Gateway Arch dream songs

I picked up this week's New Yorker (12.8) out of the mailbox tonight, & was surprised to see the cover art - a drawing of the Gateway Arch Monument in St. Louis.  It's a great image : the nation's racial divide surfacing in the very shape of one of the country's key architectural symbols - which happens to be in St. Louis.  The Arch also happens to be the key to a long poem of mine called Lanthanum, which was triggered by a strange dream I had one night about the Gateway Arch - which I've never seen, and had never previously given any thought.

The poem is not exactly topical - more like a long daydream or dream vision.  But the closing poem seems to gesture, a little bit, toward the basic question reflected in the magazine cover.  The poem was finished the day before the 4th of July, 2012.

       ...nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, 
       and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.  They grasped not only the whole race of men then
       living, but... reached forward... seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon...     
          – Abraham Lincoln (Aug. 17, 1858)

Your birthday tomorrow, Grandma   born
on the 4th of July, 1900   far off there   in
Sunset Land   I’m thinking of you   & of
Great-Grandma   J.   2-wheeler captain’s

daughter   Jessie O.   Ophelia   the river-girl
now   at the end of this   milk-train rainbow
way back in   summertime   prairiespace   O
Jessie, little tree   I hear that lonesome horn

wail   my old St. Anthony trystle-humlet
suspended 7th   plunged into black earth
a shiny hinter-horn   of milky lanthanum
(dawn-anthem)   &   Amaranthousa   sets

her Pocahontaseal   a Morning Star   some
menorah-constellatio   over 50 more   their
hard-earned stripes   a chord (accord)   for
ear attuned   to Jubileeday (freequilibrium)

only a promise of   soul liberty   (Everyhew-
manever)   under these stars   their birthright
mine   may be   new birth of freedom   (night
brings dawn)   the sun of justice   risen again

to bloom   as once   on earth   in stable   born
out of the Pharaoh’s precinct   into happiness
just over Jordan (almondejoie) by wilderness
to mercy   forgiveness   peace   a Restoration

of all things   beneath two tender-tending wings   lark
tempering my mumbling   well, contrapuntal   polar
sarabande   (labor & rest   yin & yang).  Soar,
7/4   to 4x7 : welded   annealed   (almond birchbark)


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