Poem Hunter
Poems
1968
GC (fall '72 / live on on the alfonsina storni side of florida)

1968

Poem By gregory collins

'we have the opportunity to make America a better nation'
Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

'there are those who look at the way things are asking why.
I dream of things that never were, and ask why not'
Robert Kennedy


The whole frame was swaying as if to scratch gropingly
and fault-ridden. Even gold hearted friends were turning

into falling firebirds, and they stay forever in a dream like
when a peacock dozes. But the clean mirror of us all was

sobbing speechless in the skies about a distant shore as
lonely as death. Even the size of the stars beat their heads

against the town bell. Because there was my father on a
rock's edge of the soul. Kneeling in his bedroom, crying with

his empty M-1 rifle holding up his strength. He had joined
the National Guard in the summer of '63, and was not

praying mistakenly as if drunk swallows the flame of fire.
But the race riots had begun in New Haven and Hartford,

and he had some semblance of duty: that eight phases
of Buddha feeling. The smearing of blood unable to hear

it's own voice. The vast heavens like wings that leave bruises
in the heart. They are timeless and not yet done.



and my mother stood outside the room like an immaculate
petal, yesterday, today, and tomorrow still. Disrupting his prayer

to ask why the gun was not loaded. Why leave home
with your eyes in tears. This question manufactures a grave

in the distance. It causes his shaking and gyrating an already
loaded to capacity ship in his mind. He said we train with bullets,

but fight bulletless. We will just get warm with steam, and go
as if in a dream of the apocalypse. So after his prayer tilted

somewhere between 'Fortunas fortes juvat', and machine gunning
the air like lingering perfume. He got up and invaded the kitchen

to the door to the outside world. Now my mother, belly swollen
like the most grandiose mosquite nine months pregant with

my sister; who wrote graffiti inside the womb which i can remember,
but still cannot not read. She greeted my father in front of the door with

a kiss from the crossroads, a hug from which if the two of them
put each of their wings togehter: it would form a pair of angel wings,

and she gave him a cup of bullets. Smiling a cry while she cried,
now you do not have to say bang. You will come home to me

from out of the hollow of heaven, after you have aimed your gun,
and pulled your trigger. Knowing that after suffering, there is still

an address that will welcome you. You will still help me iron out,
the loose folds of the robes that drape over the aching heart of what's going on.

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Comments (1)

This is brilliant Greg. You paint a marvelous picture of a very turbulent time in history. This is excellent stuff.


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