Air Base as Special Song [1]


1.         The Portugal - United States relationship starts so far in the past—a flood in
            years for America—the rain likely wet the wigs of the men that day full of powder.

2.         The supposed line is a song, a love song sailing a voice through centuries
            sharing an ocean, light on the water and tide-trained. You can dance to the beat
            on a ship.

7.         Play us a party anthem for how sick this bass is, how stained the rug resurfacing
            all that was thrown up in anger.

8.         The kick of the snare of the airfield enveloped in spill, shatter of ear drums from
            enough ferocious engines to carry houses and livestock into the sky: such is this
            song of iron and road mapped to a form.

11.       Now a solo, now a heavy croon, a true belt of force. Let blow out the body that
           holds us, we are just sand in the wind.

16.      It’s the spin of the record you watch.


[1] Homophonic translation of excerpts from the 42nd Portugal-U.S. Standing Bilateral Commission report

Ryan Clark is a documentary poet who writes his poems using a unique method of homophonic translation. He is the author of Arizona SB 1070: An Act (Downstate Legacies) and How I Pitched the First Curve (Lit Fest Press), as well as the forthcoming chapbook Suppose / a Presence (Action, Spectacle). His poetry has appeared in such journals as DIAGRAM, Interim, SRPR, and The Offing. A former military brat, he now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his partner and cats.