Cornhuskers/Always the Mob
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ALWAYS THE MOB
Jesus emptied the devils of one man into forty hogs and the hogs took the edge of a high rock and dropped off and down into the sea: a mob.
The sheep on the hills of Australia, blundering four-footed in the sunset mist to the dark, they go one way, they hunt one sleep, they find one pocket of grass for all.
Karnak? Pyramids? Sphinx paws tall as a coolie? Tombs kept for kings and sacred cows? A mob.
Young roast pigs and naked dancing girls of Belshazzar, the room where a thousand sat guzzling when a hand wrote: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin? A mob.
The honeycomb of green that won the sun as the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh, flew to its shape at the hands of a mob that followed the fingers of Nebuchadnezzar: a mob of one hand and one plan.
Stones of a circle of hills at Athens, staircases of a mountain in Peru, scattered clans of marble dragons in China: each a mob on the rim of a sunrise: hammers and wagons have them now.
Locks and gates of Panama? The Union Pacific crossing deserts and tunneling mountains? The Woolworth on land and the Titanic at sea? Lighthouses blinking a coast line from Labrador to Key West? Pigiron bars piled on a barge whistling in a fog off Sheboygan? A mob: hammers and wagons have them to-morrow.
The mob? A typhoon tearing loose an island from thousand-year moorings and bastions, shooting a volcanic ash with a fire tongue that licks up cities and peoples. Layers of worms eating rocks and forming loam and valley floors for potatoes, wheat, watermelons.
The mob? A jag of lightning, a geyser, a gravel mass loosening...
The mob...kills or builds...the mob is Attila or Ghengis Khan, the mob is Napoleon, Lincoln.
I am born in the mob—I die in the mob—the same goes for you—I don't care who you are.
I cross the sheets of fire in No Man's land for you, my brother—I slip a steel tooth into your throat, you my brother—I die for you and I kill you—It is a twisted and gnarled thing, a crimson wool:
- One more arch of stars,
- In the night of our mist,
- In the night of our tears.