Monday, February 20, 2017

Working people

    The car stops, not because
    the driver thought they'd gone
    far enough or because the woman
    said, "I'm sick," or the boy
    had to pee. It simply stopped
    because it had to, and when the
    three get out and he pops
    the hood they discover the fan
    belt had vanished and the engine
    shut down, wisely. It could
    be worse - a cylinder could seize
    for no foreseeable reason and send
    them into irreversible debt.
    Cars are, after all, only
    machines, and this one -
    a '48 Pontiac Six - is
    aged and whimsical. It could
    be much worse - the Mojave
    in mid-July with no shade
    in sight or northern Ontario
    in winter, the snow already burning
    the backs of Father's hands and
    freighting Mother's lashes. They've
    stalled descending into a gully
    in rural Pennsylvania, a quiet
    place of maples leafing out,
    a place with its own creek
    high in its banks and beyond
    the creek a filling station,
    its lights still on after dawn,
    the red and green pumps ready to
    give, and someone there, half-awake.

Against occasion-
al custom in these
entries, this poem
is recited in full,
to remember the in-
dependent proprietor
of the most diligent
poetry offerings of
any shop in Virginia. 

Philip Levine
The Last Shift
  Pennsylvania Pastoral
Edward Hirsch
op. post.
Alfred A. Knopf, 2016©

Xiaoguang Tse, photography
Freddy Keith

Sunday, February 19, 2017

By his thumbs

  I fail to understand
  the proliferation of
  complaints with this
  new government, that
  it appears to be all
  thumbs (ignoring the
  matter of their dim-
  ension). Does anyone
  truly want an effec-
  tual version of this
  theatre of barbarity?

Jim Ferguson Unit
Gelatin silver print

Friday, February 17, 2017

Suppose it were Friday cxxii: Gathering speed

Have you been to the Musée d'Orsay
to see Millet's inspiration of the
motorcar? There's still time, even
as fast as fashion changes, today.
Luxury never commemorated labor so
swimmingly, or speed, its posture.

For every kernel of grain the gaze
assembles, discovery's less dimin-
ished than enhanced by a certainty
of following a grand haphazard way
of being formed, shaped, en route.

Now our demagogue for ancient jobs
bestrides the stage of luxury more
foully than emission standards can
bear, negligent and false to life,
while the provenance of art is oth-
erwise. Millet aroused indignation
at the Salon in 1875, but his work
was later bequeathed to the Louvre
to warn and edify false sentiment.

The picture's of a gender's place,
and we watch a gathering of speed.

E-Type 2+2
1961 - 1975

Jean-François Millet
The Gleaners

Thursday, February 16, 2017

We go home now ix

A friend wrote in
that he'd majored
in Philosophy, an
approach to fact;
and sharply did I
feel a separation
in a structure as
a crack in a bell 

 Illumination of the Pantheon
 is always in the same place,
 because the edifice is still
 one place, while reflections
 will shift, as a clapper may
 strike a bell or vice-versa.

 There aren't consciousnesses
 in alternation by the hours,
 they are Pantheons, that al-
 ways possess the same pitch.

 We have the same government,
 every moment in every thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Michael Flynn, the lucky one

   In very few days and
   with no apparent pur-
   pose of self-regard,
   he has shown the path
   the whole government
   will take, after twis-
   ting in the firestorm
   of its inventions.

   He inadvertently spoke
   with incomplete infor-
   mation. Why not? It's
   not as if this weren't
   how they seized power,
   it's not as if he were
   the whole rogue putsch.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Anyone short a Valentine?

I honestly do
not think so.

    It was not a bad couple of weeks
    of lawyering for loyalty and re-
    ality, by the most consequential
    Acting Attorney General since we
    lived with the Nixon crime wave;
    and yes, for unconditional love.

  An astounding
  the Valentine
  she delivered
  to the People.

  Tell this for
  those waiting
  off our shore.

      I asked why
      the halo

      does he

      by art
      by virtue

      by night
      I saw the rust

      around his eyes
      I saw why

      the halo,
      why he wept.

Denis Bold
  The Iron Dog
op. cit.

Jean-Pierre Melville
Le Cercle Rouge

Monday, February 13, 2017

Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, ba-by

  The Duke of Devonshire allowed
  a drawing that had been in his
  family for 290 years to be auc-
  tioned some 5 years ago, fetch-
  ing the highest price ever ach-
  ieved by a work on paper. Such
  things come and go, don't they. 

Head of an Apostle
ca 1518


Jimmy McHugh
  and Dorothy Fields
I can't give you anything
  but love