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Beats In Kansas: The Beat Generation in the Heartland


by Roxie Powell, 1978

I've got to see Kansas
feel it palpitate
to the elemental throb
of John Deere,

Kansas in itself
ungreen, veneer scraped
washed to its
burnt dirt core,

see its insides turn
from East to West
revealed inside its own

humbled by sky stretched
over horizons bound
to dust plains now lush
and green as backyard
flower beds,

Once it burned
baleful as eyes cut
by tractor gas see
earth move from horizon
toradiator cap,

Now old men sit on porches
in 1500 population towns
and understand themselves
by divination

cities create silver churches
impervious as wheat
and joyous youth re-learns
why it must explode.

© 1978 Roxie G. Powell; Page © 2012 George Laughead
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