The Daily Poetry Movement
Some days are perfect for pirate radio, ginger tea, writing freedom letters, and singing poetry. Some days are perfect for pulling weeds, clinking your teeth against ice and and glass, two big gulps and burp. AHHHG! I was thirsty! How the soul longs to drink it all in, make this place ours not of the machines, neo liberalist rapings, hell borders...
Back in la belle époque the hired hand would spend
all his savings on a radio, and turn a cold shoulder
to the investment bloopers of the rural poor.
You learn enough to get along, the rest
is embroidery bracketing mushy urban wishes,
Stared at by the sun some simpering tomboy
wants to buy a drink, but he drops his change‹
a coin rolls into the gutter and down the drain,
unimagined voyages to distant Floridas strapped
to the wheel of the will, where the water boils
in the teeth of the hurricane‹never to happen,
dark and cold while the centuries roll overhead.
Now some rustic is rubbing my face
with his nicotine-stained fingers. Token?
They won't remember what the cycle meant.
Winter nights...the village draws the snow rug
around its knees, the lamps whisper nostalgic
baloney from one side of the street to the other,
the old schoolteacher peers at his book‹
the book which talks of glory, and later
he'll be reduced to getting drunk on beer and
watching football through a tube‹
Think of an accordion bought and sold‹boy
it must have seen some parties! Or imagine good times,
bad times, around the pianola. A rat doesn't need
a degree in entomology, he just carries the plague,
it's his talent and his gift. This is just one coin,
but it speaks for its millions of brothers, gazing
down on the planet through the polished
lens of commerce: tides, movements,
the harbour mouth silting up. It must be
phenomenal to be a farmer, every nerve in your body
in touch with the seasonal interest rate fluctuations,
doing your bit to clog the rivers and pollute the earth,
and, given a flexible borrowing rate, able
to rent a light plane to spread insecticides
almost on a whim‹ploughman as artist. Now
the bond ratio climbs, now a family
plunges into debt and alcohol,
now the Red Man is pressed from this
part of the West, miles of waving sorghum
cover what was once a prairie, now in Kalamazoo
a bookkeeper plots to bring down a bank.
The earth revolves, hiding its secrets. I may sleep
for a million years, and when I turn up at last
my value will be infinite, or nothing. What drugs
will replace me? My story, a sixpence
shaped like the moon, always standing in
for someone else, the soft suffering flesh
put behind me, part of a stupendous machine.
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