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Kendall Mallon Apr 2014
They are making a new* Éire
generators whirl alternating fields
into current that flow
through the lamps—beams illuminating
corners once left perpetually dark
where muintir na hÉireann once lived,
but recognize no more

…the canals        and the bridges,
the embankments        and cuts
they blasted        and dug with their sweat
and their guts
they never       drank water       but whiskey        by pints
and the shanty towns rang
with        their songs and their fights…

Dirt paths tied over
by an iron road now
over grown, carpeted
with inching moss, or, sunk
into the Tartarus black bog
now paved by asphalt

…they died        in their hundreds
with no signs
to mark where        save the brass
in the pocket
of the en        trepreneur.
by landslide     and rockblast
they got buried        so deep
that in death if not life
they'll have peace        while they sleep…

What will happen to the rolling pastures?:
carpets of moss draping dry-stack
stone walls; live stock grazing freely
on the misted grass.

…for to shift        a few tons
of this earth        ly delight
yes,        to shift
a few tons        of this earth        ly delight…

      Will the rails cut
this Island into an arbitrary grid
following the wave of the industrial
revolution?—Or will the cuts of nature
still stand evermore as the guide—will the road
cut a new line straight through the limestone
at the Gap of Dunloe, or will the pavement
follow the serpentine icemelt remnants
now inundated by the fog-shroud-basin-lakes of Killarney?

…their mark        on this land
is still seen and still laid
the way for commerce        where
vast fortunes were made
the supply of an Empire        where the sun
never set        which is now deep
in darkness, but the railway’s there yet…
Kendall Mallon Apr 2014
The crown can feel hate, fear and shame—
never gratitude for starving a nation into sailing across
the western ocean—thousands sailing in a coffin
ships to break the chains of poverty in hopes of bellies full & bodies free,
but the hand of opportunity draw tickets from a lottery;
spirits celebrate in their hearts forever
the that land that makes them refugees—while those
who never got so far that they could change their names are robbed
of their toil to stuff the bellies of sentinels mowing down rising crowds
in the crown-jewel of the empire never kissed by moonlight.

How long with the Island remain silent
when ghosts haunt the waves?
Éire: within its minds sit hopes of peace
Kendall Mallon Apr 2014
come out ye Black ‘n’ Tans
          ye self-despising slaves to the crown
come out and fight me like a man*
          I pity thee—Mercury to the Union Jack
cowering behind blinding flares that never
cease to illuminate the British Empire.

Sympathetic Mercury—suppliant
to the tempest knees of Jove—what good
is sympathy when ******* by cowardice?
open the flood-gates for the hand
of Jove to press a cage upon
the misted shores na hÉireann.
Kendall Mallon Jan 2014
Battle of New Britain

Lieutenant Jim G Paulos led elements
of G Company in a savage counterattack
that ousted the intruders supported
by Lieutenant James R Mallon’s improvised
platoon of H/11, which remained
to help man casualty-depleted line.

Improvise (OED):
One: to compose on spur
of the moment; to utter
or perform extempore

two: to bring about or get up
on the spur of the moment;
to provide for the occasion

Three: […] hence to do anything
On the spur of the moment

Improvised platoon
Df James R Mallon:

When most of your platoon
lies dead in the pumice sands
of the South Pacific-Japanese
bushido bullets tear flesh and spirit
out of the corporeal—husks of limp
limbs you fought to defend and they you
Japanese mortar fire, machine and small-gun fire
fifteen yards in advance of the wire
how do you bring about or get up
the courage to grab whoever—
the nearest marine
talk through ears drums burst by mortar succeeding shockwaves
forget for the time the men
you spent months training
sipping beers in Australia
laughing over bar stool drunken jokes
men you shared your dreams about after
away from the mosquitoes
away from the constant moisture
rain rain rain day and night
soaking through fatigues through skin through bone
never enough sun to dry out
air already saturated
sweat or seawater—it is all the same
now you must find new men—men you have seen,
but do not know the same as your own platoon
their life and yours in each others hands
alone in a group of stranger-brothers
always faithful
keep composure in the face
your buddy’s entrails pouring into the pumice sand
hence to do anything
on the spur kicked into your side
to block what no man should ever be asked to see
and do what you can in the moment
to save your division from enemy fire.

Cyclops Black Eyes

One summer e’ening drunk to hell
He stood there nearly lifeless
A gal sat in the corner
And it’s how are ye ma’am and what’s yer name
And would ye like a drink?
She looked at him, he at her
All she could do was accept one

And rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ she’ll go
Through his pair of blue eyes

She knew not the pumice beaches and streams
Sometimes walking sometime crawling
amongst blood and death ‘neath a screaming sky
Where Cyclops black eyes waited for him
Was it birds whistling in the trees?
Always the Cyclops black eyes waiting for them
So they give the wind a talkin’

And a rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ he’ll go
Away from those Cyclops black eyes

And the arms and legs of other men
Were scattered all around
Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed
Then prayed and bled some more
All he could see were Cyclops black eyes looking at him

No Cyclops black eyes waiting for her
And a rovin’ a rovin’ a rovin’ she’ll go
And never know what saw his pair of blue eyes

Could she forsee in that pair of blue eyes
Decades he’d spend drunk to hell?
Sometimes walking sometime crawling
Rovin’ and rovin’ away from those Cyclops black eyes

