The Columbia River below the Dalles Dam

The Columbia River below the Dalles Dam . . .
On the road in the American Northwest. [click photo for next . . . ]


from ON THE WAYSIDE
four new
x-step (162-step) poems

. . . Randomness repeated
does not look like Chance . . .


BEER CAN

Five cents a piece is

what 'we the

people'
pay the man

with his garbage bag

full of cans, gathered along the


shoulder

of a noisy, filthy, awful

highway. For thirty

years, the cans have bought five cents

more of freedom, a sure, certain

insurance for the down and out.

From their cars, others


watch the man pick up his cans,

one by one, like metal mushrooms.

From the safe, fuel-injected time-

space of their speeding

vehicles, a faint voice comforts,

saying, "this can't happen to me."

But who can say? Economies

blow-out much like tires:—


always at the peak

of their performance. Then boom, bang,

collapse.
Hard times lie just outside

the locked doors. Ask the man with cans.

Five cents each, we pay.



SEARCH GOOGLE

It's always been so,

that the one

who controls water

controls the kingdom,

and the one who controls the flow,


the source,

of information controls thought.


But now, the dam at

Fort Dalles powers data about

data, a new kind of meta-

control, a thirst for power

that drinks rivers whole.


The Dalles, once natural meeting place,

now hub of North American

squalor, the perfect site to mine

data for quick cash.

Like water, data flows, can be

filtered, turned off, colored red, blue,

black, invisible. First we asked

the river to give


us cheap cans. Now we

ask the river to connect up

the thoughts of the world. Water, like

data, can be used for power.

Let's hope for the best.



DAM

It always begins

with a straight

line, a straight line drawn

at a distance, a

line of force, of control, of thought


slamming

straight into the order of things,


a potential that

is wasted, just spilling into

the sea, in thought, just spilling, a

tight, high, knot in the arteries

of the pulsing earth,


a knot now filling a vast lake,

filling a vast lake with pressure,

spinning turbines that are heard from

here to Alaska,

spinning turbines, power of thought,

of force, of control, from here to

Alaska, electric nights, big

city, nights without


stars, rivers without fish,

fish so thick a horse would not cross,

water so clear you could see stones

of bright gold dance on the bottom:—

O river of knots.



SLAM

It took Africa,

the pulse of

a whole continent,

to shake us alive

out of the trance of 2's & 3's


set in

harsh stone by Bach & Mozart. Yet


even Africa

could not stop the fall back into

the soft chairs of the bourgoisie.

Great rebirth of rhythm, dammed from

day one by the so


dazzling flood of disco-dollars,

sounds that sell soap on radio,

the supermarket of TV.

Why is 4 so square?

Captains of industry that beat

their rock 'n roll drum in the time

of buy, buy, buy, hammers that pound,

flatten dead the soul.


Tune in mtv,

cheap cheeseburger of trash-sound! Born

to be wild in a cage wired shut

by the tyranny of 4:—Try

to be serious.





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(created: VIII.312009)