Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Julia Elise Aug 2016
meet me in vietnam
he said
adventures await us
the world ahead
meet me in vietnam

don't wait the year
he said
I can't wait that long
don't wait the year

watch the stars with me
he said
stars are far
but I'll be close
watch the stars with me

you're beautiful
he said
a galaxy above
but looked at me
you're beautiful
instead of
watch the stars with me

meet me in vietnam
he said
the stars are the same
he said
you're beautiful
he said
meet me in vietnam
Jon York Nov 2010
It's been over forty  years,
but I still feel the tears from
thirteen months of combat in
a  no - win  situation called
Vietnam. The years just keep passing
by, and still many Vietnam
Veterans die, and no one wants
to admit why.
The anger and saddness is
still there and what makes it
worse  is a society that acts
as if they care, acting like
they know where we had to go
and what we had to do, and
now they just stare.

Our tears flow for our brothers
whose names are on that Wall,
the ones who answered the call
and gave all.

It is American tradition to honor
War Veterans, but they shut the
door on us and some just can't
forget.
For some better late than never,
but for me it just won't go away.

Now a whole new generation
in a different era thinks a  simple
" welcome home " will do. A
generation that is blind to what
went on, and the the injustice
that we were served,
a generation that looks the other
way when the homeless living on
the street try to speak .
A generation that ignores the number of
Vietnam Veterans taking their
own lives every day.
The shock of this is so much,
I  just don't know what to say.

Some of us choose to live another
day and this new generation
honoring us needs to know
that we will not just go away and
that they will have to deal with
us someday, giving more than
just a " welcome home" that
comes a little late, and they need
to know  why our minds are in such
a  f*^k^d   up state.
                              Jon York  USMC Vietnam  1969 -70

,
louis rams Oct 2012
(10/13/12)

At the beginning of “64” - I packed up my uniform
And walked out the door- it was the beginning of
The Vietnam war.
By August of that same year
President  Johnson started the draft
Under protests and jeers.

Then he made it a full scale war
And sent our soldiers to Vietnam shores.
The Beatniks in Greenwich village
With their long hair, beards, and
Flip flop sandals - wrote their poetry
About this undeclared war, and why
Our men were going to those shores.

This created a new generation called ‘HIPPIES”
The hippie generation was groups of protesters
Against everything that they found wrong
The draft , the war , pollution
And loved to stay high with ***, hashish
Coke and acid (lsd) which kept them blasted.

This also created the “ flower children”
Who like the hippies loved to be high
And on certain flowers they would fly.
But they spoke of loving one another
And gave out flowers as a sign of peace
Which to the president was a relief.

They all started painting this “53 Chevy impala”
With the words “ flower power”.
Now the “ flower children and hippie movement
Was in full swing, and everyone was doing their own thing.

They had  Greenwich village under their control
And not one coffee shop would ever be sold.
Every coffee shop had a poetry night
And going there was such a delight.

Then in AUGUST of “69”
The WOODSTOCK festival was on the rise
Over half a million people drove to that farmland
And set up tents , hammocks, sleeping bags and such
And the police found it was much to much
So they had no choice but to see it through
Because there was nothing else that they could do.

The WOODSTOCK  festival had become world wide
And to this day it still thrives.

© L . RAMS
DO YOU REMEMBER THOSE DAYS
Mike Essig Aug 2015
for all the names on that granite wall and many others...

I  Prelude

Vietnam broke my mind.
Now it runs like a cheap watch
always leaping about in time.
It pulls me backward into
strange visions of a world gone mad.
My life is time borrowed from corpses.
It is hard to lead your life
while you are stuck in another.
Time, the great healer,
only seems to make this worse.
Self-medication, legal meditation,
nothing seems strong enough
to stop the pounding of the rotors,
the screams of the men and the monkeys.
I have never been able to **** the demons
hidden in the tree lines of my mind.
Forty-three years later I'm still hiding
nauseous and naked in the napalmed jungle.
But my high mileage body clings to life:
the quest for immortality knows no shame.
Now I am a poet drunk on words,
stumbling over the illusion of art.
The more I know of language,
the less I understand life and loss.
And still the mortars rain down
in an eternal, inescapable monsoon.


II Place

Imagine a land that smells entirely of ****.
Only 70 miles wide in some places.
I flew above the abandoned bases of a war
that had been abandoned as well.
Places given up to the jungle
where 60,000 Americans died for nothing.
An implacable enemy that had fought
the Japanese and French before us
and had no doubt they would prevail.
A very beautiful place seen from the air
if no one was trying to eradicate you.
Skinny children, old women, many ******.
A place where real tigers might well
leap from ambush and eat you alive
and snakes so deadly that once bitten
you only got two steps before death.
Breathtaking sunsets and sunrises.
And the possibility of doom everywhere.
Rice paddies, mountains, triple canopy jungle.
Gorgeous beaches and an ocean laden
with sharks and sea snakes for company.
A place where death picked his teeth and smiled.


III Action

Stark terror is the mother of combat;
the rage of Peleus son Achilles
drives the soldier into the filed teeth
of impossibly horrible situations.
Not for America or the Stars and Stripes
but for the man next to you
whom you probably didn't even know.
Never ask why one man dies
and the one beside him lives on.
I shot an NVA regular from 20 feet
with a Colt Model 1911 45 automatic.
Got him exactly in the chest.
He looked very surprised to be dead.
I was surprised I didn't miss.
At An Loc a Huey 20 yards from mine
loaded with 18 hopeful human beings
took a rocket up the *** and
disintegrated into a debris cloud
of metal fragments and pink mist.
No bodies to be bothered with,
no pieces large enough to identify.
A CIA officer executing the wounded.
A tame **** torturing his countryman.
The exquisitely horrific moment when
you know you are falling, not flying.
The partner cut in half by a machine gun
five feet from where I stood.
Do not try to make any sense of this.
Fall back on the mantra: *don't mean nothing.

Cling to that and you may stay sane.
Apparently, God was busy for ten years
and never bothered to visit Vietnam.