Colt 1911**

I was nineteen when I learned
my Dad his father’s Colt 1911 pistol

when Dad was young he
and his brother found
the gun—hidden in the rafters
of the cinderblock basement
their father built; magazine bullets and pistol
on one rafter—separate, except
the bullets lived in the magazine

my dad and uncle, like any
young boy, were fascinated
by the pistol; though too young
to feel and know the power
and danger in the cold blue metal

when their father and mother were
away—home alone they snuck
to the hand-laid basement
reached around the rafters
through years of dust and darkness
feeling for the colt and mag
round in the chamber—“freeze!”

so played boyhood fantasies
cowboys & Indians
cops & robbers
with a lethal toy

so my dad kept it a secret
locked in a tarnished steel box
locked through the trigger guard
magazine separate
four silver, dimpled, bullets rolled round between
their queue and releaser

I was struck by the weight—heavier than I expected—I felt the years of use polished into the wood grips—thick hand grease sweat blood humidity sand saltwater gun oil mud tears life saved and taken.
At the bottom of the wood grips ticked notches deep in the grain—both sides—different numbers; “What are these?” I asked running my finger across the nocth-ticks feeling their depths their absence consciously carved with his next best tool—kabar: workhorse that can baton through five inch diameter logs, machete through two-finger branches, dig a hole to burrow while machinegun fire mows down jungle; easy to sharpen, keeps an edge; full tang to hammer temples or tent posts

“I don’t know; the only thing we have is the lore.”

fI counted seven
the number the magazine carries
eight total, if you have one in the chamber

You have to commit to fire
a 1911, the cliché: don’t pull
the trigger—squeeze
is how the 1911 fires—a button
fits the crotch of the thumb and index finger
opposite the trigger on the handle;
to unleash the hammer then
lead, squeeze the two—firm
tight at the target; no shot fired
by accident—no Marvins with the 1911.
I am trying a new form of poetry called 'documentary poetry'. This is the story of my grandfather who fought five campaigns in the Pacific Theatre of WWII for the United State Marine Corps. (This is a work in progress)
Kendall Mallon Dec 2013
detail & light would be lost
without the dichotomy around grey

the way ‘&’ illuminates value
on both sides, conjoining the two into one

spectrum blends the extremes
into a clear image—light
highlights the subtitles
—the deaf are not the only ones
who cannot hear the absurdity
of absolute separation

black & white turns back
time into intervals of past
in a world of color
the absence strips away the present

caricature is transparent without color
in the lawless old western plains
good is easily found through
the black mask and white hat
bad is easily found through
white face-paint and black hair

even though ‘and’ does not
hold accountable, as one,
what it surrounds itself by
but rather as two distinct values

separation by ‘and’ becomes absurd
when the color has been stripped
down to the bare where ‘&’ allows
grey to highlight the similarities
Read the title as if it were the first line of the poem.
Kendall Mallon Dec 2013
              I want to hug a deer,
              don’t you want to hug one?
      Not really; the thought
              never crossed my mind…
              I have never wanted to hug
              a wild animal
                          I just don’t
                                   have that
           Why? look at them
           their white butts
                     I like their ears,
                     like head wings
                     flapping erratically
                     the way bats flap.
           Can you at least understand?
           That’s why you can’t write
                       about me
                       from my perspective;
           you do not listen to me enough
             I listen to you;
             I listen all the time.
                       I know more
                       about you than you
                       know about me..
           It’s okay
                       I am use to it

           …If a deer was nice
           I think he would hug me;
           I just want friends
                      that are animals.

           Do you think they have
           a family?
                     Maybe we can
                     be their family;
                                  we should be family
                                  for animals
                                  who have none.

          I bet the deer can sense us.
                      Ever wonder
                      what animals think about?
                                     standing there.
                      Are there thoughts,
                                     or is it all just
          I wish they thought about hugging me…

          I wonder if there is a baby hiding
          between the two
                       I bet there is a dad somewhere
                       completely obvious, but we
                       cannot see him because we
                       are weak humans.
                                      What happens
                                      if a deer breaks a leg?
                      It gets left behind, which
                      is sad ‘cause humans break
                      bones all the time.
                      What if we left a person
                      behind?—See you later bro…

          What are you writing
          down so furiously?
                     you say;
                     I want to understand.
Kendall Mallon Dec 2013
‘Allowed Rockies, I understand the empyrean choice
for Olympus—why Jove barred all mortals from knowing the wondrous
high atop a peak—the clear air—thin crisp, ever present
breeze that cuts through the body.
                                                           ­   Heracles—transcender from human
to god; immortal fire setting his mortal flesh to ash
to scatter into the dirt so he may sit high upon
deathless Olympus—above man and woman. As the Rockies
stand above the new world—unlike Olympus, the Rockies stand
indiff’rent to the affairs of men and women.
                                                          ­                    Heracles—
who in wake of Asia’s venture to the cave where the protean
spawn of Jove’s lust upon Thetis befell to veil—unbinds
humanity’s one true immortal patron: Prometheus—
whose only want, and whose only single fault: bestow upon
humanity immortal fire—the spark to enlighten
mental parity with gods.
                                             Embers that burst to flame in the
heart and mind of such a fiery thinker as Zarathustra:
who taught to go over not under—over humanity,
transcend the status quo—climb! Rise above—where the
crisp clean air can whisk away the smog of congestion—congestion
of thought—congestion in all form. Zarathustra who showed
us the bellows to fuel our Promethean gift.
                                                           ­                  For the
Rockies are not ephemeral; they will stand tall long after
humans are gone; fire will raze their trees without human prevention;
like Heracles, the flames will only burn mortal evergreen
flesh to ash, and the mountains will endure immortal—from that
ash, that darkness life will arise as it always has for millennia.
A revision of Scarcely Does Humanity Understand the Beauty of Mountain Air and Fire
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