SHATTER GLASS / KRISTALLNACHT
The pane of glass exploding like the sheets
of Klansmen riding like the ancient tailor freezing
wearing only bones like the hot metal fragging
the colonel’s legs turning thighs to purple syrup:
a sheet of glass smashes into bullety bits.
The windshield, tempered and sloped to reduce
drag, like past drags on present, is the solution
to an engineering problem. Here’s another:
how can the hidden roll bar deploy automatically
in an accident? Wheel-based electronic triggers.
The fake tube scientist says: These safety lessons
are too important not to share with our competition.
The same technology mechanism that parboiled
reduced simmered and reshaped Grandpa into a
lampshade now protects his moviemaking grandson
driving to the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge in his
black-on-black 322-horsepower 500SL with automatic
slip differential dual air bags and anti-locks.
Bumper sticker: I Brake For Fucking History.
These safety lessons are too important not to share.
With your shiny white bucks and wise stock
market selections, the finest crystal rings
at your wedding and lipstick smooches drip
champagne. At the Ritz-Carlton over Boston
Commons the Four Seasons over the Magnificent
Mile the Mandarin Oriental over the Golden
Gate or the Plaza over Central Park, the promise
of a happy bed and kitch comes with shattering
glass crushed by Florsheim wingtips. Kiss
the bride before imploding, then vacation
at a distance. The West Bank is lovely this time
of year. These safety lessons are too important.
RU-486, made by Roussel-Uclaf, may seem French,
and sister to Maalox, made by Rorer, which Rhône-
Poulenc controls, but in fact is mostly German,
since Hoechst controls Roussel-Uclaf, and in turn
owns Celanese in the States, not to be confused
with DuPont, which reminds us that without chemicals
life itself would be impossible. The big whopper
of advertising spreads the gospel of the brand
(I Like Ike, Be Like Mike) and brand identification
deepens into brand loyalty, which in a spreadsheet
resembles love. Does the cow love its brand?
Does the man saved by the roll bar love the brand
on his grandpa’s arm in the old photo yellowing
like a fading star in the twilight attic? The dust
in that attic settles into termites, but the dust
in the shower has a half-life. Bury the buried.
Engineers suffer the shatter glass in vitro: a baby
bomb fragging device is as humane as it gets, or
would you prefer a coat hanger in the alley behind
the video store where Clarence Thomas rents sex tapes?
Backing over shatter glass when parking
is a trifling nuisance, like acacia spikes
to giraffe tongues, or stomach-crushing
baton blows to the TV news consumer. Never mind:
men in brown watched Disney flicks in the bunker.
Adolf liked ladies to shit on his head and so
he shat on us. Eva Braun could have been Madonna
if only the technology had been ready. These safety
lessons. In remembrance is the secret
of redemption. Get up in the morning slaving
for bread, sir, so that every mouth can be fed.
Progress goosesteps on. There is gentle glass
now that breaks into harmless rounded grains
instead of jagged shards. There is safety glass,
there is shatter glass. There is Bergen-Belsen
and there is Bergen, Norway. Never say
there is no hope. The eyes of Treblinka
are upon us. Never say it.