it's not the actual statue


The poem curls out of the soil
of speech, an idiom
of natural freedom –
not the symbolic Rose (Étoile

du Nord) but the actual rambling
pink thorn-petals
pendulous stained glass
welds to parallactic lightning

(baptism of liquid fire).  These two,
the symbol & the thing
itself, twirl interlacing
through the June weather – like Hobo

& actual Providence, the scrappy
burg Rog Williams named.
Free habitation, framed
by metaphysical hope; happy

locution for Rhodos-location.  Only
an Ocean state of mind,
maybe – where you might find
your inner JFK, sailing toward Galilee;

only a craggy Catholic Oak
whose simple fortitude
cools tempers rude, &
opened ears when Blackstone spoke –

lifting his anima naturaliter christiana
to chant that common law
inheres in English & Ojibwa –
sponge of manna-Minnehaha


drifting like green Columbia
or cottonwood fluff –
adhesive, light enough
for grave thread-whispers (ahh...

I understand).  Radiant Naiad
à New York, lifting her torch
for Liberté... hopscotch
of bare feet round hummingbird

maze-vat... such were smoke signals
for a wide corn-dance –
pregnant sum-trance
of orbic humankind, out of deep wells

(perennial realtà).  It’s not the actual
statue, the actual state
but what they indicate
(A-frame of Lincoln-log) – rational

celebrations of Memorial Days...
Thanksgivings (4th
of July an afterthought
of fireflies)... myriad ways

a Union of republican consent
gathers (in common sense,
civility) at the tense
apex of divine intent –

buffalo tepee of Providence,
Manitou table
of justice; peaceable
kingdom, benevolent, immense.


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