2/9/10

Retired astronauts plant American flags into their own chests



I was cleaning up my old files and came across a very old poem I'd written in 2005 after a Robert Bly poem called The Great Society (1967). I haven't touched the poem or read Bly's in five years. I still like some of the lines, but as you can tell it is very much a poem about the Bush era and doesn't seem salvageable. I figured I'd post it here for fun. (Note: the only edits I've made are losing some semi-colons, which I was using to mirror Bly, but probably incorrectly.)

Here goes:


The New Society

after Robert Bly’s “The Great Society”

Dentists will drill holes in fences to monitor their neighbors.
At night, evangelists drain the motel pools
As apes appear hauling barrels of oil to refill them.
On city ledges, pigeon courts dole out painful sentences to captured doves:
New buildings designed with the terrible architecture of ants.

The legs of senators are trapped in gofer holes.
Dogs sniff at dark clouds brewing to the east.
The President daydreams of invading everything
Except his own skull.
The pregnant cement of city streets has split open with weeds.

Talking heads cough up balls of static on TV: The suburbs brood.
The traveling salesmen returns home covered in blood, again.
Wet children in their lawns stare troubled at each other
Before vanishing to their dinners while
Retired astronauts plant American flags into their own chests.

--

In other poetry news...

A few of you have met my friend Taras Castle. He is an, uh, interesting man. He has been working on a collection of poems called The Red Cosmonaut Cycle for a while and one of those poems just appeared in Greatest Uncommon Denominator. If you click on the link you can see a preview and purchase the poem for a mere 50 cents (or for a bit more the entire issue). Here is the first paragraph:

The old lady tells me that inside
the belly of every songbird
there is a purse of gold coins.

2 comments:

James said...

i think i ran into taras castle the other day, at this dive bar in the lower east side. i couldn't tell what he was drinking, but it looked dangerous

Lincoln said...

was it that "homemade vodka" he infuses with shit like pickles and hot peppers?