Litkicks Message Board Archive

waltandtomandartandgenandme

Posted to Poetry




Where I could be now
if I was another
like my dear father says.

Now I know
There will be no
old age greybeard-
celebration and
presidential patting
no captain my captain
and american applause
but there will be
a lifetime of
revision and
fear.
what if they find me out?
Erase Erase Erase
all traces of what once was
what still is
what I cloud over with
stripes and high-held shoulders.

Still,
I can see myself
stretched out, limp
and lifeless,
yet still a dandy,
single arm dangling off
the side of my bed,
and an open window
announcing to all:
to “come and see
come and see
what you’ve lost!
Your most loyal son
has been murdered
and your hands are the
bloody ones.
You cowards
you who deny what you
claim to love.
My crimes are not my crimes
but yours.”
And they would all gather around
and stare down
at my beautiful face
so young and pale
and cry useless tears
on these hands
that tried so many times,
in vain, to
create something.
something for you.

Or I could forget it all
and fly away
and disguise myself
in sunlight and mustache.
denounce my hands and
my loves
and work
and earn
and toil
and be
gone..
Leaving behind
my lovers
who so passionately
misunderstood
my meaning.
Come home
and have mother
sitting at my
deathbed crying,
“I don’t even know this face.”
While my sister penciled out
my mask.
Yes, your classroom
and my bedroom
are both in flames now.

If I was one so brave
and so brilliant
perhaps I could
continue to imitate and
go all the way down
find refuge in your dismissal
and say farewell with
a vile or a voyage.
But no, if I was
to continue walking
down that previously
trampled trail
I would only smudge
the ground
and trample all the
flowers that have
sprung up in their
resting places.
For if I left
and they ransacked my
room and writings
they’d find nothing
but humor and pathetic
scribbling that only
further vulgarized those
great names that I kiss
and cry to nightly.

Is there still hope?
Perhaps I could
steal
and
kill
and
rape
and
destroy
and scream at the top of my lungs
that I am marked just
as they were marked.
And find a reason to move
my hand
and stain paper.

If I was to be a criminal
if I was incarcerated
and joined all those
giants of infamy
in their cells and fields
I would have at least
half a tale to tell.
Sure, the tale
is old, but all
tales that sting
sting because of time
and repetition.
And if I’m wrong,
at least I have lifted my voice
and tried to sing

to sing to america
to sing to my fathers
and my lords
to sing in praise
of my eyes
which see so clearly
even though my
glasses fog every
five minutes
and are smudged when
I wipe them with
my shirt.