IV Comrades

Forget that band of brothers *******,
we were more like a desperate rabble
with no one to count on but each other.
Sometimes a brother shares the blood
in your veins; sometimes you know him
by the blood that flows from his.
You scream, you curse, you try so hard
and he dies like a huge baby in your arms.
Vietnam was a club you could only join
by being there deep in the ****.
Now we are old men but our memberships
will never expire until we do.
And who will remember us then.

V Aftermath

Treated like lepers, we slunk home,
each to do the best he could.
Many died in the denouement of
drugs, alcohol, homelessness, suicide.
When I got home I wanted to be alone,
to be with people, lots of *****,
but only with no emotion attached,
an ocean of Jack Daniels, lines of coke,
mountains of ***, electro-shock therapy,
calm sleep without nightmares
and sometimes the comfort of a quick death.
Not much different than most I think.
Saigon fell. Don't mean ******* nothing.
Only some of us remember and want you to know
so you won't be fooled again.
Forget the past and it will bite you in the ***. Some stories demand to be told and heard. Like slavery, Vietnam will haunt America until it recognizes the great evil that was done. Evil can never be wished away.
Sharina Saad May 2013
She took a slice of a rice paper
Hold it delicately ... careful not to break it
Expertly placed it on a plate..
Mixed the fresh salad, some noodles and shrimps
Nervously rolled it one by one, though...
All eyes are on her.. All ears are on her
She and her famous Rice paper ...the subject of attention..
... the rolls she promoted..
A traditional cuisine, a local pride
She dipped the rolls in some kind of fish sauce
Shyly she offered the delicacies to us..
We .. the so called “International people” were amused
this tantalizing Vietnamese cuisine..
Specially made in Vietnam.. only in Vietnam..

Rice paper rolls.. repeat the demonstration
Wet it with water..
Choose your favourite fillings... roll it and roll it..
Its done.. Its ready.. its super unique...
Fish sauce.. fish oil and dip one... dip another
one by one.. so sensational taste..
Looking so plain never you doubt the taste
Superdelicious!!
Yummy the Vietnamese Rice paper..
Only in Vietnam..
During my visit to Vietnam for an academic paper presentation., I took sometime to explore the villages and learnt their special dish.
Jon York May 2017
It never stopped as they came at us day and night and they knew every move we made because the surrounding jungles were filled with them and as we thought we were hunting them, in reality we were the ones hunted and as they watched us set up for the night, the enemy would try to fulfill a single purpose: to **** me and my fellow Marines that made up the deadliest Marine combat unit operating in the ASHAU Valley (Valley of Death) at that time in 1969.

Arriving in Vietnam I discovered that it was very different than the nightly news reports that I watched from my Hotel room in Alaska and that the American public watched safely at night in their homes, and strange as it may seem I remember watching Marines walking through the rice paddies while the announcer was announcing the number of KIA's and I was thinking, maybe that's where I should be. Be careful what you think!!

Nothing could have prepared me ( a 20 year old "hippie"drafted and taken off the streets of the 60's ) for what I was about to face and what I was about to have to do in order to make it home on my feet and not in a body bag.

Trained to be a 20 year old killing machine by the United States Marine Corps, I did what I had to do to arrive home on my own two feet but it
would change my life forever and I didn't know it until 40 years later.

The adrenaline rush that came after each ****, and the more kills you recorded the more you got off and the more power you had and the
more you wanted to **** some more and it became an addiction and this
was suddenly gone when I got home and I reacted by covering my fear
with humor but 40 years after I knew something was terribly wrong with
me as I listened to reports of 22 Veterans a day, 24/7 committing suicide and at first I didn't understand why until one day I was thinking about different ways to die.

The physical pain had set in along with mental scars that would not go away as I thought about Vietnam every day as I began entertaining ways to die to get off this miserable train of thought and all the VA would do is to give me a PTSD disability pension and prescribe pills for the pain and during all those years it became clear that I was going nowhere and had become invisible to the world so why should I not go ahead and do the same as those 22 a day.

2017 and I am still here but I still think about Vietnam every day but I choose to write to keep my mind away from those days in the jungles shooting anyone I saw and these days I write for those 22 a day that can no longer deal with what they had to do and crossed that fine line between life and suicide that is so very close for me but for some reason I stand tall and am proud of my service to my country and feel sorry for those who will never know the depth of a Veterans pride and if I am still alive when you read this poem it is because someone drove home the fact that they actually cared whether I lived or died and that they actually appreciated what I did so many years ago in that far away jungle but that place is still on my mind every day and probably will be until the day I die and that is all I have to say on this Memorial Day.
                                                                                   Jon York  2017
                                                                                    Kilo 3/5
                                                                                 Vietnam  69- 70
spysgrandson Mar 2012
Goodbye Charlie, Hello Vietnam.

Nineteen. I was ten and nine. Two A.M. Landed in some muggy, putrid place. Between honor and complete disgrace. Smelled like that for sure.  Issued tools of our trade. Heard the true sound of “rockets red glare”. Had us hunkering in bunkers all night. ******* in our helmets. Holding our ears. ****, the first night. Welcome to Vee-et-nam.

Morning. Sunshine and quiet. Except the rap from old timers. “Newbies“. New jungle fatigues. Newbies. New M-16. Clean boots. All day the old timers, telling each other how these newbies had their cherry popped. First night in country and the biggest *** mortar attack they had ever seen. Heard. Heard, I said. Yeah. What newbie? Now you have heard the real rockets’ red glare. That’s what you heard, Newbie.

I get it. Newbies are ****. We are **** and they aren’t going to waste a breath telling us anything. Watch. Watch and learn. I hope. Lines. Lines to get our teeth rinsed with fluoride. Lines. To chow. To get more shots. To in country orientation. Lines. Memorize lines. Lines to get ammo. Lines to get orders.

No line at the outhouse. Gray three seater. Heat roasting our ****. Old timer kicked the planks before he sat down beside me in the stench. I asked the question but only with my eyes. Kick the planks before you sit down so rats won’t bite your ***** off. Kick the planks to scare off the rats. Rats. The size of possum. Not an exaggeration. Possum rats. Rat possums. Who the hell knew? Just kick the planks. Save your *****.

