Martha Rhodes


     Poems By Dana Levin

     Ars Poetica


     Letter to GC





I was tracking the stars through the open truck window,
      my friend speeding the roads

      through the black country—

and I was thinking how the songs coming from the radio
       were like the speech of a single human American    


the one voice of the one collective dream, industrial, 
       amphetamine, and the starts unmoving—

the countryside black and silent, through which a song
        pumped serious killer over and over—

and I could feel the nation shaping, it was something about

        the collective dream of the rich land

        and the violent wanting—

the amphetamine drive and the cows sleeping,

        all along the sides of the dark road—

never slowing enough to see what we might have seen

        if the moon rose up its pharmaceutical light—

aspirin-blue over the pine-black hills what was rising up—

mullein or something else in the ditches their flameless    


world without fire the song heralded a crystal methedrine


while the sky brought its black bone down around

        the hood of the truck the electric


we were losing our bodies—

digitized salt of bytes and speed we were becoming a




what we might have seen, if we had looked—






From WEDDING DAY (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)









    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2010