When Axel starts humping the Coupe de Ville’s trunk
in Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter
America raises its iron voice
over the coal fields of Pennsylvania:
backyard engine blocks, chain hoists,
bell housings, toothed gears
resting in pans of oil—stammering out
the poem of combustion,
bright tongues and wings, white-hot ingots
glimpsed in the huge mills by the river,
coke ovens, strip mines, brick stacks burning
over the spine of the Appalachians.
Carnegie, gifter of libraries,
Frick with his Rembrandts, his Titians,
both fast asleep in the arms
of the strikebreakers
under the ashes and slag.
Fire with no roots, no memory,
grooved steel running all night to Detroit,
fire of the profit line, fire of the shareholders,
I-beams, pistons, fenders and chrome.
LORCA IN CALIFORNIA
Half the time I’m alone at night
when the raccoons come down to the yard,
rummage collectors, chewers of pine cones.
They sniff the flowers and the porcupine’s carcass,
seething with the white mouths of death.
I grew tired of the poet dressed in black
like the night of no moon, the curved
balconies and colonnades, hothouse Madrid,
its old lacquer. I could care less about Dali now,
his glass clocks and corpses, his giant
moustache, or Bunuel’s fake lenses
and flickering lights, all that bright equipment.
I want to stay here forever
in this ramshackle hut with its roses and dog hair,
its peach tree blossoms, pollen and dust,
the compost fuming out back by the fence.
My new lover works on the tuna boats,
he comes home smelling of old rope
and anchovies, money in both his front pockets,
shiny blue scales on his boots.