Walker Evans, “Joe’s Auto Graveyard, near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.” Gelatin Silver Print.


By Benjamin Goluboff

In one respect it is about
commodification and the alienated labor
that subtend—base to superstructure—
the efficiencies of industrial modernity.

In another way it is about winter:
the grey corn stubble
behind the junked Model Ts,
the bare trees at the horizon.
Here is a killing snowless frost,
the February light blunt and pervasive
on the matte black surfaces
of the old cars.

Or it is a Cubist exercise
where the representational
shades into the geometric,
and gestures toward
the figurative.

This is the winter of '36.
The Nazis occupy the Rhineland,
Mussolini prepares to annex Ethiopia,
and dust from Kansas and Oklahoma
is filmed blowing in grey clouds
over the capital dome.
 

Benjamin Goluboff teaches at Lake Forest College. He has placed imaginative work—poetry, fiction, and essays—in numerous small-press journals. Goluboff's Ho Chi Minh: A Speculative Life in Verse is forthcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press this year. Some of his work can be read at www.lakeforest.edu/academics/faculty/goluboff/