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Friday, February 6, 2009

Fast Day 88 February 6 2009 {President Obama's Stimulus Bill)

President Obama's Stimulus Bill

The Senate's consid'ring the stimulus
package to jump start the economy,
to give help after the drive-by shooting,
or so I said, reading the B.B.C.
She laughed, "Now they sit in Washington
like untrusting customs agents, trying
and discov'ring illicit smuggled cash
for the arts." She shook her long hair, and said,
"It's a man thing: the metaphor of jump,
and hooking electrodes to fix things up...

like Frankenstein", she softly hissed, snakelike;
"Dig up th'industrial skeletons of old,
unnoticed from the mass graves of today
on the roadsides of our Burma Shave memory!"
She laughed loud, and sat up straight: "Scarey, eh?"
Yes, I said, to vampire and to zombie,
to resurrect and stitch the body of
our rust-belt past, like Re-Animator
or The Night of the Living GOP,
while we townfolk stand with torch and pitchfork.

Later we went to Grandpa's old Garage;
as old as Henry Ford it stood with eyes
of glass panes, like a bee's multi-facets,
broken here and there by boys' tossed stones,
the Tracker Brothers Trucking of right now.
We break the seals and open doors,
whose hinges protest: Go away! Away!
like Samuel's shade did protest the wicked
Witch of Endor, filled with resentment, yet
unable to prevent the enchantment
of determined Van Helsing intrusion.

Past the crescent noon of time we stood
and viewed the treasure house of our grandpa's
tools: thresher, binder, cross-cut saws and tongs;
a Fed'ral truck, and two floors of dusk.
A device of lunar breastplate iron
stitched together with cobalt rivets hung
heavily inert from a heavy hook.
Who is a tool and die guy? anymore?
Where's the engineers of these hieroglyphs?

To clean it up, we took brooms with besom
from straws of Olympos and Avernus;
bronze rakes from Benin, ponderously long,
forged from old cometary copper;
we scrubbed from east to wet, and north to south,
until it gleamed again, like auroras;
and with those rakes, the peoples of the world -
grasping with eager sinews their brazen shafts -
pulled cool drinks of darkness from the blist'ring
Sahel sun - the killing genius of the drought;
and alternately pulled warm draughts of sun
from the unyielding cold - killer by ice.

And when it was done, we had a party
to celebrate our secular novelty
with all the flags and pennons of the world.
No one got drunk, and no fights broke out:
and we were not so tired we could not love.

Burma Shave memory: a simple recall that floats by like the indicated signs.

Re-Animator etc: old horror films.
Tracker Brothers Trucking: an abandoned facility in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher.
Witch of Endor: asked by Saul to summon the shade of Samuel.
Dr. Van Helsing: entered the ruins of Carfax Abbey to destroy the evil of Dracula.
Olympos and Avernus: mountains in Greece and Italy, respectively.
Benin: country in Western Africa with a history of metallurgy. Together, Olympos, Avernus, and Benin refer to the influences of their respective cultures upon our country.
Sahel: African region south of Sahara desert, drought-striken for years.


Ruth said...

my god, freaking fantastic.

Also reminds me of the Sunday night slideshow at church and the thing would stop working, and all the guys would have to crowd around to assess and fix.

Your imagery is splendid, and there is triumph in the end. I feel hope, though I don't know if that's what you intended.

Wow, thank you for this.

Are you published?

Catnapping said...

beautifully written. i loved the two images too.

it was a like surprise ending.

but i liked the rhythm of the words too. a great read all around.

Montag said...

Dear Catnapping,
I see now it is a surprise ending.
I mean, Obama is a complete surprise to me. I do not know where he came from.

We have come to a pretty pass when a happy ending is so surprising, but I feel quite confident suddenly.
I know everyone else is gloom and doom, but I was that way since 2002.
Now the air is very different.

Doing one poem a week, I often put it up on the blog in a very unpolished form - just to try and be faithful to what I said I'd do.
However, sometimes the poem is still a bit of a mystery to me by Friday.

Montag said...

Thank you, Ruth.

I like your simile of a slideshow. It made me think of looking at ancient postcards on an even more ancient "magic lantern" device at my grandmother' a darkness filled with scenes of old Cairo, old Europe, old Russia, the old Mohawk trail in upstate New York, and mystery.

And yes, triumph is what I intended.
This particular poem needs a bit of work yet; it's a bit of rough-going. I started out with a dialogue between a man and a woman, then quickly lost it, and I am not entirely happy with that.

Have not published.
Don't know if I want to.
If people paid poets as much as pop stars, you can be sure I would be aboard that gravy train.

I am not quite sure how I feel about it.
I mean, these weekly poems are like a weekly prayer. So there I am suddenly devout...
Don't know.

Montag said...

I want to thank you for commenting. Comments - and criticism are welcome.

The input shows me where things should be spruced up.

If I do not get input, then instead of being Fire, I shall remain only Wind and Smoke

Ruth said...

Oh so many good images you've added here in comments.