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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fast Day 260 May 27 2012 {Memorial Day In Goshen}

Memorial Day In Goshen

Holidays are thick with ghosts enough
within the barbecue of spirits:
dripping fats and smokey flavor pork
and collard greens and sweet cornbread,
with broken husks like china plates.

And in this festival sat Pharoah, tail-gating,
feasting on the porcine anatomy
and giving gifts of smells and smoke
to the spirits of his ancestrals.

Pharoah ruled in the Fayum of Bombay Beach,
by the ancient spirit lake of Cahuilla,
by the Temple of “The Luck O’ The Irish”
where liquor went for sapphires
on the shore of the Salton Sea.

Moses said when they first came here,
there was nothing but gang-banging and drugs
and shootings in the cities, in El Centro,
but now it was time to go…

If Pharoah did not agree, plagues would afflict
the land:  the waters would not engender life;
the waves would conceal firearms and guns,
overflow the banks and encroach your ground,
killing first-born, male and female.

Eight million fish died in one day alone
in the piscicidal divine rage on Bombay
Beach:  Death’s tilapia silver carpet
rolling gleam like undulant beer can empties!

Well, in Chicago alone  ten people
died of forty-three that were shooting:
holiday barbecues
zombies in Miami
we’re gonna miss these days sometime…
when Pharoah change his mind...


Goshen - the area in Egypt where the Israelites lived

Bombay Beach - a vestigial city on the south eastern shore of the Salton Sea
Fayum - an area of lower elevation in Egypt where Lake Fayum is located.  As it is a depression, there is a parallel to the Salton Sink - where is the Salton Sea - in California.

Cahuilla - the Salton Sink anciently was the lakebed of Lake Cahuilla

Luck O' The Irish - a quondam bar and watering hole in the heyday of the Salton Sea

piscicidal  -  pronounced pis-ki-side-al , meaning the killing of fish. The Salton Sea began to experience massive fish die-offs in the late 1970's due to a number of factors.

This Memorial Day past, 43 were shot and 10 died in Chicago, and there was a real zombie attack in Miami, and I feel very much 'Resident Evil-frame of mind'.

The battle to save the Salton Sea in ongoing. The California Supreme Court most recently hammered another nail into its coffin, however, and water will not be diverted to maintain it. The Salton Sea is in a low depression called the Salton Sink. It has been filled with varying amounts of water over hundreds of years, anciently being an extension northward of the Gulf of California.
It's most recent incarnation was caused by a break in 1905 in the irrigation system supplying water from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley in California.

It's all about death society and holidays! 

This poem marks the accomplishment of 6 years of this blog. I finally got home from my parents' place  - who are in their 90's and have no internet access - and got this up. 
I have another due for this Saturday, the 2nd of June.

I realize that a lot of this poem requires some familiarity with thje Salton Sea and Bombay Beach, but they are metaphors for the large nation, and there is info on Google and Wikipedia.


Ruth said...

Congratulations on 6 years! I had no idea. I just finished 6 in January. We are really old fogies.

I really like that you conflated the Land o' Goshen with these other cultural realities. You should write screenplays.

Montag said...

I am thinking about it these days...