April 19, 2011

Easter 2003


7 am Tucson the
sun turns the
tent to an oven the
sun bright over another deathtrip

in another desert
on a gravel road in a Pontiac he

            doused her in gasoline & lit her & ran


Chillin’ in a tent in the desert
the sun barely up
biding time with Edward Albee
cowboy stories surrounded
by flags, flags, flags
everyday is flag day everywhere these days

cross our
star spangled land
on a patriotic, god-fearing bender
& the stars -n- stripes
is the geometry of war

somewhere, out there,
some George Washington crosses a Delaware
he doesn't know, and
the mother of all bombs
won't douse hate
attracted to the Tikrit triangle
like metal shavings over a magnet

the desperation of the already dead
on a gravel lane somewhere outside Bloomington

and, this is it: Theresa’s dead.
She's blood
whistling past the graveyard . . .

the distant rumble in the background
the thunderhead on the horizon
always on the horizon
it's death, man,
among the flying flags
and burning cars.


  the highway intersects
a Wednesday morning funeral
 deep in the heart of New Mexico
Tony & Matt fluting the ruins

and going back . . . 

become the darkness in Little Rock
shed your skin in the dawn of Roswell
Arkansas, Oklahoma, & Texas a howling tunnel of other

shades & delineations of nothing
Oklahoma City, Erick, Amarillo
Tikrit, Bagdad
Elletsville, Bedford, Bloomington

& how do we explain to the dead
that there was nothing there
how do we explain to the living
that there is never anything there
and that drinking tequila in the desert won't kill it
and that drinking whiskey in Louisville Kentucky won't kill it
and that drinking Bud Light in Bedford Indiana won't kill it
and that bowing to the east won't kill it
the horror creeping like a virus
exploding into  murder  fire  jihad                                                         
& poets digging into the closets
of horrible darkness won't kill it

she was probably dead when he set her on fire
’cause you don’t just douse people in gasoline
& set them on fire
& burn them up in their cars –
he's charged with arson
’cause he burned her up
but not with murder
’cause she may have been dead already


we all die a little more every
hellbent day of this backward millennium . . .

guns in Baghdad
somewhere east of
the center of chaos

Southern Indiana deathtrip
swooping like a crow


the dead lay where they are
the living lay where they are
the flutes & drums of the Yaqui try to raise them
sacred ash and mariachi trills try to raise them
Easter Saturday on the rez by the casino

choking dust, burning masks,
purification by fire

a Pontiac burning on a Monroe County road
chapayeka drag burning under the Easter cross
a car bomb just outside the green zone,
another minister assassinated
another body for the dust

and, the choking dust of New Pascua
celebrates the resurrection
while the dead lie where they lay
in Iraq
in Bloomington
the funeral
goes on
without me


. . . and there are flags, flags, everywhere flags
yellow ribbons, red bumperstickers
the highway awash with patriotism
every SUV with a petrol-drunk V-8
every broke-down Ford with Tennessee plates

a crazy fool with delusions grand
again deals the penultimate hand
death reigns in another foreign land

and, in the cactus-scarred slopes of Arizona
and, in the inbred back roads of Indiana

another flag waves
another innocent dies

and, I’m here, another shot of whiskey,



7 am Tucson the
sun turns the
tent to an oven the
sun bright over another deathtrip

from Greetings From Tucson
written spring 2003

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