Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Poems from another winter


JFK's in Heaven,
He's our chief remembered joy.
Handsome, rich, forever young -
Our brief and shining boy.
May he shine on in our memory
And never fade or dim;
Ask not what he did for us,
Look what we did to him.
We shot him through the head.
(It should have been you instead.
Or maybe Ted ...)

Oh well, let's just remember
The words the poet said:
JFK belonged to Jesus,
And that's really why he's dead.
You see, He only loaned us
Our pretty plastic Jack
To fill our dollhouse Camelot
Until it was time to give him back.
Jesus took him home to Heaven
To sit at his right hand,
And all our sins went with him -
Satan grabbed his nuts and ran.

And the ferryman waived the usual fee;
Oswald went to Hell for free.
So, where does that leave you and me?

Why, right here on the barren earth,
Beneath the veil of tears,
But if we all just keep the faith
We'll quickly pass the years.
And soon we'll all see Jack again
(Oh, we'll never let him go)
And we'll forget the pains we suffered
While we waited here below.
When the first television angel
Welcomes us to the fold,
And the Holy Motorcade
Rolls down the streets of gold ...
There'll be no Vietnam in Heaven,
No wives, no screaming brats.
Our bodies will be glorified -
We'll all be Democrats.
No more burden to bear,
No more price to pay,
Just rolling along forever
With Christ and JFK.

All that loving goodness,
All that charming wit ...
You'll never get enough of it.
No shit.


There is nothing now of me
but her confessions late at night,
when, under the gentle priestly prodding
of her lawful wedded husband,
she undergoes the necessary exorcism.

She conjures me for him;
a fleeting, almost comic figure
with long white fingers and a garbled voice.
A clownish open-casket face
gleams wetly and then evaporates.

But maybe I am not
sent to the swine in my entirety.
Unspoken adumbrations ferment like sins
in warm pools of forgetfulness,
breeding vengeful poltergeists.

I am speechless, blurred and dead.
And yet I will drop photographs
to lie like bombs in dusty undiscovered places,
and scuttle dirty dried leaves
across clean white kitchen tiles.