Phil Metres ses:
“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we’re finally on our own.”
While I was in utero, the caterwauling of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young was a lament for the four students shot dead at Kent State University—just down the road from where I now live and teach. In a state called Ohio. Basically, to me, this state is a fiction. Nothing unites Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland—and the sundry towns between and around—except that every four years, this humble and homely flyover becomes the prom queen, as presidential hopefuls crisscross the state, promising the moon.
“America is just a word but I use it,” Fugazi once sang. And “language keeps me/locked and repeating. Language keeps me/locked and repeating.”
When I wrote a poem based on the signs and voices I read and heard as I traveled down its spine, I gather that Ohio is afraid of its mortal soul, and everyone wants you to obey the God of their imaginings. Either Ohioans are very pious and like their radio religious, or they are very rebellious and many preachers are afraid of where we are all heading. Either way, there will be long drives down our very spine to find out the answers.