Flower of hemp, ferment of grape,
hit of chem-lab mescaline that first semester of '69...
...decades, too, of
Mass in latin, class on time,
jobs not even immigrants
hours and days of years
polishing boots and buckles,
pinning the medals so,
assembling and disassembling another
magazine-fed, gas-operated individual weapon, model M-16,
automatic or semiautomatic operation
by means of a selector switch
select her switch
select or switch
It's by divine mandate,
not by any
goddamned conscious choice of mine,
that I sit in this yard in fading
retired captain, Army of the United States of America,
surrounded by inbred barn cats,
hair down to my elbows
.41 magnum single-shot target pistol
and lost in thoughts of the three
people I have ever known
who weren't so full of shit that it oozed out
when they nodded their heads in agreement.
It's all here on my business card:
"Ex-catholic, ex-innocent, ex-crusader,
professional underachiever, former Bachelor of Science,
once a PFC, confirmed disbeliever, accomplished reader
of lost and
meaningless manuscripts, apprentice human being.
I was sent here to make
So look, don't ask me again where my
I've had my fill of hippies, yuppies, lifers, born-agains,
rednecks and generation X'ers.
Titles without meaning I damn these
words to hell.
As to what I know for sure,
what positive observations I could give
about the state of
of the human condition or of mine -
come share a bowl if you
care to know.
I'll grab another liter of home-brewed port and a cigarette.
Give me two hours of peace at the kitchen counter
with John Prine and a
fugue by Bach,
a little time to think about it, to laugh it out,
seconds to write it all down for you.