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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fast Day 161 June 29 2010 {Visit to D.C.}

Visit to D.C.

It was hot in D.C. Some record setting days.
I remember Europe and the heat
when ten thousand died;
the Change comes on apace,
like a broken line within the Gulf.

Memorials abound here:
signposts between the quick and dead.
G20 tightens belts...
and the noose
around our necks,
memorial noose of Saddam who died
amid the jeers and curses recorded
by cell phone photographers.

Kids, don't buy that house yet!
Give it 2 years!
The world  shredded like tea,
read the future from the leaves
left within the broken china cups
from your wedding registry!
Pick-up-pieces generation!
Chips of broken china, like
White Haven's broken mausoleums of desire;
tombstones arrayed like single-
family houses along Old Georgetown Road.

The day before he died, Uncle Leonard
was cookin' up a storm, and he called
everyone he knew to come and eat
johnny-cakes and green bacon 
he learned to make in the lumber camps
up in the Pontiac, Quebec.
Now we eat corn cakes with butter and salt...

Georgetown's Hogwarts tower looms above
the zero mile marker of the C&O canal,
where the water gate still sits unused.
There are too many memorials in D.C.
I feel like a wraith of history,
eating copper and broze,
drinking limestone and steel,
until I vomit weaponry of gold.


on returning from DC and Georgetown and Bethesda.


Ruth said...

You are an alchemist, that's for sure. This is astonishing and substantive.

The third stanza made my breath catch. The world shredded like tea . . . the wedding cups! The meeting of new and old, the fresh and the broken.

Then Uncle Leonard, and learning from his mistake . . .

The combination of concrete cultural references, war and death, new beginnings and hope (just a tiny bit), and the way you've combined them in beautiful, rich language, is really terrific.


Montag said...

Thanks, Ruth. I started out with all the good intentions in the world, and it sort of swung around to a sombreness.
I'm beginning to like the combination of weddings and new life and the intense sobriety of a previous life slipping away as I watch it...