Archive for April, 2017

If you dig it

(death of a hipster, for Scott)

If you dig, it might be a grave, a ditch, a row for planting, an intractable problem.

If you dig, you might really like it and snap your fingers or light a match, and the faces brought into the match light might have hollow eyes and young lips and an indifferent approval.

If you dig it, you might dig deeper than you meant to, and the digging might
grab you by the ankles and your skinny black pants and drag you into that cool
cat tomb, your plain white face drawn away too soon to have a single line.

And they will snap their fingers and light their matches and drop their single roses each one of them onto your grave or into the ditch where the water is running high and full of seeds, and who knows what might grow from that planting, who knows. A plain pale face, some sugar snap peas, a rose bush, a morning glory, rising from the dirt, the water, the dirty fingernails, the faces growing lines in your absence.


When the Caissons went rolling along it was hi hi hee and the field artillery and
the grit and blood and cheery whistles of pink cheeked soldier boys even with death one skin away. Made the greatest generation, that’s what I heard. Saw it in black n white on our 12 inch TV, grainy, mythic, thin and distant.

Do you remember the posters, propaganda films, war bonds, bandages? Me neither.

But I remember live footage, young American soldiers and little Vietnamese children, skin peeling off, eyes like raw eggs, and the shaky boy soldiers when they came home, pumped full of heroin and fear, nodding off then exploding like death blasts in rice fields because something went boom. The tail pipe, the radiator, the plane flying high over head, breaking the sound barrier. Boom. And the sweating young man, the panting child, running, striking, do we think really of the glory of war, do we really?

So they sang. Young men with burnt skin and hubris crushed out like cigarette butts. Young women with dead lovers, Asian children with missing limbs, not the pretty ones adopted in the later round of after effects.

So they sang. Songs of protest and resistance, not loss and longing. Forget love. Send me back my legs, my skin, my heart broken by violence.

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April 2017