Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Hear America Spinning

This is a poem I wrote years ago that went into my manuscript for my Master's Thesis. It was the last poem in the thesis. It sort of sums up how I feel about where we were, and where I hope we are going.

I Hear America Spinning

the lush land is divided
by the line of the body
in the loneliness of tall grasses

Barn with ten yellow birds
Perched on the peak of its roof

Grotesque cadaver behind the anthill,
melting into the earth
redness, brown and yellow
death juices seeping into black dirt

Worms and eaters like buzzards
take long thin pieces of meat
sail slowly with them

Hair growing
Nails growing
The land listening to the body,
body never hearing land
Soak up rain, rigor-
mortis sets in

Mother, Mother, Mother
Courage to take her Beloved
by her own hand in lieu
of rotten black slavery

Strange cutting machines under
purple-lipped observers
hands ready for bouncing and circling
on stage in the moonlight

White America running from
the Brahmas in a field of low grain,
green still, not yellow or brown
sky dark christened with
hundred-thousand pound clouds

Whirling dervish, spinning
mystic in the morning to
try to make the world right


jack sender said...

body never hearing land - that's my favorite part.

I like words and things used a bit out of convention.

Good work, Holly.

Jo said...

Yes, this is a really good poem, Holly, some amazing thoughts developed.

floreta said...

you are quite a poet!! what was your masters in? sounds like a lot of fun..

holly said...

my Master's was in creative writing...
thank you so much for the compliment!

Charli said...

Hi Holly. I found your blog through Breathing Poetry. Great work... I wish I had a masters in creative writing!! Do you teach now? I always wonder how writers make their livings till they're rich and famous.

holly said...

Yes Charli, I do teach. I teach at 3 different colleges just to eek out a meagre living. I won't lie; it's not easy, but I love teaching writing, so it makes me happy.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Julie said...

Hi, Holly. It's so good to see you again. This is an excellent poem. I love the title, too. My favorite stanza is

"Worms and eaters like buzzards
take long thin pieces of meat
sail slowly with them

What a powerful image. I love the energy of the rhythm, and of course, the deep meaning of the poem. Great work!

holly said...

thank you Julie...good to see you again

christine said...

This is one of those poems that needs to be heard. i read it aloud, and it reads like an intonation. So good, Holly. I love the measured lines and rich imagery.

Hey, Elizabeth Alexander is reading at Emory on Feb. 11. That's a Wed. night, probably not good for you, but in case you want to go, we could meet there.

holly said...

Christine, that sounds great! I'm actually off on Thursdays until March 5, so that would be wonderful! I'd love to see her.