Pitch Lake

by Aidan Andrew Dun

pl3

 

i

Insular pearl
in the mouth
of the Orinoco

(Venezuelan dragon
tail-spangled with rapids
lashing riverbanks)

Trinidad, well-named
since your demography
more-or-less triangular

Delineates in three
main ethnicities
unique geometries:

A type of intuitive
clairvoyant geophysics
reveals another substratum

Deeply interesting
to mythographers
ever-seeking the symbolic

These asphalt canyons
burning ten-thousand feet
under Siparia

Surfacing dramatically
in Miltonic proportions:
your black nyanza

Where Nephilim might
easily have made earth-fall
terrestrial touch-down

On landing-strip of tar
one-hundred acres
in extent

Semisolid lagoon
sometimes vomiting
prehistoric trees

Bubbling reservoir
mined of ten-thousand
tons of blacktop

Since the days of Gloriana
when the silver-poet
Raleigh

Caulked his vessels
on the way
to El Dorado

Praising the black gold
shipping it home
to Westminster

Ominously paving
the bridge to the New World
with pitch.

ii

Trinidad squarely
in the rivermouth
built of rich silt

Peninsula once
now broken-off
delta-riding

The Orinoco basin
feeding on
your own substrata:

Memories, dark
turbulence of yesterday
genocide

Vegan Arawaks
maneating Caribs
cleansed;

Conquistadors
burning in hellfire
for what they did

Many horns of Satan
butting into
eachother:

Madness of sun-kings
on the pyramids
bloodletting;

Aguirre, protofascist
last alive
on his death-raft;

An African
twin-child taken
to the forest

Small bones
rotting into bitumen
Gemini-sacrifice.

iii

All passes
like strong delta-currents
out to sea

And you are washed again
Trinidad, baptised
in thick ablutions

And wrong done before
is taken back
therapeutically swimming

In a black font:
sulphurous
purifications.






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