Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cardboard and Barbed Wire

"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted." ~DH Lawrence, Englishman, age 37

"I have moments of great pleasure. But day to day it's pretty rough." ~John Sorensen, American, age 92

If you haven't murdered at least once, then
You haven't lived. Each thought's a revenant
Of that shallow, buried wish to be death

Itself, ad libitum, not life, all selves,
Ad nauseum. Life goes skittering by,
Ice pond of inexperienced skaters

Blissfully unaware they're unaware
They're stumble-tumbling in vicinity
Of the original pond on ancestral

Farm property. You could buy a postcard
A couple of generations ago
Featuring a picture of our farmhouse,

Nostalgic, bucolic America
Already ready made for purchasing.
The skaters' recent ancestors lived there.

They were sentimental, lived hard lives,
Thrived, pontificated, grew frail, and died.
The last time the nonskating crippled boy,

Most fortunate of the unfortunates,
Came in a wheelchair to watch his sister
Try out her new Christmas skates, he despaired

Of ever getting out into the winter,
Past dreaming gates of cardboard and barbed wire,
Onto the icy American soul

Of those ancestors on Washington's route
Of retreat from past to future battles
Involving frozen stoics murdering.

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