Adam Fell



Ten more have died today,
while we sit here
punk                                                  and drooling;
          dissolving our cartilage
         in Pabst.

There's a crossbow on the wall.
Its bolt drawn at the label-sinkers,
          the boothed kids,
                                                            botched like us
                                                            but decanted
                                                                                                    and chiral;

                              a colony of new garbage bags,
                              cigarette machines,          gutted,
                                               lying in parking lots.
                                unfurled and chirring.


I eulogized the hill to your house,
the winter,          the wake.

And for the record,                    yes,
I felt the receding.

Beneath a newspaper on a sidewalk near Western
is a shrine to a saint
not recognized by the Catholic Church.

We leave our used hands as an offering,
the alternatives are cureless.



They've left two tanks in the parking lot
of the old ammo plant.
Their barrels point across the highway
at the gas station and a subdivision
where someone welds beautiful things
from the wrecks of old machines.
On the front lawn, there is a tree-sized heart
being killed by a tree-sized arrow,
flocks of flightless birds
made from musical instruments.
There is no blood.
There is no music.
I take my sad leavening for lint,
play with its soft pieces in my pockets.



ON Surplus: second of three poems about the Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Baraboo, WI, now a gutted behemmoth of an ammo plant that created ballistics and propellants for the U.S. Army beginning in 1943. In the early 90's it was discovered that 50 years of improperly disposed-of chemicals and explosives had severly polluted the soil and drinking water of many communities and farm families within two miles of the plant, as well as many water run-offs into the Wisconsin River.