More lines. Then darkness. Then more booms. Not incoming. Our own. 1-5-5s. Learn the difference newbie so you don’t crap your drawers for nothing. That’s the boys in that artillery firebase keeping Charlie awake for the night. Returning the favor. Charlie. Sounds like a name you would call someone who was a buddy doesn’t it? Charlie. Victor Charlie. V C. ***** Charlie. **** Charlie. Charlie this and Charlie that. Oh, Charlie would eat that rat.

My first duty. Guarding Charlie. Prisoner with leg blown off at the knee in our clean smelling dispensary. Hands strapped to bed rails. MP and I assigned night shift. Keep each other awake . Looked at Charlie. Charlie looked at me. Smirk. Then spit. Landed on my boot. My newbie boot. Not a newbie boot anymore. Charlie squirms. Spits again and misses. MP gets up and threatens to bash Charlie in Charlie’s little head. Medic comes and gives squirming, smirking, spitting Charlie shot of good drugs. Charlie doesn’t spit on medic. Charlie gets drowsy. I get drowsy. MP falls asleep. I stand up. Newbie afraid to fall asleep on guard duty. I wake the MP before shift change. Charlie is up. Smirk, smirk. Thus spoke Charlie. The only conversation I ever had with Charlie.

Medic says Charlie getting on a bird to someplace. Can’t remember where. Anyplace.   Charlie leaving and me staying. Ain’t that a hoot--all it cost him was a boot. Envy is a word I learned that day. Cost him part of a leg medic says when I tell him I wish I was Charlie just then. Had heard tales about people shooting off their toes to get out of the ‘nam. “**** tales” I would call them, since I heard so many in those gray crappers. Rats. Possum rats and your *****. ***** or a limb? Did I really want to be him? I don’t really remember. I didn’t want to be there--somewhere between honor and complete disgrace. Bye Charlie. Hello Vietnam.
mostly true story from a while ago--the only short story I have posted here
Jim Davis Apr 2017
In the last
three decades,
after we became one,
I touched
amazingly beautiful things,
horribly ugly things,  
unbelievably wondrous things

I touched nature's majesty;
hued walls of the Grand Canyon,              
crusty bark of the
Redwoods and Sequoias,
live corals of the
Great Barrier Reef,
dreamlike sandstone of the Wave

I touched magical and strange;
platypus, koalas and
kangaroos Down Under,
underwater alkali flies and
lacustrine tufa at Mono Lake,
astral glowing worms
in the Kawiti caves

I touched holy places;
Christianity's oldest churches,
the Pope's home in the Vatican,
Hindu and Sikh temples and
Moslem mosques in India,
Anasazi's kivas of Chaco canyon,
Aboriginal rocks of Uluru and Kata Tjuta

I touched glimmers of civilization;
uncovered roads of Pompeii,
fighting arenas of Rome,
terra cotta armies of Xian,
sharp stone points of the Apache,
pottery shards from the Navajo,
petroglyphs by the Jornada Mogollon

I touched fantastical things;
winds blowing on the
steppes of Patagonia,,
playas and craters of Death Valley,  
high peaks of the Continental Divide,
blazing white sands of the  
Land of Enchantment

I touched icons of liberty
and freedom;
the defended Alamo,
a fissured Liberty Bell,
an embracing Statue of Liberty,
the harbor of Checkpoints
Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie

I touched glorious things
made by man;
the monstrous Hoover Dam,
an exquisite Eiffel tower,
a soaring St Louis Arch,
an Art deco Empire State Building,
the sublime Golden Gate Bridge

I touched sparks from history;
the running path of an
Olympic flame just off Bourbon,
the last steps of Mohandas Ghandi
at Birla House before Godse,
******'s Eagle's nest and the
grounds over Der Führerbunker

I touched walls of power;
enclosed rings of the Pentagon,
steep steps of the
Great Wall of China,
untried bastions of
Peter and Paul's fortress,
fitted boulders of Machu Picchu

I touched strong hands;
of those conquering
Rommel's and ******'s hordes,
of cold warriors of
Chosin Reservoir,  
of forgotten soldiers of Vietnam,
of terrorist killers of today

I touched memories of war;
the somber Vietnam memorial,
the glorious Iwo Jima statue,
the cold slabs at Arlington,
the buried tomb of USS Arizonians,
Volgograd's Mother Russia  

I touched ugly things;
shreds of light in
Port Arthur's prison,
horrible smelly dust
in the streets from 9/11,
ash impregnated dirt
in the pits at Auschwitz

I touched oppressed freedom;
open ****** plazas
of Tiananmen Square,
smooth pipe and concrete
of the Berlin Wall,  
tall red brick walls
of the Moscow Kremlin

I touched constrained freedom;
heavy ankle and
wrist slave chains
in the South,
little windows
in Berlin's Stasi prison,
haunted cells in Alcatraz  

I touched remnants of madness;
wire and ovens of Auschwitz,
stacked chimneys and
wooden bunks of Birkenau,        
Ravensbruck, and Dachau,
the tomb of Lenin,
toppled Stalins

I touched hands of survivors;
of Leningrad's siege,
of German POWs and
of Russian fighters
of Stalingrad's battle,
of Cancer's scourges  

I touched grand things;
deep waters of the Pacific and Atlantic,
blue hills of Appalachia,
towering peaks of the Rockies,
high falls of Yosemite Valley,
bursting geysers of Yellowstone,
crashing glaciers of Antarctica and Alaska    

I touched times of adventure;
abseiling and zipping in Costa Rica,
packing Pecos wilds and Padre isles,
flying nap of earth Hueys to Meridian,
breaking arms in JRTC's box,
fighting Abu Sayyaf, and Jemaah
Islami in Zamboanga City

I touched through you;
wet sand beaches of  Mexico and Jamaica,
mysterious energy of the monoliths of Stonehenge,
rarefied air in front of the
Louvre's Mona Lisa,
ancient wonders of Giza,
Egypt's tombs and pyramids

