Thursday, February 14, 2008


The very thing that brought the thing to be is the thing that will cause its death.
Andy Goldsworthy

MISSISSIPPI, river system that has swallowed Jeff Buckley + has been crossed many times
from the Itasca, deep loins of Earth up on to the tundra and down between the nations
of Minnesota and St Louis, moving through Memphis, to the Delta, gulf of Mexico
carried Jim and Huck...tom and john, ike and Tina, and me, when I canoed down up above
St Cloud. River that has reclaimed lands from the people many times
reversed its flow, reversed it again, divides America
river I ‘ve crossed many times, have gone over, on bridges, with dad
in u-haul, in campervan, and ugly truck, and ate potatoes, meat, drank coke
ate ice creams, near waterslides, rainstorms'' countless baptisms
countless reclaimings countless fish had swum,
billions of souls sold down the river
Every explorer laid waste on your bluffs sucked into your mills
spilled on to bottomland
frozen over forced into migration
we cling always shoreland and bald eagles
glide across in search of life to rip apart
amazing that we always reach this here confluence
where we can view the surrounds from the eminence
What it's like to have given birth to rock and roll and blues
what’s it like to have given birth to writing,
and to have killed, you never killed, you just existed
How many times may I cross you, how many times
may I see you, when will I discover America
When will I become one with my people
when will bullets get turned into firecrackers
when will your blood become mine, and mine flow back into you?
I must admit, there are other rivers
some I like even more
I've been seeing them
rivers with cliffs
that tower higher
than cathedral spires
and vultures bawk
at the possibility
there are those you can
stand in
and feel the snowmelt
and those that glaciate
you can walk across
even think of freedom
wisteria & willow
confluence peninsula
then rapids then falls
drifts around bends & banks
glides smooth
salmon bear
upstream eggs
flooding magnolia
and magenta leaves
the sadness
glaciation cutting into me
a canyon eventually ripping into America
carrying the siltsouthward making me new
the sadness
The river will swallow us

making us

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