A Little Washington DC Dream

By Philip Lamantia 1927–2005 Philip Lamantia
The Due D’Aumal’s cannonballs
Are being marshmellowed 370 years from their masonic inception
Now lie on the Potomac
The Due D’Aumal’s balls cannonaded
Split
Through mirror teeth Washington D.C.
Black City of white rectangular bits of fear
Blown fluff of fear
O the Duke of Aumal’s balls are raging
Yellow vermin white houses of fear
And beautiful funky people
Diamond heart D’Afrique
Human blood human need
Black booming emotional vibes of life
White geometry of abstract cerebral death
I really saw at Fort McNair
In front of American General’s mansion
A fir-tree tied down to a black coffiny box
Jefferson’s phantom always rides tonight
There’s a solar splendor burst from Eighteenth-Century Cannon of the Due D’Aumal
I’m sure Citizen Lafayette was no dixiecrat

Philip Lamantia, “A Little Washington DC Dream” from The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia. Copyright © 2013 by Philip Lamantia. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (University of California Press, 2013)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Philip Lamantia 1927–2005

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia was born in San Francisco in 1927, the son of Sicilian immigrants. Largely self-taught, he started writing in elementary school and became interested in surrealism after seeing the work of Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí at the San Francisco Museum of Art. He dropped out of high school and moved to New York City, where he eventually became assistant editor at View magazine. In New York, Lamantia . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, History & Politics, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.