I am fashioning a cog. By that I mean that I have taken an old cog; I am polishing it. I am ‘fashioning’ it—shiny cogs are the new convention. I am shaving down wires and making new life. What does this machine do? It polishes cogs. I am refining and being refined. I am shaking to parts. I am oiling the cogs. This machine is lumbering toward the sea. There it will destroy itself, below the high cliffs, beside the cluster of white stucco houses: pebbles against its mass.
I’m out for a jog;
they’re living in a bum camp.
when I round the corner and start
into the woods
I remember it, cued by a comical
trail of refuse–can of whipped
cream, dented fire extinguisher,
then a pair of what used to be
like someone ran out of them.
There’s the glue factory too,
you can smell before you see.
The glue factory, as I call it,
where they repurpose glue
for entertainment. It’s still half dark
and behind the factory and a curtain of pines,
backhoes are rearing their Ndbelean
necks (equipped with flashlights), roughing up
some wretched stump. Backhoes
were designed with giraffes in mind,
both created with demolition as their
purpose. Passing the camp now, I smell
their urine. They must smell it too, it’s hard
But no one is around.
Maybe they’re using
this quietest part of the day,
just when it’s cool,
just before the dawn, to rest like we rested,
urgently, those few minutes
on a hillside in Appalachia, or in
the Alabama valley, or in the buzzing Amazon,
like that but