The Land Of...

when they rolled out the initial suburb i wonder what that must have been like?
how that must have appeared? like heaven? the yellow brick road? or something
like paul goodman’s brilliant sociological novel entitled, “growing up absurd?”
spotless sparkling split-levels & rambling ranches looking out to a long-lost (lot)
landscape of other neat & tidy lawns? space-ship-shaped hour-glass shrubs that
perfectly protect & measure how culture might treasure, or distinguish & determine
the term of what it meant to feel stable, safe & secure; the manicured lawn a manic
cure to the core of man’s quixotic soul; an idealized externalization of liberation to all
those self-defeating feelings of negative self-talk, negation & nihilism; the first breed of trees
& flowers they planted in the ground to placate & pacify the king & clown to make sure they
felt all safe & sound; glimmering appliances which seemed to glow, an extension to the most
eternal of all internal organs we know, the flesh & bones & heart & soul, umbilical chord
to our emptiness & excesses & success & sacrifices; our overcompensations & obsessions,
really a result not so much of a collective unconscious, but more so an individual & instinctive
anguished subconscious, even a collective oppressiveness, all the repression & rumors, beer
& barbecues (the bicycles that would be the mythological vehicles which would forever deliver
us from our daily routines & rituals to our rich & racing escapist imaginations, dancing
& ducking around in daniel boone, davy crocket, coonskin caps with squirrel tails
going down the back for a day of action & adventure in & out the shadows with cats
& crows through the man-made, cut-out, cut-down cul-de-sac) obscure phenomenon
of super heroes who would heal all our existential angst & out-of-reach expectations
& fears & flaws & conflicted superegos; batman & robin in their technicolor masks
& tights & the lone ranger, black & white, with his sidekick indian tonto, who was
an archetypal friend, never a foe; the vacuum cleaner & bible salesmen who would
respectively clean our stained & filthy rugs & soul (getting out those deep & damaged
spots from years of...the sex dreams we weren’t supposed to have, ashamed of &
never got used to, yet somehow got used to, got used too, like some secret rendez-
vous, righteous & true, never a part of you, but really a part of you, that action/adventure
substituted for something romantic, for the deepest of desires, to get ultimate approval
& would somehow save you, the growing & developing psyche consumed all within
the darkened simplicity of a solitary room) girls scouts & avon lady who’d redeem &
restore self-esteem & bring back once more that romantic spark of love to a happily-
ever-after home; integration coming in the form of a lanternman in black-face in lawn-
jockey uniform, brandishing a beacon to keep away the boogie-man; when did the ice
cream man make his first appearance? the paper boy? mail man? milk man? the school
bus delivering pupils & their specimens; science experiments & musical instruments....
dandelions & dioramas, lunch boxes & love letters & fluff & peanut butter sandwiches; the blob
& u.f.o.’s making their first visitation then sudden invasion on this sacred & superficial horizon?


Joseph Reich
Joseph Reich is a social worker who works out in the state of Massachusetts; A displaced New Yorker, who sincerely does miss diss-place, most of all the Smoothies on Houston Street, the Thai food, and bagels and bialys from The Lower East Side; When we all get a little older, hopes to bring wife and child to play in the playgrounds of New York.