North Carolina

the North Carolina chamber of commerce solicited me.

I was stranded in their airport just waiting to get home, just
a flight, just wanting to get home

they gave me a hotel for the night and in the morning told me it would be two weeks before they could fly me home again
and the chamber,
they were pushing in my chamber, selling me
North Carolina

when I explained that I could not, possibly, fathom, Could Not,
Could Not
Could Not stay in North Carolina–though I had not known
the beautiful state before

they insisted that it was the perfect place for me,
that I ought to buy a house, that they’d find me a job,
rent me a mule, get me a pet mammoth, stop gravity,
that I’d be much happier here.

every time I opened my hotel door, in the hall, they were there.
or, it was a mirror, or, a mammoth
a reset, a restart and I was at the airport, missing my flight

and North Carolina can’t let me go, wants to set me up with some
Cash to help me start

wants me to participate in the beautiful state and the economics
to contribute to their rapidly growing economy

every airport hotel airline restaurant travel vendor home garden real estate agent mayor schoolchild citizen
     followed, hollered, shoved pamplets in my face until I closed the door as if a closet full of dozens of pillows, limbs caught in the door seams and simply ceasing to exist when the lock turned.

and they’re all in on this, all in with the chamber, with keeping me

          “visit our zoo,”
after me like bailbondsmen or credit collectors or gypsies these

North Carolina people won’t give me a flight and instead I

crawl out the window (no gravity) break awake in sweat and
row-boat my way back across the continent.

January 2007