Wall of Jars

a hospital in
ho chi minh city
has a wall of jars

with pickled
fetuses aborted
(they say)
by agent orange

i feel a flicker
of glee
quick as lust

still killing the
murderous little bastards…

today I discovered
the beauty
of a boy in a
round wicker boat

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Dog Talk

When my dog talks to me
I know that he is discussing
Quantum Physics
From a different
Perspective…

When he dreams
I know that he does not exist
In this world
While he dreams…

His incisors
Are perfect utensils
For cutting meat…

He allows me
To take his temperature
Rectally…

When I sing
He harmonizes
In fellowship…

When I scratch his belly
He starts his motorcycle,
And I never ask,
“What’s in it for me?”…

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Heisenberg

for John Sweet

God whirls around you
And you do not see him.

You are Heisenberg.

If God chose to
Appropriate your poems,

Your brittle images –
So lucid that they make

The back of my eyes ache –
Would be lost to me.

An entire universe would
Cease to exist.

You have prayers,
But God knows that

You are not yet ready for Him…

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The Squirrel and the Bonfire

Her first words to me were, “NUH-uh!”
And my moniker, preceded by “Mister,”
And a self-assured presumption that
The little-sister idiom “NUH-uh!”
Would stock IMPORT in my universe,
And that the wily honorific, “Mister,”
Would warm my cockles
With conjectured, chaste
Reflections of scrubbed-cheek guile,
Me and my old fart,
Pot-belly, gen-gap ways…

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Smokes

It’s a matter of timing, you see,
Whether one survives. Survival is
Related to whether one zigs, or zags,
Or pirouettes perfectly, or just
Hunkers down at
Exactly the right instant
By accident.
You take Jimbo, for instance.
Thirty-five years ago a pack of cigarettes
Cost eleven cents in the Ship’s Store
Outside CONUS.
That’s a buck ten a carton,
Any brand you like.
Lucky Strike was the favorite,
Short, sweet, harsh.
Pall Mall was a coffin nail,
Second only to king Camel –
Shredded bullshit –
Smoked only by the bravest.
No one smoked filter tips,
Which were for pussies;

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Bud

The day that Billy died, I stole his last beer.

Angela brought word on Monday morning that Billy’s patrol car was found the night before, greasy side up in a dry irrigation ditch, with Billy in full uniform, blue and dead and cold.

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