Jim Daniels Ohio Turnpike Blues

You can drive a long way just by staying where you are.
Or the reverse of that. Silo-space-ship rest-stops deja-vued
across Ohio’s endless flat straight unwavering mirage.
Buckeye State of mind, an unrecorded Glen Campbell song
zombified on the brain loop of the wandering caffeinated masses.
You can’t drive away or stray from who you are. Smash a penny
in a machine to read Buckeye State. Buy a lottery ticket. Burn it.
Limbo, Ohio. The dance, the trance, the pitch, the twitch. Take up
smoking across the flat unwavering mirage of an exit from Ohio.
You may see cows. You may moo. You may smash a bug. Or two.
Buy a condom and blow it up. Twist it into an albino balloon cow.
You long for who you once were. Sex drive? Where? Good boy. Stay.
Even Cleveland radio fades. GPS? Mute. Sleeping. Vanity plates:
R U AMUZD? Cruise control lies. Construction alibis. Can’t talk now!
You’re crossing the endless flat straight unwavering mirage of Ohio.
Some presidents were born here. Shoulders disappear. Life narrows
to a single lane. Someone flips you off. You wave like a bon vivant.
You can stay who you are and still drive a long way
across the straight unwavering life—no mirages. Just Ohio.


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