Academic journal article English Journal

Driving Behind Alex Orchowski's Combine

Academic journal article English Journal

Driving Behind Alex Orchowski's Combine

Article excerpt

At the outskirts of town, he shoulders that

four-wheel-wide machine,

so out of place on Broadway.

Those wheels are meant for dirt,

and I can see each slow turn of the wheel

and feel the engine transfer its energy

through the pavement as he leads

that slow line of cars through town.

I pass him, my head at hub level, headed to

a room with desks like rows of corn,

the space between them wide enough for me to walk through

and broadcast ideas and lines of poetry and hope they germinate.

All this is ripe for metaphor, but it has never eased famine

or raised the price of grain. I reach down and scoop up

lines of prose and ball them in my hands to feel for something

like meaning, then release them and let them sift through my fingers. …

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