When the Moon Comes Up
May 1, 2008
May 1, 2008
Dear Sufficiency, perhaps you’ll lose your best friend, partner, apartment
Maybe the power grid fails—plant, quadruped, bird, sea, earth, air, sound
And under pain, pleasure. Maybe juice dripping from a vein will not occur
Injured, alone, once you were afraid, now you know: within presence
Epic lies. Salt and basalt, tree and lichen, ape, sea-lion, bird, reptile
Fifteen million purchased Louisiana in the full tide of successful experiment
Now capable of unlimited expansion from Canada’s border to the mouth
Of the Mississippi, from the Great River to Shining Mountains almost
Oregon, from Missouri to states now called Abandoned, overnight
We doubled, airports closed. To scythe, regret, abolish, refuse
The right to sleep, your white sadness to things indifferent seems
Abominable or necessary, being neither, as trees or sheep to night-walkers
Have unproper shape. Tumults re-elect Jefferson. Master, I’ll be plain.
My poems can be found in recent or forthcoming editions of the 15,000
Volumes loaded at Monticello, the largest in America, hand-collected
With ammunition. What farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees
A tax-gatherer? Most citizens know oranges squeezed through mesh are best
Grown in clay, lime, gravel, or granite, deceptively fair weather given
The devastating rumors, part moonlit treachery, part grace calls saline
Into the West. Dear Captain Lewis, dear Lieutenant Clark, even a threat
Badly made rushes like a comet into the Pacific as when there arises
A new, irregular meter. Although you could do nothing towards its begetting.
When I consider how much of your life can fall I find elegies, continual
Tempests where one foot hath overtaken another, every declension
Accompanied by leaks. Thus arrives the snow, the opal-colored days
As, irritated by no literary altercation, I read: “Here lies the Republic
Whose scheme of representation opens a different prospect, promises
A cure.” John Adams. Imagine not having to apologize for the United
States. Let history decide which matters most, the weeds or the earth.
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May 01, 2008