Poetry Reading
May 8, 2005

[This is an imaginary, fantasized poetry reading given in a coffee house in Austin, Texas, by a young man stationed at Ft. Hood in the Spring of 1969.]

I spent the morning walking around campus, then I went shopping downtown. I stopped at a liquor store on my way back to my hotel room, where I spent the afternoon drinking whiskey and writing poetry. This first one is called "The Tank."

An iron beast is mounted on a concrete slab.
Its olive drab
Muscle sticks up in the air.
Back home, those that are top secret
And bottom secret
Walk through mental streets and wait
For the big buck.
And I wait for you, like this tank,
Waking up with regulations of love
Dripping out of my dream.
And the tank says,
"You are about to receive my love."

*   -   *

I went to a movie back at Ft. Hood a few nights ago and while standing up for the Star Spangled Banner, I got the idea for this next one.

A cloud blew a ring from its filthy heart
And we went underground quick
To escape the fire, the heat,
The air burst red glare of death.
Bunkered against that terror of light,
Through periscopes we saw,
In the sick orange furnace of desolation,
Capitols and monuments melt
And burnt flesh beneath the ashes of a rag.

*   -   *

OK, this last one, I get three, right? This last one was inspired by last week's walk around campus, but I wrote it on Sunday when I was in a better mood. It's called "Oriflamme," which is a medieval pennant sort of thing.

What is it, on the walk,
Teased by a fitful breeze
In this gleam of morning light,
Flapping in the naughty wind
Chasing away the deep mist of night?
What, lifted by a gentle gust,
Sweetly falls, half concealing, half disclosing
Frills at the edge of paradise?
It is the oriflamme of tenderness,
And ripples in the summer air
Like this will be my anthem.
Thank you!

Copyright © 2005