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Postmodern Village
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Westward, Ho
by E.W. Wilder

The following poem could easily be categorized as one of Bean Newton’s "Western series" if not for active debate about its timing and origin.

Unlike the others in that category, this untitled piece was discovered not in the Dale Evans lunchbox that housed the others upon Newton’s demise but folded into a booklet containing the sheet music to a bagpipe version of Iron Butterfly’s "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida."

Debate may rage on, but the public should not be spared this bit of beanly incision.


[Westward, Ho]
by Bean Newton

Crammed into a stagecoach,
                                              fanning herself
with lizard-bone,
                jade-pinned, studded,
the wines led the way,
                                   dunked the dry in asphalt,
crested with dead eagles,
                                        mangled toes and gandy-
dances-with-wolves, lesions of captive
                                                              pulchritude released
into tomorrow’s Foo-Man-Chew. The bath
of rageous rook, the “every thing bigger,”
                                                                      billboardian
between you and the Rockies,
                                                the gasoline scorn and drawndawn
butter lobstering overall.  “The one major question
they asked as they spread across the continent was ‘What is it OK to eat?’”
       Such scholarship
                                   doils down on wooden
seasons over tea and cake,
                                          the two sure fuels of revolution,
soothing the sages, brushing into the post-meridial lethargy.
Thus rolled the future like lazy
                                                 furry dive,
the valve lifting, the high-test
                                                 grooving out a song
over ducktailtailfin rockroll anarchy--
                                                             at least within
the hi-way’s narrow strip: Esso, Sinclair, Tex-
a-taco, crewcutting the mime’s eye
                                                        anger, dis-
solved as tactical airwing
                                         assemblages. For-
                                                                           give
me my dyscontent, my insides purged as turd words
and Britswrock: I thought
                                         we’d leftall that behind—all that   
behind Sinatrad into
                                an A-line future even then
                                                                           derelict,
rusting behind a barn.