Hokusai in Iowa by Dan Campion

          I no longer remember I am here
     there being no mountain
and I at its foot

          reading the sea-level poems about me
    to Grant Wood whose denim bib
rustles like a skiff’s sail

          perhaps waves in dirt and tassels
     really are like waves of the sea
so long as we do not think about

          whose prairie if I may be forgiven
     a figure of speech furrowing
at the least disturbance

          craft can always prevail
     provided spokes stick out
from the crucial nubs

          and the eye composes this space
     with composure sun setting
or sun rising

          close to the ground
     nothing fancy, you know
simple beyond comprehension

          austere without being witless
     here folk over there scholars
keeping droll actors’ suspicions

          drawing themselves out
     into schoolhouse murals
and innkeepers’ commissions

          as if after lofty effort
     earth-rubbing lines
fashioned a style

IMAGE: Iowa farm (left) by David Mark, used by permission; The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai (c. 1830). 

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