Friday, June 17, 2011

A DIALOGUE ON A QUARRY (Conversations with Stick Series #13)

It is a Ground Zero thing, Stick; no one talks about it now
except the minute men, make that capitals: M & M.
No, not those candies, silly. But never mind. That blast
could have been heard around the world if it were there.
Wall (Money) Street, the United (Debating) Nations,
Greenwich Village, Chinatown, the Nooyawktimes,
the Clinton Bronx, ad misericordiam. What would
America be minus them? But,  pray,  not Hollywood!
Oh, we “will bear any burden, oppose any foe…”*
It’s why we have footprints on the moon, the Internet,
Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! and Lord, the CIA.
What would this planet be without these amber waves
of grain? This land of the brave, this home of the free?
I say, Stick, that’s one too many blasts from two miles
away. Praise Yahweh! But that must be the quarry boys
down there, blasting the minerals out, fossil for our Fords,
and gold. Elsewhere, my errant friend, when downstream
natives in the Philippines hear a blast one too many, they
will hasten with their basins to sieve the golden morsels
downriver, as they did in Ye Old Yukon north of the border.
And in old Benguet, in the boondocks of the Flip’s Mountain
Provinces, in the Itogon mines. Saturday nights in the grills
of Baguio City, that pinetree haven of my youth and undying
affection: all suborned by the American presence. Bullions.
Sinatra asked once in that song: What is America to me?
An M & M neighbour (shhh…) said: Dang! A land of the free!
Beware the wrath of the little citizen in Plummer’s Hollow:
he says: never again; his Hispanic brother: Nunca jamas!
Never again will American blood be shed in American soil!
Stick, aroused from stupor asked: Where then, milord?
Where? I gulped down my cup of cold tea—Nestea?—and
spat it out. Shut up, Stick, geopolitics on this porch is risky.
—Albert B. Casuga

*John F. Kennedy Inaugural Speech excerpt.

Prompt: A loud blast from the quarry two miles away: the kind of literal “terrorist attack on American soil” nobody but the neighbors ever mentions.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 06-16-11

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