Andrew Hein, July 2013

Summerset

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.

 

Bum camp

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

 

pink socks

half inside-out

 

like someone ran out of them.

There’s the glue factory too,

the one

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

not to.

 

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

repeated

forever.

Promote. Poetry.
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