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Jean-Pierre Astier

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San Francisco, CA, US

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Reflections on West Texas

by

Jean-Pierre Astier

I saw the run-down shacks
of dead men, their paint peeling
and waiting for the ultimate demise.
Right alongside the interstate which
had once been pasture land for
fat Texas steer, and where boys
shot at armadillos and fathers
worked their land. But now
fat trucks glide by at seventy
helping the paint crack and peel.
The boys grew up and soon moved
to Dallas or California,
where all the work was.
Soon it'll all be gone and
Chevron will move on in
blindly searching for their own
fool's gold. That is
the great cycle of things
blowing to and fro, along with the
tumbleweed
and run-down shacks.


Lydia

by

Jean-Pierre Astier

My landlord was an old Chinese woman
half senile, yet razor sharp;
like one of those ninja swords
she could cut out my tongue
in a single swipe,
cook it up with noodles
and invite all her friends over
to eat it.


Damn Oven

by

Jean-Pierre Astier

One winter,
quite a few years ago,
under a thick blanket
of snow,
the house set on fire -
quickly it burned
to the ground.
We weren't inside,
not then,
but it burned quick
into the dense snow
melting it all.
And now that I think
about it, I think
I might have
forgotten to
turn off that
damn oven.