Monday, November 12, 2012

Sonnet sequence IX, X

IX. Devil Jockey

Boredom's a devil jockey, riding
high in the saddle, heavy on the whip
and spurs. Each day he sees the same horizon
roll out at dawn, roll away at night,
taking away the streets, shutting down the strip
of lights on Main. No wonder he dreams of flight.
Double-yellow lines lead to an urban fable:
fortune falling into a poor boy's hands.
In country well-known as an old nightmare's stable,
he lusts for adventure in dangerous lands,
fast-lane action far from the family farm.
One thumb-jerk, he could be gone in a flash
hitch-hiking three counties from the open barn.
His flanks are bloody under boredom's lash.

X. Elevator Temples

Hazelnuts and honey, deep arbors hung
heavy with grapes. Here all things flourish,
every good fruit a different jewel strung
on a necklace of railways built to nourish
the rising cities. New-come, the god of vines
bows to the old queen, goddess of grain
whose golden basket empties into the endless trains,
whose elevator temples tower still
over the lines of empty cars to fill.
Wheels turn and turn. The god-mills grind fine,
throwing grain like gold dust into summer air.
The river chafes against revetments where
once ancient floods spread this sweet black earth
that now lies pregnant with the grain's rebirth.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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