Find yourself at a park with
the great giant big presidents’ heads
with the white great giant big heads.
Or if you find yourself, as a human person,
walking the park of the giant
white heads, of the presidents who
have nothing but heads and shoulders
(and above the rest of you,
human persons admiring their
shining whiteness, open eyes, their
closed mouths), then you can honor them there.
Wander this world of the
18-ft heads of the somber white
presidents staring sternly
and serenely out across the field,
the orchard, of giant white
presidents’ heads staring back.
Every president, from one to forty-
two, yclept & clipt, the plaques like
ruffled ties, like ascots, that name them,
the heads stopt at the breast, each
head looking, not straight, but
slightly left or right, some kind of
strange evidence of their seriousness,
their severity, in the face of
the tiny little real human persons
walking on the grass and even with
their invisible nipples.
Honor and revere this giant
amassment of great giant big white
presidents’ heads huddled on
the green green grass. Respect
and honor their gargantuan immutability,
and the changeless hono[u]rable history
they represent—these statesmen, these
statues of statesmen, these statements
of what we represent: giant. great big.
white. president. heads.
Don’t give ’em bodies. They might
use them for trouble. Don’t give ’em hands.
You never know what with those
they might do. Don’t give them color.
They might seem like humans.
But we, but you, all of you, those of you
walking in the green shadow of the white
giant big heads of the great white presidents,
you are the only human persons about,
following the paths that wend through
the green world, the weedless world, of
great giant big, great large giant big white
presidents’ heads gazing over you, bigger
than life, taller as a head than even
a human person by threefold and
serious as the death most of them’ve
experienced, and into the night
of the dark earth for them.
In the presences of the giant heads, in
the realm of the silent sturdy stable and
rational empty white giant heads, you,
as a human person, of flesh and of blood,
of hair and of skin, can feel the acceleration
in the field of green and white, under a
sky of perfect blue and green, where blood
runs red or blue, and everyone says
they know you, because history is a white rock
that doesn’t move and tells us of these men
too tall for breeches, too strong for carriages,
who could tell us so much if they had
only had mouths that moved. You could move
forward through history, then, slowly,
mouth by mouth, word by spoken word,
something to direct you forward into
that collision between what in the past’s
the history’s past and what in the only now
is the only thing you see: an ocean fills
with oil, a world builds toward but doesn’t
build prosperity, and time that fills with waiting.
We are afflicted because the world is messy,
manic, moving all the time, and making of
all this instability a little bit of yearning for
the world of the giant large great big huge
white then whiter than whitest presidents
who are all head and think away every problem
that ever was and isn’t anymore, and to rest,
even momentarily, in their grey shadow is
to live in the cool certainty of the delivered past.
We’d weeded the weeds from the pathways today,
so there is little room left for wordplay.