Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Postwar American Dreams

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Postwar American Dreams

Article excerpt

1.

Bogart, in a class of his own-chess set,

champagne, cigarette and white jacket-weighs

internment camps against democracy,

while all across America they sleep.

He looks deep into a sea of troubles

and posits post-war possibilities.

In Harlem they demand projectionists

rewind certain scenes and play 'em again,

as Ellington swings in Carnegie Hall.

2.

Wayne without a hat would be the U.S.

without certainty: it moves with the head,

the shoulders, the body, the swaggered roll,

expressing the surety of empire.

Within a single iconic figure

global power confidently contained.

The Monument Valley butte-like statement

of a cowboy's body in a doorway

guarding the entrance to a fantasy. …

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