So that others need not follow my example.
So that we may no longer be called Job’s children.
So the spoor of our smokestack heart can be impaled
by its steeple surrounds. So there shall be a reckoning.
So what buoys is more than memories from a
generous pour. So sinister becomes dexter.
So rock rolls from our souls again.
And because here we are all immigrants. Because old steel
workers know the difference between strong and hard.
Because a homeless man’s benediction inhabits Euclid Avenue
like wind off the lake. Because we are poor but defiant.
Because this will not succeed without human sacrifice.
Because I drink the water of the Cuyahoga.
Because tooth and nail is my kind of city.
a wryneck for ronv and James Agee
When our best effort grips no pen, last-falling ink illegible;
When deconstructed grins edge tooth and bone;
When graves or ash scatter truth; When the day
drone mutes; the night downs around;
When the fluted thrust of grass or hands evade autopsy;
When: forget roses; When
the breath bankrupts and
hours lose their turn; Then the trust
surrender; Then the joining of hand to hand;
Then a certain mend or heal will crust over eyes [thank you];
Then the blessed scrawls dove-flutter [please];
Then the bells buttressed peal to kindred;
Then naught but kind decay abrawl in rest.
So our free writ remains the epitaph.
When I was first working on this I posted it by accident. Woefully, unfinished. To paraphrase Bruce Campbell: Well maybe I didn’t follow every last wryneck rule, but basically, yeah, I did. Don’t kill me.
a wryneck for Wascovich
If we were rust brothers before the rain and salt Before
there were no scarcities of tanks to tread
Before the slow toe warehouse of sound was a real
knife in my head Before the shine of steel nativity
Before we trussed the tracks for holocaust Before
sanctity forest murder black-coat cacophony
If we are rust, brother
Th[r]ough beer stale traceries and graffiti pissers
Though rage-cocked shout mastery pays no bills
Th[r]ough the bend sinister wending neighbor indolent
Though weeks pass between fistclicks Though through
the rough thought caustic chaos meaning emergent life spark
Still we rust brothers