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New Left Review I/234, March-April 1999

JoAnn Wypijewski

Pounding Out a DRUM Beat

Dearly beloved,

we are gathered

here today in . . .

. . . detroit, michigan: home of the ‘motown sound’/gm/ford/chrysler/rats in the kitchen and roaches in the bathroom/no heat in winter & nothing cool when the summer comes/pistons pounding out a DRUM beat . . . ‘do you take’ . . . ‘to love and cherish’ . . . woodward avenue/junkies, whores & little kids on the way up to take their places/a dime bag to get the day over with . . . ‘and do you take’ . . . ‘to have and to hold’ . . . the day shift, afternoons, midnights—at least 8 hrs with the devil in hell/rouge, chevy, fisherbody (makes dead bodies), budd, eldon gear & axle, dodge main, jefferson, iron foundries & speciality forge foundries/monsters that eat alive & spit out bloody hands/feet, pieces of skin and bone/& with regularity—A DEAD BODY!!! . . . friday nite . . . get that check/carry it home to the crib (with wife and kids), then get out on the street: get fucked up (reefer, jones, coke, ups & downs, johnnie walker black & red) try to freeze your head/can’ t think about the shit starting all over again on monday/ . . . ‘and now a message from our sponsor’ watch tv/listen to the radio/read papers/they all say ‘buy this, get that & you two can be a success’ /damn, brother, sister, a success in this motorized, computerized, iron & steel jungle is just staying alive!!!

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JoAnn Wypijewski, ‘Pounding Out a DRUM Beat’, NLR I/234: £3

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