The pure products of America
go crazy—
mountain folk from Kentucky
 
or the ribbed north end of
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and
 
valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between
 
devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure—
 
and young slatterns, bathed
in filth
from monday to Saturday
 
to be tricked out that night
with gauds
from imaginations which have no
 
peasant traditions to give them
character
but flutter and flaunt
 
sheer rags– succumbing without
emotion
save numbed terror
 
under some hedge of choke—cherry
or viburnum—
which they cannot express—
 
Unless it be that marriage
perhaps
with a dash of Indian blood
 
will throw up a girl so desolate
so hemmed round
with disease and murder
 
that she’ll be rescued by an
agent—
reared by the state and
 
sent out a fifteen to work in
some hard-pressed
house in the suburbs—
 
some doctor’s family, some Elsie
voluptuous water
expressing with broken
 
brain the truth about us—
her great
ungainly hips and flopping breasts
 
addressed to cheap
jewelry
and rich young men with fine eyes
 
as if the earth under our feet
were
an excrement of some sky
 
and we degraded prisoners
destined
to hunger until we eat filth
 
while the imagination strains
after deer
going by fields of goldenrod in
 
the stifling heat of September
Somehow
it seem to destroy us
 
It is only in isolate flecks that
something
is given off
 
No one
to witness
and adjust, no one to drive the car

#AmericanWriters #FreeVerse (XVIII of "Spring and All”)

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