These shards of our lapsed rhetoric,
what a generation meant to say,
speak in me still. A flame guttering.
That the slashed landscape, the railroad
yards, the crumbled snow-strewn depots
of a vanquished Europe, all their dying gods,
flame, flare up, add to the smoke
of sacrifice. Millennial stars,
pools of light, sucking the last meaning
from the tremendous century.
The writers, hunkering down like monks
in their stone outcroppings
over the clear blue slate, catching
visions of the dystopian dawn.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 16 Number 5, on page 28
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