America’s Ghost Signs 2

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Contributor: Maureen Kingston

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Today I’m overseeing
wall dogs as they restore
T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes.
My Gatsby will live
to plunder East Egg,
pluck Daisy from her
petal-strewn mansion,
spirit her to a magic
kingdom in the glades.
Amazing how quickly
Fitzgerald sold
his rights to me,
even offered to throw in
“The Crack-Up”
as a bonus, seemed hurt
when I declined--
not a big market
for confession
in the amusement game.


A rookie starts to muff
the doctor’s left lid.
I step in, guide
the hobo marker.
Soon the entire
billboard’s filled,
top to bottom,
with spray-painted eyes--
a wall of hot-coaled
possum eyes.
the smart-mouthed
rookie says,
flicking his cigar ash
into my cap.
You fear blank spaces.
The cops come,
make a fuss.
Court-ordered therapy
my punishment
for vandalizing
a literary icon,
for daring to dodge
erasure, for saying
I am here
with an aerosol can.

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Maureen Kingston lives in Nebraska.


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