crest of Summit Avenue


Brune muscle-bound mansion of J.J. Hill
on the crest of Summit Avenue
surveying the valley where two
rivers join – where the railways spill

from St Paul to Seattle (Great
Northern empire, spread
with iron & steel).  O head
taskmaster, engineer, we celebrate

Twin Cities’ renaissance beneath
your wood-burnt work desk
(Richardsonian Romanesque) &
spiderweb of railroad ties (gold sheath

of Gilded Age gloaming, applied
so lovingly above
the banquet table).  Move
across the river, where they hid

Rez Cemetery on the bluffs.
There Berryman is buried
too (J.J. expired
on a May 29th).  Henry still huffs

& hovers overhead.  Clouds bank
their gray matter in shapes
like dolphins, angels... apes
ape each other, rank on rank

while divers stars shed Ocean light.
From Romanesque to Gothic
unison, one fractured brick
serves as keystone – wound tight


as Daphne or Coatlicue
rooted in broken clay
await another day
when Churnagogue stirs milky

honey   & Apollinaire
attends his Rite of Spring
uncoiling everything
like smoke from Calumet (a Bear?).

Old poison lingers in the verbal mold.
The Sack-a-Jew sad cruiser way
shone from St. Louis ‘til today –
Lewis & Clark & our New World (behold

the Old).  Shoshone shone her pilot
smile, O Sacajawea.
Solid light, our Bona Dea;
stars’ Primavera (bolting nut

arced out of nought).  She dances there
in place of sacrifice –
her graceful feet efface
the facade over the serpent’s lair;

she is the Jonah from the Ocean depths
who croons grey wavy shapes
for blind eyes   leaps
with a Nazir tambourine   & skips

a cartwheel through the broken glass
spoking a Morning Star
within that tender rose   O far
Pacific angel door   lamb-glowing Mass


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