...I'll be found at the base of the canyon
I'll be torn from the wreck of the motor

Let the crane take back the engine
Let the crane take back the wheel
And I feel that the world should come with me
When I ride to the crack in the earth...
--Trip Shakespeare, The Crane

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
--Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.
--Edwin A. Robinson, House on the Hill

[ the deceased ]
Oh, but it is dirty!
-- this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several sons assist him
(it's a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease -
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.
--Elizabeth Bishop, Filling Station


Have they knives? Om Ah Hum -- Have they sharp metal wood
to shove in eye ear ass? Om Ah Hum
& slowly reclined on the pavement, struggling to keep my woolen
bag of poetry address calendar & Leary-lawyer notes hung
from my shoulder
dragged in my neat orlon shirt over the crossbar of a broken metal
dragged slowly onto the fire-soiled floor an abandoned store,
laundry candy counter 1929 --
now a mess of papers & pillows & plastic car seat covers cracked
cockroach-corpsed ground --
--Allen Ginsberg, Mugging

Eight centuries ago, on the edge of the marsh, men had built the huge cathedral, or it may have been seven centuries ago, or perhaps nine; it was all one to the Wild Things.
--Lord Dunsany

But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox or wild hyaena calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan --
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.
--Thomas Hood, Silence
I never believed that in my broken life
The day would come when
Suddenly I could return home.
--Ts'ai Yen, XIII; The Orchid Boat


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