Jawbone Siphon Song

Sun sneeze 3
By Frank Kearns
“There it is. Take it.” William Mulholland

Bart drove Sarah up Three Ninety Five
then North away from the two lane blacktop
on the unmarked graded road

to where steel pipe as wide as an automobile
bends up eight hundred fifty feet
a giant “V” carved on canyon walls

They stood on the warm steel in the sun
and felt the heat work into their shoes
felt the vibrations under their feet

and heard the Jawbone Canyon Siphon’s
hum.>>>..almost inaudible above
the desert sounds and silences.

Bart talked cubic feet per second
incompressible fluid and the pressure
of a column of water towering high

and Sarah listened but listened too
to the song from inside the arched metal tube
as the water raced passed hoop joints and rivets

echoes of flowers in Onion Valley
and trickles from glaciers nestled in
the granite slopes of the Palisades

she heard the scratchy resonance of dried out fields
and the patchwork patter of bought up farms
the talk of armed men at the aquaduct gates

and a mantra of names
Eaton Mulholland Lippincott
Otis San Fernando Los Angeles

a chant repeated by the wind
as it picked the salt and sand
from the dry bed of Owens lake

and twirled them across the empty flats
to sift through the hollow windows and doors
of the broken-down sheds of Olancha


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