And Gutenberg Lived Here: When The Heat’s In The Feet, Then The Street’s Not So Neat.

It’s hot here in Gutenberg Land.

As in

hot, hot, hot


Which is the sound feet make

when walking on melting tar,

hot, hot, hot,


all the while jumping large holes

made in the surfacing

by cars

trying to avoid the newly instituted

“park the sides of the street full,

and you get automatic slowed traffic.”


So the kids,

home from school,

can toss the neighbor’s cat in the tar,

which you have to pull out,

put it, in blanket and gym bag

in the tram,

“what on earth are you doing to that cat?”

as you  head,


to the vet.

Who charges you 92, 50 Euros  to clean the fur,

and call the hysterical neighbor that her cat is ok.

Which is,


the exact moment when you look at your feet.

And recognize

you are wearing special,

high duty,

hiking sandals,

specially molded through years of careful wear,

to exactly the perfect healthy support for—

about three pounds of tar,

which have slooowwwlllyyy

oozed into…

you get the picture.

After which, you leave above-mentioned cat for observance-

“we’ll send you the rest of the bill later…”

swallow the cat’s sedation yourself,

and try to remember what that fleeting picture was-

the one that has been buzzing right in front of your eyeballs for the last ten minute-,

accompanied by that bizarre whoosing tone you hear on the original Star Trek

as the Enterprize passes that Vulcan tar pit,

and the (still at that point evil) Klingons

fight them,

in an attempt to defend their captured Vulcan Tar Pit

decontamination baths.


That was it.


Full of turpentine

and Borax,

which we had to sit in each night

after coming home after school,

and playing on the next street over-

which was continuously,

to the intense dislike-

understanding, yes, but intense dislike,

of the local parents,

being tarred,

so that the ambulances,

in the hot, hot, hot


heat of the Illinois prairie,

didn’t get stuck

on their way to the hospital,

in the same stuff

the cat

got stuck in.

Now all I have to do is find some Borax.

Wasn’t it Ronald Reagan

raised on the Illinois Prairie,

broadcast journalist from the University of Illinois,

who used to sell the stuff?

I wonder if there’s still a backlog bag of it around somewhere?

copyright 2017

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