Untethered Grass

by Jamez Chang

Jackie Stewart relaxed past death
on racing tracks heightened
by speed and violence.
He elevated his senses higher
than the rise of the road,
breaking hard third gear
underneath a viaduct
in Monaco.

across gravel stretch and paddock,
Stewart advanced—past zebra crossing, past short dirt,
along a fast bend in a windrush of earthen electron.
His motorcar spun loud,
hearing nothing.

Front straight faster and spinning through a funnel,
Stewart sloughed off his body’s vehicle
and allowed for this: a blade of grass to enter his world.
As he dripped inside double layers of fire-proof Nomex,
Stewart caught a whiff of freshly-cut grass around the bend,
A leaf aldehyde stain, wet-pulp mist somehow untethered,
loosened from its topsoil.

In accident and in happening,
Stewart mastered his craft at Monaco,
trusting his senses.
Alive and mechanical,
writing the next turn.

On macadam road,
a car had skidded outside a curb and clipped a barrier,
onto grass,
pop
releasing the blade’s germ adrift.
idyllic,
incongruous,
dangerous grass.
Nature’s intrusion
upon oil, steel, and the scatter mass of tire grit.

Stewart pulled back from the swarm.

The maestro touched lightly on his brakes,
and fed them out with a soft whistle.

Never jabbing a foot to answer,
but steering a motorcar docile:
angry insect allowed to fly,
eased into a coverlet of sunken metal and music.
Stewart skittered the right-hander on the edge of adhesion—clean,
past pile of racing cars crashed along steel barriers uprooted.
Raucous debris, too thick for a clogged helmet’s consumption,
but of thin data, the faint smell of mowed lawn at 175 miles per hour was
allowed,
observed,
felt.
And the mind became faster than the car.

On racing tracks heightened
by speed and violence,
Sir Jackie Stewart whistled by in accident,
accelerating out,
shifted pedals on the piano and
glided through chicane and into third, and fourth, and into fifth gear:
road holding,
turning the atom-soaked sun into a mechanical happening.

Jamez Chang is a poet, writer, lawyer, and former hip-hop artist living in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in FRiGG, Prime Number Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine, Subliminal Interiors, and the anthology Yellow Light. After graduating from Bard College, Jamez went on to become one of the first Korean-American to release a hip-hop album, “Z-Bonics” (F.O.B. Productions, 1998), in the United States. Jamez currently works in the video game industry in New York City.

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