While we criticized Cuba, men on rafts read Dostoevsky, regulated insulin with government
subsidized syringes. Just like chocolate milk, the senator said, and Ludwig
began to rationalize a myriad of fantasies he’d had jumping into a vat of oil with New Jersey
prostitutes. And because there is something altogether alluring in collective thinking,
Confederates brought their children to the marshes to lap up black earth during recess.
Confederate children and one lone, brown, Louisiana pelican, fighting over nature’s
bountiful udder, 70,000 gallons of American milk one-mile down the Gulf.
Like most euphemisms and Moses getting cotton-mouthed at the sight of a burning bush, we left
the unspeakable for later, and the later it got, the more unspeakable it became, governance
turning itself over to an oligarchal matrix where common law is a New England peninsula
making a veritable Mt. Everest out of chicken excrement and corporate interest.
Crabs and Maine mark the indiscretions of a pastoral poet.
And when I say Keats is dead, this is why I say it. A carton of eggs is 88 cents
in the heartland, the beautiful fatsos defrosting Sara Lee in microwaves above the fridge.
The same carton’s $2.59 at the corner store because the maid, the dealer, and the school teacher
know public transportation only takes you so far and nowhere you’ll save a buck.
Roof-top gardens harvested by Census-evading Brooklynites will
save you! says community organizing! As will the burning bush, if you can do something about
the cotton mouth and the tapped out aquifers of the Adirondacks.
So a body of little islands magnifies our failures and a decapitated
Timorese rides tandem on the motorbike of Indonesia’s beloved King Kertangara, while British
tourists on third-world safari admire the natural order. Darwinian globalization something like
chocolate milk, or armadillo road kill in the middle of an Arizona highway like a Mexican-born
American making the shape of a pancake, as police describe how difficult it is to differentiate
illegality from other things. Troubled by the psychological
landscape of these new freedoms, Ludwig listens to Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov, flips to
the second to last page of The House of the Dead and turns the boat around.