LD (1963 / Saigon, Vietnam)

My Local Burning

If it feels and looks like racing,
And crashes, hallelujah, like racing,
Then it's World War III all right.

Hapless, uninspired civvies of all ages
Ducking behind dumpsters. To rake them
Is less than lame, even with the massive
Ordnance up your dead mama’s ass.

When this endless ride's finally history,
You can return and camp fire inside her
Ample back hatch, and stare back down
The 12-lane highway of your combustion.

Gazebos on astro lawns, incinerated firs.
These explosions are so surprisingly realistic,
When I saw my local burning, I almost cried.

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Comments (2)

Hi Denis Joe, You're very sharp in picking up the Englishness of this poem. I was living in Norwich, England at the time. Not being a native-English speaker, I pick up idioms and intonations wherever I go. Thanks, as always, for your comments. Cheers!
This has such an English feel to it. Normally I would be using that as an insult. But what I mean by that is the language, the actual words that you use to construct this poem. As with 'Are You Refined? ' (an excellent title by the way) this follows the sandwich tecnique to great effect: the troilets act to maintain the potential explosion of the inner quartets. What is so powerful about this is the manner in which you chose to end it. The word 'cried' seems to suggested nothingness rather than an emotion.