It's been a while (and that is a long story, or rather several long stories), but I'm sure some of you remember Piney Flats, its inhabitants, and its most memorable liquid product. Piney Flats isn't just any old small town with psychotropic kosher moonshine and spiky wildlife hallucinations, oh no! It's a state of mind...*

Lush Encounters of the Piney Flats Kind after "Kubla Khan"

In Tennessee, did Piney Flats
Athwart the Bristol Highway squat:
Where Booher Creek did splish and splat
Past burly dudes with surly 'tats
Down to a parking lot.
So five square miles of creaky clays
And peaky pines did greet the days:
And there were shutter'd shops devoid of p0rn,
Where loitered many an acne-bearing prat;
And here were cornfields of their produce shorn,
Encircling grassy paths that led to Pat's.

But oO! what in those rustic vats fermented
Behind Pat's place, from musty canvas steaming!
A boozy place! as fragrant and demented
As e'er an ancient alchemist attempted
The strange elixirs of his wildest dreaming!
And in these vats, by countless yeasty beastlings
Upon their farinaceous fodders feasting,
An unhinged slivovitz potently was forged:
After they, on torrid treacly porridge gorged,
Gargantuan gusts like gaseous gales have belched,
From these dull grains, bright liquid gains are squelched:
Thence into frumpy jugs are slopped the sluicings
And folks, as "Farm-Fresh Produce," flog these juicings.
Road-weary stumbled I unto that parking lot --
That holler'd place past which the creek did splat,
Where out did hang those dudes with righteous 'tats --
With body, soul (and verse) sore overwrought:
My presence there did bring a happy cry
To tarry there, and soothe my whistle dry!
With loving care, my hosts did measure
Fuming liquor into glass;
I drank, and to my great displeasure
Thund'rous flames burst from my ass.
It was a miracle of liquid vice,
A sunny moonshine that set fire to ice!
A damsel playing timpani
In our comp'ny did I see:
It was a Tennessean maid,
And on her timpani she played,
Singing "God's Own Drunk" off-key.
How I survived partaking
Such unseemly song and booze,
Was the knowledge I'd be taking
Much online to tell to youse --
I must say what happened there:
More dorketry! more liquid vice!
As darkness fell, I do declare,
I bellow'd loud: "Beware! Beware
The spiny bats! They're EVERYWHERE!!"
All hands seized me in a trice
And flung me in the creek head-first
To chill my brains, and quench the thirst
That comes from too much Paradise.

(Apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

* Nota bene: As I pointed out when I began this nonsense long ago, the real Piney Flats, Tennessee, is nothing like this. 'T'weren't then. 'T'ain't now. No, really!, I swear it isn't. ...So don't show up there looking for homemade slivovitz.

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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