The Suzerain Shines at the Canal

Once America the Great Horde
a Suzerainty
stretching from Moscow to Indiana
China merely one of the United States

in Novosibirsk.
you can see the same pock marks that made the Great Lakes
burned into the land

from Hyperborea Jesus descended
conquering first Constantinople
and then the Great Salt Lake
both man and spirit
gold that transmits electricity
combined with red mercury
made by hand in Siberia
to transmit television twenty thousand miles

the Moor Men
(Devonshire? Cordoba? Provo?)
record how Master Mahan laid his traps
like Iago
telling how the whore spread her legs
Babylon Mississippi
to admit the electric probe

in the Onomasticon
New York Old York
records the names
Babylon, Bethany and Bethel
Hebron, Jericho and Salem
on whose Empire the Erie Canal sits
its Suzerain
moving from Kazakhstan to the Kaibab Arizona
116 miles north of Flagstaff
Solomon’s Temple Stands
where the Queen of Sheba,
Minato Ward, Japan
embarked on her great visit

worse than exile
or disembowelment
our sentence
to forget everything
escutcheons cut out of the rock and made into paving stones
covered in tar
our great pylons piercing the sky
now flagpoles for the East India Company

the moor
swamp heath
spaceport and temple
Lear’s lost mind
land line from sky to sea
this great circuit
cut into the dust
each interval
nanometer thick
now covered in subdivisions

our dreams stutter with the images taken from us
twisted into dirty pictures
screened at movie houses

our emperors
without names
or footholds
people the land
their voices
move slow like the acid bath of the microchip over which we churn
miners fossilized
a body of Wyoming coal
a tree 12,000 feet high
come to ash


Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his work at Read other articles by Robin.