Sunday Service: Mike Lala Poem
Mt. Rushmore Poem
Six thousand pounds of dynamite
for the father of my country.
A chisel for God’s messenger, detained.
A hammer as his cue:
Washington: Bring the money.
Jefferson: It’s soft.
Borglum: Move behind Washington, and Roosevelt, back.
South Dakota: It’s odd here.
Italy: It’s old.
Michelangelo: That’s freedom: a new face in an old place.
Han Solo: I know.
I stood at the rail, put a quarter in, and received my 90 seconds
set aside for detail:
Tom staring off at the hills.
Abraham, in absentia,
George, chest out.
Susan B. Anthony (at home): All rise for the Federal Boys Club.
Roosevelt (to tourist): Take the fucking photo.
Jefferson (erected): Leave your likeness where they worship.
The stationary viewer clicked closed, and mother
led me to Crazy Horse in-progress. I looked at the mountain,
the face emerging from it, then the plaster mockup
on the boardwalk by the gift shop.
Ziolkowski (on his death bed): Do it slow. Do it right.
He has been honored by the U.S. Postal Service
with a 13-cent stamp.
Michael Lala grew up mostly in the western United States and Tokyo, and studied writing in Michigan. He is the author of the chapbooks [fire!] ([sic] Detroit, 2011) and Under the Westward Night (forthcoming, Knickerbocker Circus New York, 2011), and he curates Fireside Follies, lives, and works in Brooklyn. mikelala.com.