Past Jerusalem Mountain; red-amphetamine sunrise
Mesquite, saguaro, great mystical agave…tell us, please,
Where in hell are we going?
There is a road which runs from Phoenix Arizona, on up to Globe and back down the other side to Lordsburg, New Mexico. Highway 60 melts into highway 70 at Globe and runs down through the San Carlos Apache reservation. This is the great cactus road of all cactus roads, with all the Sonoran varieties of agaves, prickly pears, ocotillos and chollas; and the barrels and the great saguaros and organ pipes. Don't forget the fish hooks, and devils fingers and ironwoods and stag horns and Palo Verde and hedgehogs. Might even spy a Joshua Tree with a Gila Monster hiding behind it. When you hit the San Carlos reservation the road becomes spiked and framed with the white crosses which mark the Indian dead. Drunk drivers, mostly. You see, there's no alcohol allowed on the reservation and sometimes the folks get thirsty and take off on a weekend spirit search for libation, which becomes a ghost dance. Those roads are snaky, sandy and treacherous when a man has twenty beers under his belt and he's pissed off anyways at what became of the Native West. All of it went to hell since they sent Geronimo into exile in Florida. Florida for Christ sakes. Can you imagine an Apache Warrior Chief in Florida? And maybe out there on that Arizona road, in dead of night, you might be lucky to glimpse the almost extinct Mexican Jaguar (one was recently collared and accidentally killed by well meaning Tucson park ranger biologists)…though it aint likely the Old Man Jaguar would venture this far north of the line. Let's say two boys stole a car from their drunken Apache brother and head for town; over yonder. This be Mangus Jack and Jimmy Yellow Eye. On the way back, drunker than a thousand white people, they are swerving and swilling. Swilling and swerving. They're listening loud to "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades" off of Green Day's latest: "21st Century Breakdown." The boys squint and see a Jaguar in the high beam lights. Brother jaguar is walking his coyote predator walk, down the middle of the road. There is a shooting star high up above Jerusalem Mountain; then a screaming and screeching of tires; the final war dance of blood, hot metal and sand. Shattered glass skimming sideways through the air like ancient arrowheads; piercing the sacred saguaros. The moaning and then the final silence. Three days later there are two more white crosses on Highway 70; a bouquet of plastic roses and a sign lettered in black paint. "In loving memory of our Apache brothers:Mangus Jack and Jimmy Yellow Eye. R.I.P. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades! Forever!" Amen.
(This is song #5 in a series of back-lit dream songs off the coming record "Blood and Candle Smoke.)