We shared soft touches;
drifting in Bora Bora's
surreal waters,
joining hands camel trekking the
Outback's dry sands,
strolling along Tasmania's
eucalyptus forest trails

basking in swinging hammocks
under Fiji's bright sun,
scrambling in
Las Vegas' glittering and
red rock canyons,
kissing under the
Taj Mahal's symphony of arches

We shared touching deep waters;
propelled in gondolas
through the city of canals,
Drifting atop Uru cat boats on Lake Titticaca,
Swooping in jet boats
up a wild river in Talkeetna

Racing in speed boats
around Sydney's great harbour,
skimming in pangas in Puerto Ayora,
paddling the Kennebec for
East's best petroglyphs,
cruising Salzbergwerk's underwater lake

We touched scrumptious things;
Beignets and chicory coffee at DuMonde's in the Big Easy,
Hot *** with sesame sauce
in the walled city of Xian,
Peking duck, dimsum, scorpions,
snake and starfish on Wangfujing Snack Street

We touched delicious things
Crawfish heads and tails at JuJu's shack
and ten years at Jeanette's,
Langoustine at Poinciana's, Fjöruborðinus and Galapagos,
Cream cheese and loch bagels
at Ess-a' s in the Big Apple

I touched your hand riding;
hang loose waves of Waikiki,
a big green bus in Denali's awesomeness,
clip clopping carriages of Vienna, Paris,
Prague, New Orleans, Krakow,
Quebec City, and Zakopane,
the acapella sugar train of St Kitts

We shared touching on paths;
the highway 1 of Big Sur,
the Road of the Great Ocean,
the bahn to Buda and Pest,
the path to the North of Maine,
the trail of the Hoh rainforest,
and time after time, the way home

Yet,
I could spend
the next three decades,
in simple bliss,
having need for
touching nothing,
other than you!

©  2016 Jim Davis
A poem I wrote last year for my wife!  Posted now since it matches the HP' theme for today - "Places"
jake aller Dec 2019
Snarling Cup of Coffee    




I like to start my day with a hot cup of coffee
I pound down the coffee
First thing I do every day
as the dawning sun
Lights up my lonesome room

Yeah, but not just a simple cup of java Joe, but a ******* snarling sarcastic smarmy cup of coffee

I mean, - we are talking about an alcoholic, all speed ahead, always hot, always fresh, always there when I need it, angry, attitude talk to the hand Ztude, bad, bad assed, beats breaking, beatnik, bluesy, bitter, ******, bombs away, capitalistic, caffeinated up the ***, cinematic, communistic, Colombian grown, Costa Rican inspired, Cowabunga to the max, crazy assed, devilishly angelic, divine, divinely inspired, dyslexic, epic, extreme vetting, evil eye, expensive, ****** vision inducing, Ethiopian coffee house brewed, euphoric, freaky, freazoid, foxy, Frenched kissed, French brewed, funkified, foxy lady, graphic, GOD in my coffee, with Allah, Ganesh, Jesus, Kali, Buddha, Christians, Durga, Hindus, Mohamed, Jesus and Mo and their friend, the cosmic bar maid, Sai Babai, Shiva, Taoists,

Zoroastrians, drinking my god ****** coffee in Hell;

growling, gnarly, happy, hard as ice, Hawaian blessed, high as a kite, hippie, hip, hipster, hip hoppy, hot as hell yet strangely sweet as heaven, jazzy, jealous, Kerouac approved, kick ***, kick my ******* *** to Tuesday, kick down the doors and take no prisoners, grown in the Vietnam highlands by exVietcong, Guatemalan grown, kiss ***, illegal in every state, imported from all over the ******* world,

insane, lovely, loony, lonely, lonesome, malodorous mean old rotten, *******, nasty, narcotic, never whatever, never meh, never cold, not approved by the CIA, not approved by DHS, not approved for human consumption by the FDA, not your daddy’s sissified corporate cup of coffee, NOT DECAFE coffee, not your Denny’s truck driver weak as brown water cup of fake coffee, not your establishment friendly cup of coffee, Not your FBI coffee, Not FAKE Herbal coffee substitute, but a real cup of coffee, not your farmer brothers dinner crap, not made in America for Americans, not safe for work, not your Starbucks average expensive overpriced ****** corporate chain cup of coffee, Not pretentious, Not White House approved, not State Department safe, nuclear, Not Patriotic, operatic, Peets’s coffee approved,

paranoid, pornographic, psychotic, pontific, politically aware, rapping, rhyming, right here, right now in River city, rock and roll up the Yazoo, sad, sadistic, sarcastic, sassy, satanic, schizoid, *******, silly, ****, smarmy, smelly, smooth, snarky, snarling, stupid, stinking, sweet as honey, sweat inducing, symphonic, Trump can’t handle this coffee, vengeful, Wagnerian, wicked, with nutmeg and cinnamon swirls, with a hint of stevia, with a hint of vanilla, with a hint of ***, with a hint of whisky, with a hint of cherry, with a hint of fruit overtones, with a hint of drugs spicing up the coffee, spendific, speeding, splendid, superior accept no substitutes, survived the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the Afghan war, the first and Second Korean war, World War 11, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on black people, the ****** revolution,

