Wednesday, April 8, 2009

the northern country

the robins are starving in the thin snow
their blood splashed chests, a false fire
in the glass branches of trees

there is a river, that is falling,
over stone and ice,
that has been falling
since the stones ground flour
that now decorate unused parks
and an empty museum, with a gift shop

each day, i sit in half-burned down factory
where 36 men burned to death
beetled on the edge of the cliff

from the empty office
across the hall
the water is steady as time,
as the water that carried a trained bear
over the falls in a barrel,
that killed Sam Patch the daredevil, in 1829

the engines that ran the streetcars
rust in a disused bar's basement
and the river, indifferent
to living and dead

drops through the broken wheelhouse
riming the bones of abandoned scaffolding with ice
this is a brutal country,
still half wild
beneath suburban streets.

the old hotels and whorehouses
keep their secrets
masquerading as chain resteraunts,
as boarded storefronts

at night, with my hound howling
at the swollen udders of the moon
trying to hang himself with his leash
we chase deer across the frozen lawns

1 comment:

  1. I love the language--it is rich, unexpected, complex and highly imaginative. There is a great underlying architecture in this poem. There are so many great images in this..."at the swollen udders of the moon" and the first stanza are imagistcially my faves --'cause I', a blood& glass & moon kind of girl.