings…
Klackety klack all in black
Thrusting and busting out

In clusters of three they
seem alien, an ethereal race with
impeccable taste in
the art of the unvarying face-paint
and unremarkable dark clothing,
interminably exchanging peppy stories, defamations and
hydrochloric rumors,
one hears, and
radioactive plastic plans
in a shrill, hoarse, lazy luxury tongue
made snappy by the cheap beer sloshing in their
well-nourished pouchy guts,
parading with urgent, forward-looking walks and gestures,
backs rigid and arms folded in some
dull protective fear before their
paraded schizoid bosoms,
scarcely noticing anyone not
similarly about their business and chatty

The demimonde, the attaches, the satellites,
the herds of kept women,
these minglers mixing and mating with kappa sigs and sigma chais and sometimes a lowly pike or unaffiliated athlete:
they blister the air with badinage
and in their drunkenness scrape the pavement like
they have hip displasure,
wiggling their lactose-rich bottoms with
a sense of invigorated and privileged idleness,
practicing distraction and mirthfulness
and anything to please
the men with the khakis and bullwhips and expensive cars
and hooked penises and minds squirming
with mean little lab-rat desires—
Young courtesans indifferent to the masses and the unmade-up,

Waiting or longing for their dates,
their dashing granitic caravaners,
who constitute an exclusive race of martian suitors
Broad and yet narrow,
symmetrical but uneven and unfair,
who come choking on their crude clannish jokes.
Their sniggering is malicious
and they often speak of genitals.
Still on safari, still keeping the red man down,
still plashing angrily in the bay of Pigs
they come in a ceaseless belching flow of
the bulkiest bandwagons,
Durangos and Expeditions, Escalades and Grand Cherokees,
Trail and Forest Blazers,
seating up to seven scions of
reliable commerce and more than middling prosperity, each,
Neat, aggressive, drunk---leaking
the salacious charm
of the southland’s gallant ways…

Ready to spend money and time with boredom, as if fun were
a continuous burden
interrupted only in a small way by classes and forced nearness to the
grubby non-Greek,
as if fun were taking too long
for these patrician pups
arrayed in fatigues of caps and khaki
Kappa khaki pie
my burly posse do or die,
gonna Bustya in the Eye

A grotesque clay-footed dance performed by rich ciphers in drab costume,
filled to their gills with the awfullest swill,
these whelps of the mentally limp
and criminally heartless
Master Class.

The revelry is unforced,
it is easy.
there are established and precise methods for
dissipation, oblivion,
for the nightly torture and sacrifice of notions like
humility and decorum:
There’s a certain bearing
of wretched genteel over-confidence
one is obliged to maintain
as he reels and hoots
with the royal belligerence of first-string cornerbacks
at the women of his clan,
and of course, at pedestrians,
and from a secure distance, niggers also.
The bearing is easy enough: it relies mainly on alcohol and dressing in a collar,
in collared shirts of
nauseating girlish pastels that demonstrate
their preening, unassailable manliness,
or a specific style of pants that tend to sag and
expose the wallet,
and this bearing depends
a lot on---derives its ludicrous prideful essence from---the formal claquing,
supportive, throbbing gestures
and verbal huskiness of one’s litter,
or entourage.

The womenfolk have a line they will never forget, and seem never to tire of:
it goes, “Whoooo!!”,
which in piety they blend with another favored, incredulous
ejaculation about O, their God, over and over.
As much as mixers, blackface hazing, a clothing codex, the theft of lawn decorations, Carnacus festivals and other
ritual manglings-together,
these fits of vigorous weekend drinking
and spasms of collective brawn
epitomize and gild the sparkly drama and precious pageantry of Greek Life,
Kappa khaki pie
Gonna bustya in the eye

A war with the suicidal Arabs is coming,
but the duty and post of these flushed young sauce packets
is on the dance-floor and
by the keg,
and in learning Business and Broadcasting,
bolstering american privilege and the
Power to say when and from what altitude
and I can be a fucking homicidal idiot if I please.
And though we shall bleed blood while
they may only hemorrhage dollars
and stock value,
still, in their hearts, flags will wave,
and the rhythm of Baghdad’s bombs
will pump in their frantic, loosened legs,
and then—tottering wildly with the canter of the well-stuffed---
they’ll retire to their hives to mate
in webs of smoke and clouds of beer,
fat with product,
bleeding black into khaki, air into stone

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