Soulful as a summer’s night in MOTOWN- James Brown approved, TOP approved, Berkeley approved, the coffee that Jimmy Hendrix drank before he died, the coffee that Elvis drank on his last breakfast, the coffee that Barry White crooned as he drank his cup of coffee – and the coffee that made the white boy play stand up and play that funky music, the coffee that made Jonny B Goode play his guitar, and made Jonny bet the devil his soul after he drank his morning cup of righteous coffee and the coffee that make the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll, the coffee your mother warned you against drinking, the coffee that Napoleon drank when he became the Emperor of all Europe, the Coffee that Beethoven drank when he wrote the Ninth symphony, the coffee that Mozart drank as he wrote his last symphony, the coffee that Lincoln drank before he was killed, the Hemingway drank before he killed himself, the coffee that started the 60’s, and ended the 20th century,

the coffee that Lenin drank as he plotted revolution, the coffee that ****** and Stalin drank with FDR as they divided up the world after World War 11, the cup that JFK drank before he was blown away, the coffee Jerry drinks while driving in cars with random celebrities and political figures, the coffee that Jon Stewart drinks before he goes on an epic take down of some foolish politico, the cup of Arabic coffee that Sadaam drank the day he was executed, the coffee that GW and Cheney drank when they bombed Baghdad, the Indian cup of coffee that Bid Laden drank before 9-11 and just before the seals blew his *** to hell, the cup of coffee that Tiger Woods drank with his mistresses while playing a 3, 000 dollar round of golf at Sandy Lane golf course in Barbados, the last legal drug that does what drugs should do, the cup of coffee that Obama drank when he became President, Vietnamese, Vienna brew, wacky, whimsical,

Whisky Tango Foxtrot, wild, weird, wonderful, WOW, Yabba dabba doo! Yada Yada yada Zappa’s favorite cup of cosmic coffee, and Zorro’s last cup of coffee, Good to the last drop rolled into one simple cup of hot coffee   
As I pound down that first cup of coffee
And fire up my synaptic nerve endings with endless supplies
Of caffeine induced neuron enhancing chemicals

I face the dawning day with trepidation and mind-numbing fear
I turn on the TV and watch the smarmy newscasters in their perfect hair

Lying through their perfect blazing white teeth
about the great success the government is having
Following the great leader's latest pronouncements

I want to scream
and shoot the TV
and run out side

Shouting
Stop the world!
I want to get
off this ******* crazy planet"

The earth does not care a whit
about my attitude problem

It merely shrugs
and moves around the Sun
In its appointed daily run

the universe whispers
in my ear
time to drink more coffee
for an attitude adjustment

And I sit down
The madness dissipating a bit
And enjoy my second cup
Of heaven and hell
In my morning cup of Joe

Coffee Revolutions



coffee cup
Coffee led to the American Revolution<span
As patriots drank coffee
To rebel against
the aristocratic English tea

Coffee started the London Stock Market
And started the gossip mills running
Every great invention
Was fed by coffee's sweet brew
sweet allure

All the great thinkers
All the great leaders
All were enslaved
to coffee's magic

I sing my praises
Of the great
glorious coffee lady

Long may she continue
To be my sweet companion

Long may coffee continue
To rule my heart
And set my heart
on fire

Ode to Coffee



Mistress of sacred love
Sacred lady of desire

You start my day
Setting my heart on fire
With your dark delicious brew 

And throughout the day
Whenever the mean old blues come by
You chase them away

With your bittersweet ambrosial brew
Every time I inhale your witch's brew

I am filled with power, light and love
And everything is al right Jack
If only for a few fleeting minutes

I love you oh coffee goddess
In all your magical forms

In the dark coffee of the dawning day
In the sizzling coffee in the mid morning break
In the afternoon siesta break
And in the post dinner desert drink

I love you my coffee mistress
You are my refuge
From this horrid world

And you are my secret lover
Never disappoint me, ever
I've never had a bad cup
Of that I can be sure

Even the dismal coffee
Served at Denny's at 3 am
Is still sweet loving coffee

Even the farmer brother's diner coffee
Excites me and gets me going
Asking for another cup of divine delight

Coffee always is there
It is always on and piping hot
With hidden dark secrets
Swirling in its liquid essence

Coffee is my last vice
My only legal vice left

Coffee does not cheat on me
It is always faithful, always true
It does not turn on its friends

And all it asks in return
Is that you come back
Cup after cup after cup

A good cup of coffee
Is a little bit of heaven
In a cup of dark liquid hell

Coffee is like a drug
But a good drug that does what is should
And never complains

It does not get grouchy
It does not hurt you

It does not make you crazy
But allows the muse to come out
And play with it

Coffee led to the American Revolution
As patriots drank coffee
To rebel against the aristocratic English tea

Coffee started the London Stock market
And started the gossips mills running

Every great invention
Was fed by coffee's sweet brew
sweet allure

All the great thinkers
All the great leaders
All were enslaved to coffee's magic

Yeah
I sing my praises
Of the great glorious coffee lady

Long may she continue
To be my sweat companion

Long may coffee continue
To rule my heart
And set my heart on fire

I love thee
Mistress coffee
And sometimes I think
You love me too

No More Coffee Blues








I love coffee
Always have

And coffee has loved me back
But lately I have soured on her
Soured on the whole coffee scene

On the harshness
of the morning brew
And the promises it makes

As I sip of its nectar
Drawn into its lair

Drinking drop by drop
As the caffeine takes over

Rewriting my every nerve
Turning me into a slave
For its perverted pleasure

Yes I love coffee
But I am afraid

Coffee is a harsh mistress
Demanding so much of me

Promising the sun
And delivering the moon

As I drink her swill
Deepening under her influence

I have the coffee blues
Can’t live without her
Can’t live with her

I try
But tea does not cut it
Not really

***** does not do it
At least not in the morning

Yoga is not enough of a buzz
Nor is the runner’s high

And I am afraid deadly afraid of *******
And speed and drugs and energy drinks

And so I remain a slave to coffee
My only legal drug

As I sip another
and fall under
her seductive spread

Once more failing my resolve
To skip coffee for that day
That morning that moment

I shall never be free of her spell
Ever and she knows it
As she beckons me
Every morning with her intoxicating smell

