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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Abandoned Block Factory, Arkansas by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers
All that is left unaccounted for: elegance married to rust. On the roof, rain dwelling in the corrugations. Some slats vanished altogether, a blankness giving way to sky. But the eaves hold in perfect vertices, refuse to abandon their beauty, hard-earned. High on the yellow silo, the conveyor's lattice is as finely wrought as a string instrument's struts and braces: precision in every coordinate and all across the godlike slant from tower to the ground. There would be no time at all if not for moss swelling in concrete cracks, the guard rails papered by lichen. If not for the rest of the world, the silence it attempts to punctuate: crow caw. Engine roar. Horns of every pitch and color. The train's shuddering Doppler, crossing us now—as always— in near-perfect intervals. Even though there is no tangible good to stop for, nothing whole to take away.
"In 2016, when I first moved to Arkansas, I became fascinated with the abandoned concrete block factory in my neighborhood. I recently brought some of my students there, and we all wrote poems in response to the site. This poem is also an homage to Linda Gregg's 'Elegance,' with my first few lines echoing hers." —Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers
Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers is the author of Chord Box (University of Arkansas Press, 2013). She teaches at Hendrix College and splits her time between Conway, Arkansas, and Washington, D.C.
"We Manage Most When We Manage Small" by Linda Gregg
"The Ecstasy" by Phillip Lopate
"Personals" by C. D. Wright
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