Weekly poem on Trump Presidency
Speaking in Sleep, a Brief Meditation on the White House
Such minor Armageddons.
Beside the waters of disremembering,
I lay me down.
– Charles Wright, “Basic Dialog” from Appalachia
The Romans called it Thule, the very edge of their flat world,
an edge outermost of all borders, in the Arctic Circle, an island
so far north that the seas, wild and forbidding, flow into each other,
there a frozen land with black cliffs, precipitous, and full of hollows,
cormorants high and harsh surf below, with mountains shrouded
in thick cloud cover, sky full and white and blinding and as enormous
as nowhere, so vast that it is impossible to think, a land with a thousand
kinds of snow, from firn to ice, and ice ruins that never melt,
gloomy, cold, harboring horrors, cloaked in darkness, abandoned
to the mercies of Nature, Nature speaking in her sleep at the other end
of the known world, just where that end is nailed down with boards,
unequivocal title to the very last place on earth, where you run
into the afterlife, where you discover how hungry you always were.
Jeffrey Levine’s latest book is At the Kinnegad Home for the Bewildered (Salmon Press, March 2019). He is Founder, Artistic Director and Publisher of Tupelo Press.