And I come to her
and drink her brew

And become her slave
again and again

Coffee Ya Du





must drink coffee
have every day
the morning dawns
drinking my coffee as I yawn

Morning cup of coffee 



every morning
I drink my coffee
as I contemplate 
the dawning day

watching the news anchors
blather on and on
drinking my coffee
thinking of life

and my coffee
consumes me
overwhelms me
and at time controls me

after all coffee is a drug
and I am her slave
from time to time

Drinking Coffee in the Morning



in the morning
dangerous mood
felling deranged
watching the news

trigger warning
you are ******* dude
end of the world
the end times come

I drink coffee
in the morning



Coffee *** Killed





His wife has banned my use
by my owner
says he makes too much
of a mess when he uses me

it is not his fault
I want to say
but being a coffee ***
can not speak

and so I am abandoned
thrown out into the trash

and feel very sad
for my owner

who was my friend
he liked me

he keep me going
and I did my job

providing him
with fresh coffee

doing my coffee *** duty
and now it is over

Drinking My Coffee


drinking coffee

drinking my coffee
early in the cool morning
thinking life is fine

everything will be okay
after I drink my coffee

morning coffee



morning coffee

dawning sun 











coffee MGur Poem


coffee

I pray to the coffee gods
every cup of coffee
is like a sacrament to me

I pray as I drink my coffee
that it will fill me
with wisdom

and find peace
with my coffee

as I drink
my devotion

Hot coffee


cup of coffee


take coffee with you
Hot hot coffee, makes my day -

Must drink My daily coffee, as the morning dawns - 

With out my morning coffee

in me,  I feel nothing at all -

Electrified Hot Coffee



coffee is the drug of choice
nothing else will do it
as I drink coffee
Electrified
Hot Coffee

Hot Coffee and Cake


coffee
coffee is the drug of choice
electrified circuits
as I drink coffee
coffee and cake



Coffee Patina



coffee
hot coffee
hot Hellish Heaven
Essence of coffee
the rest of the coffee poems can be found at
John Jan 2013
I was tripping, tripping
Over to Vietnam
Their hands were ripping, slipping
In hot blood
While I asked how many people they've shot
How many kids?
How many villages burnt with a fire so hot
So cold, the beers cracked open
Sweating like the citizens trying to stay alive
Rage trapped in their heart-like pig pens

I was told to take pictures
Told to record every explanation
Every lieutenant major gave a lecture
As calves were sewn to thighs
Thighs sewn, stitched
The thighs piled high
In buckets of ****** ice

I might have a son
I visited a madam
Down in la Drang Valley
Should've kept it in my pants
Now my sons running naked
Through streets paved in fresh blood
Pros ably pushing drugs or kidnapping women
Selling women
Because his mother was sold to me
In Vietnam
Had the weirdest dream last night. I was a journalist or a soldier/photographer in Vietnam in the late 60s. This is a product of said dream.
Jon York Nov 2017
It is STILL THE SAME for a Vietnam combat Veteran and
I am sixty-nine and it has been forty-seven years since I
returned home to America after standing up for our flag
and fulfilling my job which was to **** and as a highly
trained Marine that is exactly what I did for 13 months,
taking many lives every day and at the end of the day all
that we could say is how many did we **** today?

They called us grunts and side by side we fought and died
fighting a war that we thought we could win and every day
and night it took all our training to survive and side by side
we fought for our flag as many of our friends returned
home in a body bag.

Seems like I write about Veterans Day every year and here
in 2017 IT IS STILL THE SAME for Vietnam combat
Veterans: we lived through the war, now we die at home,
we are suicide soldiers who beat the odds, but we die alone
without our squads, and we totally look forward to death,
so we can find peace and we can get some rest.

IT IS STILL THE SAME: we can never forget the eyes, the
death rattling sounds that our mind seeks to drown and
the labored breathing and vacant lifeless eyes of life loss
that we despise as we spend a lifetime with segmented
visions of memory recalling death and life in vivid color
images because with death and dying you never forget
the eyes, friend or foe and we still hear their cries.

2017 at home IS NOT THE SAME for there are those who
refuse to stand for our flag and continue to disrespect our
country and those who fought and died for it and to those
who choose not to stand can just get out of my land that
I stood up and fought for called America.
                                          Jon York   2017
                                    USMC Vietnam 69-70
jake aller Apr 2019
Seeing Ghosts

I walk around the streets
Of old Saigon
Seeing sensing the undead

The ghosts of the war
That haunted life
So many years ago

So many people died
For a war
That never should have been fought
For reasons that are still not clear

A great tragedy unfolded
In a land half away
Around the world

The ghosts smile at me
And then they disappear

Leaving me in the present
Life goes on

Old Ghosts  

Old ghosts wandering the streets of old Saigon
Lost spirits of the dead
Died during the endless wars  
Ghostly apparitions around every corner

Here was Kilroy
and his gang of soldiers
Over there were the Viet Cong
Waiting to **** them

Saigon is filled with memories like that
Terrible times were had here in Old Saigon
Silently the ghosts parade the city streets
As the tourists drink in the bars



Mastering the Saigon Shuffle

When I first visited Saigon
Learning the Saigon Shuffle
Was difficult

And now 24 years later
It all seems to be coming back

There is an art to crossing the street
Dodging the motor cyclists, the taxis, the private cars
The bikes and other pedestrians and the buses

The art consists of letting the big guys go first
Then walk between the motorcycles and cyclists
Trusting that they will get out of your way

And they being masters of the Saigon shuffle
Always find a way

In my two visits I was struck
By how it all flows together

Without a central authority
And with almost no planning
Lights or cops

Somehow it just is
And somehow it works

And it is still a mystery to me
24 years after first
Encountering the Saigon shuffle

Coffee Lady
Every morning
I have gone out for Vietnamese coffee
At a sidewalk café
Down the ally from our AIRBNB

The owner is a pleasant middle age woman
Who for some reason likes us
She smiles at us
Greets us in Vietnamese
She does  not understand English
Or Korean

And I wonder why
Why was there this connection
Between us

It dawned on me
Perhaps in a prior life
She knew an American or two
And I remind her of someone

Or perhaps she is found
Of Korean K drama
And Angela reminds her
Of her favorite K Drama star

Or perhaps it is both
Or another reason entirely

But I moved today
And will miss her

Might go back for a final cup
Of coffee

To say good bye
To my Vietnamese coffee lady

Mostly Harmless Old Lady in the Alley
There is an old Vietnamese lady
In the neighborhood
Obviously senile

