A Complaint About the â€œBeverly Hillbilliesâ€ Premise
First, that geology
I lived in Newton County if not Bug
Tussleâ€™s in east Texas,
by the way, a geographic peccadillo):
raw petroleum percolatingâ€”hell, weâ€™d have
less in quantity
to make commercial drilling
feasible. I witnessed
but wouldnâ€™t tar
an entire populace with the same
appellation: the H-word.
fact the people who
dwelt in pre-
cabins were a local Uberklasse.
Misanthropes in funnel
caves? Oh, certainlyâ€”their
to curricula-compliant lesson
or for that
but donâ€™t their brethren fan
across our planet?
One denizen of our mail route apparently
pot in a buried
bus on the ridge road
(a modified Mr. Frosty van
for an outhouse).
He summed it
up: â€œThird World living at its best.â€
Second, the isolationist
would never have uttered
whatâ€™s attributed to
them. Each mountain was a universe.
it was home. Supposed
lust for chlorine
pools: uh-uh. Tramp down your
hollow to a green
hole deep enough
for belly flops, and a hundred
calm stretches made as if for Izaak
Finally, I guarantee olâ€™
wouldnâ€™t have listenedâ€”he wasnâ€™t
image of an overloaded truck lifted directly
of Grapes of
Wrath was born
in some Calicentric studio.
heaven? No, especially not if
somebody else suggested
The coat of arms for any real Ozarker
must have mules
rampant in a scrabble-
what I come back to.
Batting Instructor Edward J. Whizzykin Told Us,â€œCross Your Eyes Five Minutes Every Nightâ€
He was so positive it worked the vision
muscle: a sweaty, pudgy alchemist
turning base theory into major league
gold if not aurum philosophicum.
Awake, I search for Eddieâ€™s career stats,
find nothing literal except the pain
of trying to maintain my average
by guile, opposed to arrogant phenoms.
A part of my soul edges off third, breaks
with the pitch, and the bunt slow-rolls toward first . . .
a squeeze play, executed perfectly,
ties up the game (as if it were a game).
I trace the Rockies
to a southern lair.
Above, snowy crags. I stop
at a cabin, knock.
Some bearded geezer
pokes his head out, snarls, â€œWhaddaya want?â€
I feel Iâ€™ve struck Texas.
He spits. â€œThem ainâ€™t the Rockies,
and this ainâ€™t Texas.â€
I ask, â€œWhich mountains are they?â€
He squints up at the peaks,
then back at me.
â€œHell, ainâ€™t no mountains around here.â€
Adjacent, a guy is plowing hillside
His beat-up â€˜64 Impala wagon is parked
on a dirt driveway leading down to the main road.
I slide in and
amazed not that itâ€™s unlocked, keys in ignition,
but that it works.
In rearview I glimpse the owner
back yard pen,
grabber and bucket in quest
of dog turds,
picks up dry and wet,
He didn’t exactly choose this
but accepts it
Every turd the eye points out,
ergo he collects,
carried in free will.