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Mar 2018
What is the Rust Belt?
Can we define it?
   - on a map, we mean -
Can we circle in black marker,
topographical green and brown, one mound,
from Canada on down to
Kentucky and say
well, there -
America’s sore fingers in old age
floating, separate, in the pond,
white and knobbed and wrapped around something
a lever, the haft of an oar,
the tuning dial to twist to Cavalcade,
the body of the eel which just keeps swimming away.

You said it in a message -
β€œRust Belt” -
and a great blank region was filled
by old poets in corduroy
better than their surroundings
and if not better precisely
then at least when they drink
they drink in bars like smokestacks
with hubcaps on the walls, with weak plumbing,
listening to conversations, not having them.

Rust is something I know well:
I feel rust (but I don’t wear corduroy).
Rust like a signal ingredient
all through the cupboards.
Shot through, something you have too much of
and could never want to write about.
Rust in this message, too.
Wade Redfearn
Written by
Wade Redfearn
  150
   MicMag and Keith Wilson
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