Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.


Friday, 31 August 2012

Farewell to Romney


.

U.S. 50 leading west out of Romney, West Virginia: photo by John Vachon, 1942 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)




When the interloper ambled
importunately across
the path of the religious parade
in downtown Romney West
Virgin-i-ay
heads turned
and there were hard looks
a cold mean January day

stern serious faces fixed
toward the future's
thin ray of promise
for everyone
of more of the same




Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Religious parade, Romney, West Virginia: photo by Arthur Rothstein, January 1939
 
Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film
 
Religious parade, Romney, West Virginia: photo by Arthur Rothstein, January 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Main street, Romney, West Virginia: photo by Arthur Rothstein, January 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Religious parade, Romney, West Virginia: photo by Arthur Rothstein, January 1939

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Religious parade, Romney, West Virginia: photo by Arthur Rothstein, January 1939




Indian Mound Cemetery at edge of Romney, West Virginia: photo by John Vachon, 1942

Photos from Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

This post for the poet Ed Sanders: "Would somebody please tell me what the fuck is going on?" (August 2012)

12 comments:

Sandra said...

sometimes the eye that watches misunderstands...

Ed Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hazen said...

Farewell to Romney.

Let's hope so.

gamefaced said...

the following is a joe bageant quote, taken from one of his first coldtype essays "covert kingdom". even though this was written some time ago, his point is still relevant - if not more so now than then. or even, way back when...



If we are lucky as a nation, this period in American history will be remembered as just
another very dark time we managed to get through. Otherwise, one shudders to think of the
logical outcome.No wonder the left is depressed. Meanwhile, our best thinkers on the left ask
us to consider our perpetual U.S. imperial war as a fascist, military/corporate war, and indeed
it is that too. But tens of millions of hardworking, earnest American Christians see it as far
more than that. They see a war against all that is un-Biblical, the goal of which is complete
world conquest, or put in Christian terminology, “dominion.” They will have no less than the
“inevitable victory God has promised his new chosen people,” according to the Recon masters
of the covert kingdom. Screw the Jews, they blew their chance. If perpetual war is what it will
take, then let it be perpetual. After all, perpetual war is exactly what the Bible promised. Like it or not, this is the reality (or prevailing unreality) with which we are faced. The 2004
elections, regardless of outcome, will not change that. Nor will it necessarily bring ever tolerant
liberals to openly acknowledge what is truly happening in this country, the thing that
has been building for a long, long time – a holy war, a covert Christian jihad for control of
America and the entire world. Millions of Americans are under the spell of an extraordinarily
dangerous mass psychosis.
Pardon me, but religious tolerance be damned. Somebody had to say it.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Well maybe what's going on
is sitting
dead with bones
of an old demented king
on the old mound
overlooking
the river
all that is richly viewed
and king of it
when you will never be the king
it is not set up that way
supposedly. America.

If Ed Sanders is at a loss
investigating
then there is only one response
at the old hill ripped in two
by the highway overlooking Romney
it is the name--it is
a famous magazine fuck you

said when leaving
such a town tucked away
in America hungry for words
to make everyman rich.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Such grimfaced people in the Methodist Youth Parade (getting ready to welcome Mitt, or rather anoint him?).

What the heck IS going on? ? ? Who IS Mitt? ? ?

8.31

grey whiteness of fog against invisible
top of ridge, bird slanting to the left
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

straight toward unconcealed,
cloud outside of what

passing glance, time of day,
figure in the picture

grey white of fog against top of ridge,
line of pelicans flapping toward point

Hazen said...

The Romnoids will give us fundamentalist, monotheistic fascism in one fell swoop. With the present administration we’ll get what we’ve been getting: ecumenical fascism on the installment plan. Either way, it’s fascism and the bi-partisan ruling class will demand that we suck it up and pay for it with what they like to call a credit economy—what a sane person would call an economy of debt and debt peonage. Seymour Melman noted that, ‘By 1990, the value of the weapons, equipment, and factories devoted to the military was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in American Manufacturing.’ War is what we do, everywhere, all the time. We know how to make carnage against the foe du jour turn a handsome profit. It's the American way. Rest assured, this won't be the end of the world. It'll just feel like it.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

They march two by two
out from Romney
toward the outer reaches
of Empire like it said
in that book about peltry
and skins and the softness
ripped apart and dumped
all wormy and moth-eaten
in the end before another fad
caught on--the animals with teeth
needing a constant sharpening--
the buffalo hair so ever curling--
old oil fad will still do
won't it America
is it worth nothing
still nothing evermore?

The midden just outside of town
is filled with expired plastic
numbered cards did I use mine
in the yesterday that flourished
why don't I look happy
my face my steps away.

Wooden Boy said...

"more of the same" - the one promise the boys at Bohemian Grove can keep.

TC said...

From a distance all this (American politics) must look very, very strange... bizarre... and chilling.

From here it looks even worse.

Here's a interesting Washington Post piece, with link to revealing video footage, on what goes on in Bohemian Grove.

TC said...

So, then.... as they say on dark nights in the colossal shadow of the Owl Shrine... Do we have a deal?

larry white said...

I've been to Romney, WV. I should say been through. On Hwy 50, crossing that mountainous state not near yet flattened. I house-hunted across the northern part of WV and western Maryland before I moved to Iowa in 1992; almost bought a house in Grafton, another near Cumberland, MD. 50 is an amazing old highway with more switchbacks than any I've been on anywhere else. More than the time those border towns switched from North to South and back again, and again. It's a grim legacy. But there is music in the mountains and those old churches, Ginny Hawker for one.

Lacking for choice and by necessity
high-speed internet, a television,
I am given much else, no less,
by the industry of natural resources.
Family of friends.
A luxury here, a blessing there,
every breath that breathes
a new story.
From the gales of a brother's despair
Sister Mona Lisa smiles,
so prized, so rare.

That politician's well-groomed grin
skeletal, head-bare,
rotten to the core
and much too close for comfort.