Untitled (Drone Poem)

by G. C. Waldrep

The general grief possesses us,
a desert music.

And the spirit of the frontier?

Pause and remember
the day we struck the movie set,
winter’s wet planks.

You can buy
your own Rothko, penance signs.

Capitalism stumbles,
a bit,
in democracy’s black chapel.

It sounds better as a duet.

We have created a city
for our best gods.
We have fed it our blue stories.

In the desert,
a honey clings
to isolation’s woody branch.

Make your secret
classical, so that the bees
will bear it
out of Plato’s cave.

How we select our leaders
faith’s broad arroyo
in which a small church stands.

Its door is locked.

Bodies depart
from what is actual, the
molecular tithe.

This is how democracy happens,

on the bridge
the former missile site.

It’s a private movie,
playing in the old bank vault

over which
a prisoner of war
has painted a Western landscape.

The myth
is a symbolic anecdote,
Rothko wrote

from inside the war’s
broad phylacteries, its distal
tracking shot:

—Christ’s many secret deaths.

And do you feel
secure, penance asks
(in its thuggish blackletter).

Let me be gift to the gift-

a praying surface.

My hand among the lilacs,
my hand within the living Art.

Published on January 17, 2017