Sunday, August 13, 2017


A Remembrance of Andrew Carnegie on the 125th Anniversary of the Battle of Homestead

Sunday drives, Hudson valley
south on nine past Ossining
its old suburban money gone

I never pass up a cemetery
especially in Washington Irving land
with tree spirits are alive and well
where an iron Headless Horseman
still as sculpture lurks among graves

I grab a map, historical burials
are a hobby of mine
I notice Samuel Gompers
founder of the American Federation of Labor
I notice Andrew Carnegie
that fucker died in Scotland
I’m sure

I find Gompers easily enough
Carnegie is next door
down an idyllic tree lined path
isolated from the peons
not as rich as this motherfucker
already gritting my teeth
I wonder what a post mortem
conversation between Gompers
and Carnegie would be

the pedestal, the plaque
before a large cross, lists
of philanthropic endeavors
echo hollow with a man
who came from a city of workers
that were firmly under his boot

I notice a smaller stone
covered in coins from aspiring
capitalists hoping to get lucky
what was it Steinbeck said
about embarrassed millionaires?

I make a call to a friend
hope for a suggestion
disobedience or vandalism
voicemail finds spitting fury
I settle, it would be easy
to piss on the grave
as I’ve done to George Bush’s father
or Gilded Age financier Mark Hanna
it doesn’t seem enough

I stew, fish quarter out
of pocket, rather than flip
I fling, I know I have no
super powers that can demolish
stone. I growl
Fuck you from the people of Homestead!

--Jason Baldinger

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