But everyone knows her
And watches over her

To make sure
She stays out of traffic
And out of trouble

She talks to everyone
But no one seems to understand
What she is babbling on about
They smile at her
And she smiles back

Reminds me of the phrase
From the hitchiker’s guide to the galaxy
Mostly harmless

And she for some reason
She likes us
And like my Vietnamese Coffee lady

I wonder why
Why was there this connection
Between us

It dawned on me
Perhaps in a prior life
She knew an American or two
And I remind her of someone

Or perhaps she is found
Of Korean K drama
And Angela reminds her
Of her favorite K Drama star

Or perhaps it is both
Or another reason entirely

But in any event
I look forward
To seeing her smiling face
Every time I walk
Down my ally way

Avoiding the War Due to Two Birthdays

I avoided being drafted
Due to a fluke in my birth certificate
In 1974 the last draft was held
And some people were drafted

But no one went to Vietnam
The war was ending by then
I avoided the draft though
To no effort on my own

My number came up on the draft list
My real birthday was in the zone
But then my mother pointed out
That my legal birthday was different

When I was born at 4 am
The night clerk typed up
My birth certificate
With the wrong date

My father pointed that out
She said
Once I typed it
That is it

His birthday will be
What I typed
Get use to it
My father gave up

And so, 18 years later
That saved me
From the last draft
Never made it to Vietnam

Many years latter
I visited Vietnam
Right after we opened relations

Glad I finally got to see
The country
That so many Americans visited
so many decades ago

Buddha In Vietnam

In Saigon I saw the buddha
Buddha images are everywhere
Temples are scattered about
Here and there and everywhere

Buddha lives on
In the hearts and minds
Of the Vietnamese soul

The communists tried
To get rid of Buddhism
And other religious traditions

But they failed
And Buddhism has come back
Still speaks to the Vietnamese people

A different style
A different vibe
Than Korean Buddhism

But still Buddhist thought
Prevails in the tropical lands
Of the South


Mekong Dreams

Traveling along the Mekong
Back in time

Seeing the river
The people
Imagining life on the river
Imagining the war
The past in the Mekong delta

And the present tourist boom
Yet life goes on
With its own laid back rhythm

As we traversed the river
We were transported back
To an earlier time

Following the ancient rhythms
Of the Mekong Delta


Down and Out in Saigon

Southeast Asia, and Mexico
has always attracted
A certain type of westerner
The down and out
On a down word spiral

Why?
Relatively cheap to live
Lots of part time gigs
Teaching English
Or other things

*****, drugs, ***
Readily available
And cheap

Places to stay
Dirt cheap
And no one needs
To sleep out doors

Easy to disappear
Into the foreigners backpackers ghettos
And escape
From whatever you are running from

The locals are somewhat tolerant
The police usually look the other way
And there are lots of people
In your shoes

I was surprised to find
That Saigon has become
The latest place
For the down and outer crowd
To gather together

In Bangkok one sees them a lot
In Cambodia as well
In the Philippines
In Nepal

And south of the border
In Mexico as well

In India not so much
In Japan and Korea
Just too **** expensive
And too cold to be outdoors

Back in the day
I used to work
The citizen services gig
And saw lots of the down and outer set

The old song comes to mind
No one remembers you
When you are down and out

And in the States
Being down and out
Means living on the mean streets

As it is very difficult
To live with almost no money

And the various side hustles
Don’t give you much money
Unless you are dealing drugs

And teaching ESL
Is not an option

Food is expensive
Transportation is expensive
***** and drugs expensive
Rent is prohibitive
Commercial *** is expensive

And no one loves you
If you are down and out
No one knows your name
You are just another homeless ***

Invisible to all
As you try to make do

Much better to be down and out
In Southeast Asia
Than on the mean streets
Of the USA


Ghosts of Chu Chi

Crawling down the tunnels
Of Chu Chi
I could almost imagine
The Viet Kong guerillas

Hiding deep under the tunnels
As the land above is turned
Into a temporary dessert

With the vegetation burned off
By ****** and agent orange

The Viet Kong creep out at night
Stealing onto the bases
Stealing weapons, food, supplies
And occasionally killing soldiers

In their sleep
The US soldiers
Stay on base at night

Terrified of the mosquitos
And of the Viet Kong

the ghosts
Surround me
Telling me their stories
And at last I fled

Through the emergency escape tunnel
Declaring victory
Profoundly shaken up
By the ghosts of the Chu Chi tunnels


Saigon 2019

Saigon 2019

Vibrant, vivid, exciting
A city on the move
Becoming a world class city
Yet still with a Saigon swagger

Wandering the streets
Dodging the traffic
Admiring the women
Enjoying the food

Saigon enters my heart
And I know that I will be back
This city is growing on me
Reminds me of Korea back in the 1990’s

One hopes that as it develops
It will not become a carbon copy
Of other big Asian cities
Obliterating its past

In search of a false modern image
I hope it can retain
What makes Saigon Saigon
And not become another Gangnam

Hope it does it with Saigon style
And the people will evolve
The country will emerge
And become what it should be

The Paris of the East
This is my vision
Saigon 2019



Saigon 1995

Saigon 1995

In 1995
I was one of the first tourists
Allowed in to Vietnam
To freely wander about

Tourism was at its infancy
And Saigon was chaotic
Wild and crazy
Traffic was insane

There were few tourism sites
Few hotels
Few guest houses
And not too many restaurants

The food was good
We saw the war memorial
The re-unification palace
And the big market

But we felt we were being monitored
Beggars were everywhere
There were scams everywhere
And it was not that pleasant an experience

But Saigon grew up
Became a much more tourist-friendly place
And these problems we encountered
A thing of the place

Saigon is so much better
So much more developed
That it has captured our soul
And we will be back
poems inspired by my second trip to Saigon in 24 years
Mike Hauser Mar 2016
It just happened to be when you turned 18
At the height of the war, Vietnam
The letter for you from a relative you never knew
By the name of Uncle Sam

Requesting you join him for a party
You and a few of your friends
Ooh La La here comes Paris
Island life you would live to regret

