Wednesday, March 19, 2014

the meat of the matter

A CSX train sat parked on the tracks. Some of the long freight train (may we / can we have a short freight train?) temporarily (of course it is "temporary"; if it were permanent, it would be a museum; a museum of what? industry? transportation? iron? or graphic arts?) resided on the rail overpass atop West Genesee Street, in Syracuse, just before Rosie's ("Gateway to Tipperary Hill") and the former residence of Denny's (how is it that a Denny's can't make it in that spot? presumably, too many post-bar-closing fracases, but it could also be mismanagement, lousy food, high prices, ennui). A black car, a tanker, sported white graffiti:

PORK   HAM   BACON

Each of the synonymous words was adorned with the same avatar, if you will, or icon, or branding: a pig's head (well done: simple, almost amusing, easily understood). (As I was driving by, and could not stop to take notes, though I suppose I could've pulled over on Erie Boulevard West [I do not remember my degree of manufactured hurriedness or perceived harriedness], I tried to remember the sequence of the three words. It might have been HAM PORK BACON, or any other three-card monte shift of those words you might want to entertain. Maybe, just maybe, the word PIG was posted, but I doubt it. That would not make sense and would spoil the poetic elegance and philosophical inquiry of our graffiti artist.)

I'm reeling (that's a tad overwrought) from the implications and questions posed by our anonymous poster, our unnamed herald, our silent partner or co-conspirator. Namely, are you telling me that it's all the same shit, the same stuff -- no matter the word, no matter how it is "branded," you anarchic quasi-commie? (I apologize if that is unwarranted; I admit "commie" is going to grow in harshness, what with the return of the Cold War, or the advent of the Chilly War.) Do you celebrate meat? Is meat a triumph of will and protean power and rugged foodist individualism? Or is this some sort of freighted (I can't help it, can I?) vegan diatribe, railing (there I go again) against meat and the purveyors of slaughter (with perhaps the added editorial on toxicity, because the tank car was carrying God knows what; not just air, right?).

Finally, where did you go? Was this a one-off you spray-painted by hand in Gary, Indiana, down the road from the home of be-LOVE-d Robert Indiana, and his eight-cent stamp of approval? Or is it part of your brand, repeated, exactly alike or as variations on a theme, in train yards from Oakland (California) to Newark (New Jersey)?

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