Monday, October 31, 2011

"Tractor, Riveter" by Colin Cheney

Tractor, Riveter

My father bought Susan's tractor
     the week they had to crane
          Christmas, her golden

mare, out of the sink hole's blind
     step the beast took into the world
          of soft, bad smut

by the grain silo. The smut
     Sam's mother let him tractor
          his body through the world

he pasted on his ceiling so as not to crane
     his neck holding himself 'til blind
          with touching seemed golden

to me: bodies built of golden
     seal, butterfly smut
          between their legs I was as blind

to then as my father was, when the tractor
     caught a nest of sandhill cranes
          during haying, of the world

he'd ended. And I want to world
     everything beyond Neptune's golden
          ratio with ghosts of those cranes,

beatification of that smut,
     the sudden verbs of tractor
          belts & shuttling blades blind

to their aftermath. Blind,
     Gloucester renounced the world
          but couldn't leave it, just as our tractor

returns each June to wheat golden
     as before, the buzzing smut
          in sickle blades. Yamaguchi's cranes

on the Voyager record, if really cranes
     at all, still sing in the dark with Blind
          Willie Johnson in the smut

(as someone's mother, on this world,
     called it) we engraved that golden
          record with. Tonight, playing "Tractor,

riveter," the golden, blinded cranes
     become the bodies here on my screen. Smut
          this world calls it, tractor replies another.

Source of the text - Colin Cheney, Here Be Monsters.  Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010, pp. 54-55.

Bourguignomicon: Tractor assonance; poetry as a message to alien life. S and B sounds recur throughout the poem’s languorous sentences & sestinalike triplets.

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