The Great War


Fog of the childish mind

No difference between what comes into his eyes
and sounds to hear

Music is colors for him

He goes through this life
through fogs of brittle noise


She brings her favorite bald gorilla to the gym

to hit me—
She was my enemy, always

I spit on her ass,

while electric guitars play silver,
and hope that she dies


A Nathan’s frank in a clear plastic wrapper

microwave hot, small packets of yellow mustard,
no sauerkraut, in prison

Everything ruined

We pity the old prisoner who pays
for every sad minute


Much must align to make love hot

A form on the stairs,
a cough from the basement,

invisible, alone, secret

Movement around this axis
like the after-images of trees in bright water


With age, deceits and troubles

the lines in her face harden
A coiled smile, a brittle mind

A time of giddiness, shallowness, escape

Her doubts require his certainty...
but she ruins everything


The Confederate leaders, just before the war.

in celebration, served:
turtle soup, turkey, mutton, capons,

ham, tongue, lamb chops, duck, oysters, steaks,

pies, pastries, ice cream, figs, coffee, sherry, bourbon,
scotch, wine, champagne, claret, port, brandy and Madeira


The building was too tall for the hoses

and burned all night
He likes having tough guys around

He was sick with fear

every time he walked on stage— he
followed her to hell


As a child he read all of Tarzan, King of Apes

So round, so firm, so fully packed”
Believe it or don’t, but that describes

a brand of cigarettes

Now that tornados blew the trees away
I see the cemetery on the hills and all those white graves


Rage black as coal

The rallies beautifully choreographed
Mass chanting swelled and fell precisely on cue

She hates every line on her face

They didn’t, in those days, believe in self-pity
and they didn’t recognize, or care about, your self-esteem


Famously lovely, her husband quite dashing

Delightfully happy, like a furry white mouse
Two of his brothers-in-laws,

Andrew’s only brother, his four best friends,

all killed within months of each other
at the start of the Great War


Treachery, double-dealing, shabby behavior

Who gets the dog?
Who wants the photographs?

Two years of passion

He’s a bad ball hitter
in this brittle nasty world

-December 2, 2010-