Friday, July 11, 2008

Living in America (not the James Brown version)

This is a pottery sculpture from a local artist I picked up a few years back from a silent charity auction. I added the feather duster headdress yesterday.

'Living in America,'
the intelligent people at Harvard say,
'is the price you pay for living in New England.'

Californians think
living in America is a reward
for managing not to live anywhere else.

The rest of the country?
Could it be sagging between two poles,
tastelessly decorated, dangerously overweight?

No. Look closely.
Under cover of light and noise
both shores are hurrying towards each other.

San Francisco
is already half way to Omaha.
Boston is nervously losing its way in Detroit.

Desperately the inhabitants
hope to be saved in the middle.
Pray to the mountains and deserts to keep them apart.

Anne Stevenson
Selected Poems
winner of the Neglected Masters Award

I meant to put this up a while back and it will have to stand as a belated 4th of July poem. The book is from the American Poets Project which I have mentioned previously here. I highly recommend the series.


Churlita said...

As an Iowan, I kind of like that poem.

Dexter said...

It was the first poem in the collection and I interpreted it as a sign that it was written especially for me. :)

Anonymous said...

"Californians think living in America is a reward for managing not to live anywhere else."

I feel there's a word wrong somewhere in that . . . it makes no sense.
Missed it by THAT much . . .