Metal Man, by Robert L. Dean, Jr.
More Hephaestus than Daedalus, my grandfather calibrates
some small piece of history into a dream machine
that flies me back to this time and place where
men are men and progress is forged by the pull of
a rubber-balled steel lever, where pistons throb
in and out of metal wombs and what is birthed
is one feather of one wing of Hermes’ left sandal,
but line up enough of these copulation engines,
seventeen, say, as the pennants unfurled in the
metallic wind at my grandfather’s back suggest,
and you assemble the whole monster, just slap a
TWA or a United on it and point it in the direction
of Olympus. And that cloud there, emanating from
the nape of my grandfather’s neck, that’s his fifth
grandchild, my brother, entering the world
with no mechanical assistance, my grandmother
bleeding her cancer into the cup of her bra, my
dad taking the civil service exam that will lead to
his heart attack five years later, me typing this
whole fugue out in the rarified air of Cyberspace
where the womb of industry can fit on the head
of a virtual pin and gods come and go via Snapchat
and Instagram. Should I tap my grandfather’s Stoic
shoulder, warn him of the extinction of his species,
the scrap pile his world will become? Better, perhaps,
to let the goggle-eyed, cocked-arm assistant who is
peering over Hephaestus’s crew cut and out
of his time into mine regale the god with tales of
awe and wonder over a baloney sandwich
and a cup of joe when the lunch whistle blows.
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Robert L. Dean, Jr.'s work has appeared in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, River City Poetry, Heartland!, and the Wichita Broadsides Project. He read at the 13th Annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival in April 2018 at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. His haibun placed first at Poetry Rendezvous 2017. He was a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry contest. He has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.
9/6/2019 01:25:47 pm
Excellent work, Bob!
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
9/7/2019 12:54:37 am
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