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Friday, September 3, 2010


O Mississippi, urethra of the American beast,
I remember your low-lying

very vaguely

like the moments before and after
car accidents that could have been avoided.

There are things we know
that we do not know. For real.
Words are spoken silence is heard.
Money is gathered money is taken.
Arrests are committed.
Death is awarded.
Numbers are given.
Questions are questioned.
Silence is heard.
Predictions are made.
Nothing has changed.

Everything is recorded nothing is found.
Dead dogs are drifting toward their masters
dissolving in the bathwater
of the Gulf Coast’s industrial chyme
as the sea eclipses the sun
and the night skies throb like a radio tower




Wake up again.

My life on the balcony—
gothic trees uprooted in blue light and contraflow.
It’s not my tragedy
but I’m standing in the midst of it,
no camera, no healer.

The neighbors let stray Christians
wander to pray the monster moves on
to people who pray
the monster moves on.
And masses move throughout the complex
like a giant human hand
shouting Fuck the Quarter,
I don’t know what I’m gonna do but I’ve gotta get some ice,
My family has drowned.

The mayor says Sewage, Snakes, Sharks, Sharks with Guns,
Rape in the Streets, 40,000 Deadbodies, Dead Dogs, and the Darkness
We’re all Fucked
Thank God for the Army, for the helicopters over

Baton Rouge tonight

Baton Rouge tonight

Baton Rouge tonight

throbbing like a wound on fire with emergency,
arming itself at the WalMart,
closing down its windows,
opening its doors,
aiming at the road.

Don’t panic—dogs everywhere—the sky

chrome as the holding tanks next to the cosmar facility,
feral dogs spilling fu manchus of drool
over intersections of concrete and dead grass.

A billboard still stands:

You Need A Reason to Smile. Louisiana.

The Lottery.
And you begin the awful
autopsy of communication:

This has been foreseen for years.
This could not have been foreseen.
It was so obvious, it's hard to believe
nobody thought
something like this could ever happen.

Thus the governor wants immediate aid
retroactive to her latecoming realization.
Thus Washington says it’s forthcoming, postdated yesterday. 

Clarification is for idiots
afraid to withdraw from their handshakes
appearing not to know the details.

Conspiracies go mosquito on the death:
Was what she said she said
ignored or never spoken
to a man who never heard
or never acted?

For real.
There are things we don’t know
we don't want to know.

The refinery’s pennant isn’t flaming today.

And everything I see it seems
through some hideously morbid and tumescent purple glass--
the tentacles of war,
the glaciers in motion,
the sound of the country going down,
sickening as silence in a party town.

The Lottery.
The Conspiracy
gets easier to believe—
never a good sign.

But if corruption, topography, the state,
and every economic law
have all conspired to drown you,
maybe it’s time.

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