Carol and Charles Orloski. A Charles Orloski poem from 2008:
Then Why Can’t I Paint You?
As material circumstances
of Jake’s life began to improve,
America became an enchanting place,
and Jake had made it.
He toiled for twenty years as a
machine operator at Popple’s Quarry,
had a juicy 401-K,
hit the Pennsylvania scratch-off lottery
for half a million,
built a log cabin house,
owned a hundred acres, small pond,
and a little grove where he fed
apples and corn to the deer.
Jake knew where his next meal
was coming from.
He used to hunt to work-off stress
Joined Mr. Moe’s Total Fitness Club
and took yoga classes at
the Himalayan Institute.
His wife, Regina, got into
and his eighteen year old son played
guitar at Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant
and sang for tourists in T-shirts.
“Things are as they should be,”
On Friday night,
Jake called all his friends
to brag about the “amazing”
birthday gift from Regina –
a $400 motion sensitive “Trail Camera,”
purchased at Gander Mountain.
Jake wanted to know basic stuff:
How to insert batteries?
How to secure the camera
to a Weeping Willow tree?
Jake’s goal? “To have all the animals
in my Kingdom on C.D.”
Exposed to freedom too soon,
“Trail Cameras” tend to lose their
conservative surveillance roots,
develop great insolence, and begin
to shoot without ethical regard.
Jake sank into his black leather
Easy-Lift recliner, lit a pipe,
sipped ice-tea, listened to Kenny G,
and downloaded the precious
digital images on to his lap top.
1st Frame ... a white-tail buck, pine tree
stump, diagonal sun rays.
2nd Frame ... blurry. Turkey and gray
3rd Frame ... high resolution. Jake’s brother
Eddie fucking Regina on recently
painted picnic table. Upturned
cotton sun dress. Khaki Docker
shorts on sod grass.
“Animals fucking,” he seethed.
He began to shake, turned the camera
toward the recliner, sat, combed his hair,
and placed a Glock on a plate filled
with cold bacon and scrambled eggs.
The shot – heard outside in the wild –
frightened away a robin looking
side-to-side for a worm.
Jake didn’t want it that way,
Regina didn’t know the words to say,
and Eddie burned the pictures.