Dolan Morgan

She Struck the Earth with Her Spear

  She Struck the Earth with Her
                   Spear

         AND THE OLIVE TREE
               SPROUTED.

Though strongly built structures melt away in the sea, we live to witness the embodiment and wonder of boyhood: the Sixth Avenue railroad cars, all our theatres, concerts, newspapers, books and other publications, every branch of business: it would be difficult to fix upon any sum that could adequately represent their utility and pleasure, yet we must condense it and diffuse it across the land without knowing what we’ve missed or forgotten

      THE LOON, THE SPINDLE
     AND THE EMBROIDERING
                   NEEDLE

still look down upon the remains of Athens, but the man who shows the cow with two tails demands only fifty cents a head so we have lived to see the embodiment and wonder of boyhood, all the way from Harlem to thirty-fourth Street, strung out for miles festooned with strings of lights, the embodiment, the boyhood, and I never get why people complain about something when it’s just what it’s supposed to be, as in: let the imperishable records of the earth blazon in the pages of history the ‘fossil poetry’ of names, so meanwhile we can just walk through the stores once or twice and the bright lights and ads can be entertaining.

            IT SOUNDS NICE.

My mother is dying and all the rivers of Damascus send us your Greek slaves and fisher boys, send us your Virginia reapers, your Bubba Gump Shrimp and TKTS, send us your prodigies of prowess among sprigs of rosemary, sure, but can he who digs ditches for a dollar build better houses than those nightly crumbling and crashing about our cars? The best part of my life has been spent far away. I heard the rattling of tin cans, the fairy work of glass and metal, heard the works of nature proclaim this law: Change overmasters us all, and the best part of my life was wafted up the Hudson, all clay conducted by pipes to the lowlands and in its place were myriads of smaller columns, affording only subjects for a Winter’s tale, while Dodsworth’s band was on the balcony,

   PERFORMING HANDSOMELY

and art wants no king, just a bay horse in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. Once I saw the Charmin Bear in person, along with a woman dressed as a toilet bowl. Every age has its hero, and in setting up this altar, we render a finite copy of his infinite work. While I waited hours for a table at Hard Rock Cafe or Olive Garden, Vulcan cleaved the head of Jupiter, and Minerva stepped forth full-grown and clad in armor toward The Naked Cowboy, so you really never know what you might see here, you really never know what you might see while captive in the train of Roman conquest and though strongly built structures melt away in the sea, we have lived to witness the embodiment and wonder of our boyhood: my mother steps toward the couch and away from her body, away from the best part of her life, without agility or pride, like clay up the Hudson, a spellbound Ariel, mute, motionless and forgotten in that unrivaled melody where we have conquered distance and our hands grow weak. I never get why people complain about something when it’s just what it’s supposed to be but what is this supposed to be

       WE HAVE OUR LAURELS

hanging over water, undamped by fickle skies, our congress of peace and a coronation of labor, this living eulogy running from river to river, but Lord we have made the mistake of omitting the Prince of Denmark from the play of Hamlet. 53rd Street gushes forth.

Dolan lives and writes in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where he is an editor at The Atlas Review. Find his stories and poems in The Believer, Field, Spork Press, TRNSFR, and more at www.dolanmorgan.com.
MORE POEMS
  • blue
    Lauren Michele Jackson