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The Mesopotamian Armory
Dreamed 2008/8/6 by Wayan
I'm reading Poet's Choice by Robert Hirsch--capsule descriptions of a couple of hundred poets he likes. Note some dream-poets who might fit in the World Dream Bank. Also read Dorothea Tanning's A Table of Content--a surrealist with two dream-poems. Then I try John Berryman: His Toy, His Dream, His Rest... Interesting wording, rhythms, they seem playful, but I have no idea what they're about. Except that under the surface humor lurks a sadness.
All this experimental writing makes me want to play too. Maybe a shape-poem?
Beery, bleary, in the bar, this
Mideast archeologist tells me (sorry) "We
made a huge find on our dig." Burrowed in a
broad, low tell. But 4000 years ago, 'twas
a massive armory--
fortress on the rim
of an Ur-city, like
an opal set in brickwall ring.
Civilized folk, at least if you adore
Inanna, patroness of war. Here they stored
barrels of manure--farmer-prized--but when
dry, powdered, scattered--explosive! Not
full gunpowder, but catapulted, a blast
Hell enough to scare
a war-horde of mere
bronze-age foes. For
two generations, this
muddy city-state, now
mere lost dust, played king.
Then the tell blew.
Five hundred tons of cellared dung
aflame! Globe of white fire devoured
the fort, the city-state, the name. The few
chance survivors rumored it to Egypt, Iran,
beyond. God-wrath! Babel's likely source.
Worst disaster of the preatomic world--
the Biggest Bang, and
Bloodiest, as it crushed
of clay unreinforced. For
centuries, the age went dark.
Forgivable. Folk, burned,
dared not rear--feared god-doom.
And yet this, the biggest building boom
of its millennium, and well beyond,
was really just
bad dusting, plus... one spark.
Mortal, always clean your Room
Of inflammatory, allergenic Dust!
Only a Diligent
Job of Vacuum
NOTES IN THE MORNING
FOUR YEARS LATER
- Clearly the dream wants me to write a shape-poem with mushroom-cloud verses. Given the implicit threat, I'd better obey...
- I am allergic to housedust; it promotes inflammations. I better clean up, even if it provokes a short-term sneeze or two. Better than a buildup to...
Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built In Hell proves my dream right about both cause and scale of the biggest preatomic explosion humans ever caused: a munitions accident did destroy a whole city! In 1917, a freighter with 3,000 tons of explosives caught fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The ensuing blast was fully a third the power of Hiroshima, destroying downtown, killing people a kilometer away.
Better not to worship gods of war.
LISTS AND LINKS:
time-travel dreams -
ancient Mesopotamia -
health advice & warnings -
allergies & environmental illness -
dream poems -
Fall at the Right Size,
The Cuteness Pageant &
Five Blunt Teeth
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