Volume 30, Number 1

Motorhead Myopia

growing up on Dukes of Hazzard
is not recommended
for a realistic view
of responsible driving

when my friends and I
were fifteen years old
we all snuck out
our parents’ cars

my mom had this powder blue
Plymouth Valiant
it was the most ordinary vehicle
on the planet
a slant 6
four doors
and no balls
at all

I’d take it out
on my ritual run
and make that baby squeal

up 12th across the bridge
a hard right along the creek
pedal to the metal
screeching through
every bend
maybe get it
up to 80

only a few
old people knew
but there was nothing
they could do
but shake their fists
on their lawns

returning it
to the garage
engine ticking
I’d dream of getting
my own V8

of taking it out
and topping out
at a hundred and twenty
that’s what we all
eventually did

an entire
armed with an armada
of the prior decade’s
rustiest clunkers

beat El Caminos
shot Chevelles
lost LeManses

laying rubber
the quarter mile
four wheel drifting
spinning shitties
wiping out
all over the place

a really bad
teenage boys
muscle cars
& dollar four

but strangely enough
nobody died
until our twenties

that’s when Greg Little
went into a turn too fast
and smashed his head
dead in Wisconsin

should’ve happened years before
should’ve slowed us down before
I mean

we weren’t just following
Bo Luke Boss Hogg and Roscoe
we were following
a sick southern symbolism
like a swastika atop
the General Lee

we didn’t know
what it meant
we didn’t know
how to see.

—Mark Spitzer