Suburban Phantasmagoria: A Poem of West Oahu Living

I wander these streets at night alone

Convinced that the construction zone pit

Is a message meant for me

The screened-off work area

A black fabric cosmos pockmarked

With the tears of solar flares

Hidden gravitational pulls that hide

The Caterpillar bulldozers

Earth movers

Even when uninhabited

The trailers of the crew

Shine like metallic will-o-the-wisps

Luring me

And the occasional stray dog into sunken ruin


Have you seen it,

Past the bend where Kaimalie Street

Dissolves and in its place

A wonderful pit

A myriad of roads to nowhere?

For whom the display of empty show homes

With pick-ups parked outside?

At the base of the hills by Kapolei

Flashing lights beam my way

Like campfires of an invading army

Hostile to my self-reliance

And quiet rhythm of heel to toe

Heel to toe


Have you seen them,

The metal skeletal outlines of reindeer

Wrapped with wires of miniscule lights

Perched upon people’s lawns

The annual visit from the North Pole to graze beneath palm fronds?

Deliberate motion

The eeriness is calculated

To coincide with my approach

So that they lift up their eyeless heads

To threaten me with wonder


Curious that there are no other night

Walkers or joggers

Distorting the meaning so that I

Am now Grendel

Prowling about the outskirts of Heorot

Looking for retainers to tear

Limb from limb


I motion the signs of defense runes in the air

So that the seeing eyelessness

Of commercialized, prefabricated

Substitutes for endangered quadruped mammals

Places no fetters upon me

Projects not into me concentrated beams of dis-ease


I know the sidewalk completely crumbles behind me with each step that I take,

Exposing an omnipresent vacuity

Blacker than tar

The void casts me into a fake neighborhood

Of plywood

No good

The shoddiness of the construction

Reveals to me the fallible presence of the


Outsider to Gnosis

Thundering and pointing to all who would


His pathetic litany of trademark names

And infomercial games

And pseudo-assurances

Twenty-four hour monitoring home security systems

Buy it and believe

Believe and ye shall be saved


In pursuit of one of the myriad roads

To know


Surely I got lost

Nearly slammed my body into the DEAD END sign

If only all things could be so honest

In this kaleidoscope of lies

This procession of uniform aluminum siding

But I found the broad avenue of exit

No narrow and rocky Via Dolorosa for me, thanks


I didn’t even acknowledge the snowman made of lights as he chivalrously tipped his

Top hat towards me

With so much as a nod

I had blinders on

I will bolt


I will bolt the door now

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