Litkicks Message Board Archive

My Country/ This Thing

Posted to Poetry and Politics

She sat on a wooded stool
At the edge of a continental bar
Named “Freedom”
Crossing rooms can be hard
When words are runny
And only there to ensure we can communicate
Hold a job and relate
Possibly on birthdays celebrate
She sat there
I was trying to regret the long term
Empirical spread
Stipend in the end
An over taxed vacation
To manipulate
Rub the temples
Massage the mind to panic
And if you want her to take this poetry seriously
Pour some fucking concrete
She don’t speak Mandarin
Or any buried languages
And I thought “Me Either”
When the table crumbled under the weight of my drink
And she sat there with a blue eye and a red one
All swimming in starry white
Thought about relaxing
For a second
Wiping the Kentucky’s finest off of my notebook
Christ she owns Kentucky
Slick and covered in nationality
I heard her speak
I knew she wasn’t laughing
Was maybe slurring a bit high
After the weight of 5 to 1
which is actually 9 to 5
My eyes are heavy and occasionally blink
The second time they opened
I was in a funeral parlor
In an oil field in Iran
The third time outside the holy tenements
Chanting “Blessed are those…”
The fourth time
I came to with a voice and a body
And she was standing over me scowling
Tapping brittle finger tips on a Redwood desk
I was taking an exam
Sliding down
The baseline
Number two pencil
She gave me three choices for each answer
But none of them worked
She was trying to teach
With a ruler
a switch and yellow teeth
I turned the test in
when the floor gave way
And we floated with Columbus
On a dramatine boat
And she was sleeping
Only being just born
With land in sight
I could only hold fast
(Several generations ago
I played a harp
In Japan
Saluted generals
While Hiroshima slept
then rose up hot and radiant)
She was as old as ever
With a destroyer in one hand
And a bible in the other
Had a smile that has made even the skeptics
Shrug off their light heads
And stop in for a drink
Get sailed off to sink
She was covered in cancer
For many years only to find a potion
That halts the progress for
Terminal ambition
But with those choices
Came children of all races
Not long after
Them taking up arms
For warfare
And she studied new things
From communism charmed to
Occult sociology
While I was cutting the wheat
And carving up trees
For fences designed to picket
And find a solid mark
Fences that form lines
Clear to define
What exactly is yours
And certainly what’s mine
When I stood up and put on my glasses
And thinking cap
I was back in Boston
With a glass of cognac
And a tweed jacket
To match
I smoked a pipe
And argued “Quality”
Enjoyed the circuit
And the lectures
The small circle inside
Sure of great minds
So close
That its name was Dow Jones
She sat across the bar
With a smile that fades
And will always give way to tears
And triumph
After a stint in the cancer ward
She is happy to have a cigarette
And kick her feet up
On my brothers back
She sips her rum slow
Watching the clock