August etched in scrimshaw.
Under the bare bulb we wait to see who
Mothers grease the wheels to make
this machine run. The cinnamon scent
of birth lingers in the efficiency.
The tip of the tower, an intellectual’s retreat.
The premium is on purity.
The architecture of summer
polished by poetry and babies.
Who knew you can’t bury the dead in winter?
It’s all those rigid bodies that give the living their stiffness.
In this place you learn to forgive,
what is connected can’t be cut.
Our granite hearts are all the same.
The impulse to shovel persistently in Buffalo
takes the same crystallization of reason
as the willingness to live with 8 million.
“Trenton Makes the World Takes”-
Electrically lit ten feet high on the Delaware Bridge.
You enter to ire.
Steel and politics balance the history of its regions.
The east of Philadelphia is far from bridges
and French fry sandwiches.
Power puts on its slippers
and generates the dream.
You have to be what you are known for.
If only all those crab mallets could crack the
rest of your shells.
Over the Memorial Bridge
shift into density;
leave genteel behind.
Sitting on a Southern table, the teapot
blows its whistle into the Potomac
while bluegrass tips the handle.
The industrial loses its reputation so quickly in
bourbon waves of grain.
Go forth and have children on the coasts.
Save the rounds and highs for summer trips
and let the grandparents preserve the circles.
I’ve been led astray by winters;
quiet men, ambitious women
and musical children return the summers.
All the Disco Queens have escaped,
the farms and factories smudge their flash.
The nitpicking narcoleptics in Naperville
dream of lake effect narcotics.
The frozen cherry on top.
Accepts the indoors as a season.
Ballads of murder born in Chippewa Falls.
Songs seep through deep voices,
creep through deep tumors.
Kicking up embers of an irrelevant fire.
What’s brass is the cornfields at dusk.
This fire washed land relieves the conscience.
The dust is attractive to the foreign.
When they arrive they feel
the wind stings the same tears.
Our translation of home.
Grandfather of the frontier,
you arch over now,
ignored by the children.
It’s 1 for 1 here. The looms went
overseas and science returned.
One sons stays, another has to leave.
A thanksgiving state, the dunes
protect the blending families
from the overwhelming tide.
Lyrical tragedy, the voice depends on
words from the machine.
Carbonated beauty; a ruby that sparkles
in every ocean.
A citrus squeeze douses the changing light.
Voices push the teacup
to spell out their relevance.
See those sparks? They’re from
the larks smashing through
quarks in the Ozarks.
Bring your sons. A baptism in the Gulf
foretells of aquatic fortune.
A measurement of time and a river
so long no one knows
what they are missing.
The last myths got washed
away in the ruins of summer.
More is in and even the cows are complicit.
Fierce angels hover above the slaughter.
Where the barbwire tore the stamp of entry
a copper and turquoise cicatrice remains.
In hollow sockets imagine turning hips
towards each other. The light through
these bones brings the lush.
Nature is just the playground.
Any hopes of seeing the divine
close with the cash register drawer.
Not even the salt lake could
keep you buoyant. Without
the belief you drown.
Early risers walk with wolves on the mountain ridge.
Shadows against the sulfuric sunrise.
Wipe away those Aurora tears.
It’s impossible to stay permanently centered.
Ladies must be sisters in this white bread state.
On I-90 the natives drive ninety
while buffalo tourists drive eighty eight.
Think only of beauty, then remember
work still means the fulfillment of the body.
Knee deep in the Snake River, choking
on the wildflowers and sage of the banks,
the fly fishers try for the trout.
Past Reno, we play Keno at the Casino in Elko
where old ladies cash their checks and play game by game.
Bleeding down the freeway, the merge is quick
the assimilation is instant.
You are California.
So mispronounced, it is vital
not something you want gone.
Plates crumbling at the rim
a cascade of tectonic delight.
where the glacier left us sinking in ice,
Russian bones still catch our eye.
Sugar cane infernos flame tonight’s sky.
Lava hushes fanatics as it pours into the Pacific.