Where they turned your school boy fantasies
Into that of nightmares for men
In the confines of time you never dreamed you would find
The thoughts that now crisscross through your head

Then came the news, they picked you for a cruise
The last time you slept in your warm bed
On the very same day you packed it all away
Including what little sanity you have left

Here you were promised the tropics
There is where reality set in
Instead of the fancy sweet umbrella drink
They placed a cold gun in your hand

It came with a set of instructions
In black & white **** the yellow man
Where democracy rules, communism's for fools
As you share this for your Uncle Sam

You spent all of your time in the jungle
Battling those they told you to hate
Going to sleep at night in hopes that you might
Wake up to at least one more day

When they finally told you it was over
With fewer friends and far less of a man
You'll remember the names as they call from the graves
On the hillside of war, Vietnam

Back home to the sweet taste of freedom
Not quite the same as when you first packed your bags
Now they spit on you for what your Uncle put you through
You have to wonder what is the sense in that

The colorful world in which you once lived
Remains to this day a deep shade of gray
And all of this because you happened to get
That letter on your 18th birthday
Andrew Duggan Aug 2018
They were not interested in the forests.
Or how many Asians died?
Nam Viet was a restaurant
Open from 8am-11pm each day.
And summertime in Hue,
means cheap ***** and handmade suits.

All around the girls in golden tight dresses,
who can hardly walk in their six inch heels.
Sell cheap cigarettes from table to table.
Always with a smile and a look at their *******.

On trips to Hanoi and Hoi An,
the code to Vietnam's  literary treasure.
They asked thin questions with no light
“What about the Women Andrew”
“What about the nightlife and the girls”
“Do you think they’re ****?”
"How expensive are they?"

Someone in ** Chi Minh City asked me
"Why do people think like this?"

I guess it is easy, if ugly is all you know
Calling to nothing, and the fall of the future.
A trip to Vietnam
Mike Hauser Oct 2016
I remember well the day
My daddy went to war
Place called Vietnam
Still don't know what for

Still don't know what for
Haunts me to this day
Never got a chance
To put flowers on his grave

Flowers on his grave
May not mean a lot
But he'd be there to listen
To the questions that I've got

Questions that I've got
Answers that I don't
Why'd he have to die
And leave me all alone

Leave me all alone
Here all by myself
In a world that doesn't care
About nobody else

About nobody else
That walks upon this land
Especially for my daddy
Who died in a place called Vietnam
Jon York May 2013
I am sixty-four and it has been forty-three years
since I fought in America's only losing war
as a highly trained combat Marine
whose only job was to ****
and still after so long not a single day
goes by that I don't wonder  
why I didn't die.

And I won't lie because there are
so many times I wish I was dead
because of what goes on in my head
and sometimes I just sit and cry
but for some reason I find strength
and overcome what was long ago done
by me as a youth and I know
that I will live to see
another season but can't
see the reason.

Thirteen months of daily combat
in the "Valley of Death" seemed over so fast
as each of us just tried to last
just one more day and now thoughts about it
forever will last and sometimes
sleep never comes because Charlie haunts
us day and night as we sit up
waiting for daylight.

Memorial Day Celebrations are nice
and they mean well but for some of us
it is our own personal Hell because of the crap
ignorant people say and their words make us sad
but at least I am glad that I am not
one of the many Veterans who will
commit suicide today and that trend continues
every day of the week 365 days a year
which has to bring a tear.

So Memorial Day just reminds Vietnam Veterans
that we are a generation that society
would like to forget but so many of us
are still here and are trying to hang on to life so dear
but so many of us know that the end
is so very near.                                                  Jon York     2013    
                                                                ­            Vietnam  USMC  1969-70  
                                                                ­            A Shau Valley - I Corp
CHAPTER ONE

My geographic movements during the past year could be called “A Tale of Two Couches.” So as June draws to a close, I assume the position here again on Couch California. I am back in Hemet, the place the smug among us call Hemetucky--as if there was nothing a couple of Mint Juleps and a **** of Blue Grass wouldn’t cure. It is the year of our Lord, 2014: so far an interesting year for women. There was a woman who wore socks to bed. There was always my long-time, here today-gone tomorrow, long time companion, currently teaching somewhere remote on the Big Rez, a southwestern Navajo concentration camp near the 4 Corners.  Next, there’s my current object of affection, that fine and frisky lady from The Bronx by way of Bernalillo--currently at home in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Trixie: my main squeeze at the moment.

And now, completely out of the ******* blue this afternoon, my cell phone rings and it’s ******* Juanita--my all-time favorite woman, Juanita Mi Favorita de La Quinta--a Coachella Valley town and desert wadi, extending its lucrative winter tourist season to become a significant, year-round retirement venue and a robust service economy feeding off it.  Juanita arrived there in the late 80s, in middle of her early forties.  She was unemployed, homeless, just a suitcase to her name and a two-year old toddler in tow. Her parents were there, as was her Aunt Peggy.  Juanita was always Peggy’s favorite niece, her favorite child, actually, Peggy herself being childless, never married.  Aunt Peggy put her maternal instincts to work on Juanita Rodriguez, her Sister Rosalia’s second favorite twin daughter.

Maria, Rosalia’s first favorite daughter, Juanita’s twin sister—MARIA: lives in Newport Beach and acts as an extra in many commercial ads shot in southern California and elsewhere, an irony never without sting for Juanita. “Que lastima!” Poor Juanita: as her would-be Hollywood Movie star aspirations disintegrated over the years, along with her unrealized lower expectations to be TV star, and even those semi-glamorous modeling gigs at trade shows and fairs—the elephant’s graveyard of the acting profession—failed to materialize, and now her celebrity habitat shrunken even further, to that sporadic but consistent mockery of stardom, I refer to any would-be thespian’s ignominious one-celled visual protozoan: The Extra Call List.  And—*******-- what happens next? Juanita’s sister Maria starts getting these parts, starts getting hired by filling out a ******* postcard, starts getting paid to look good in the background. *******: no professional education or instruction, no agent, and no need to **** off both the producer, the producer’s cousin Morey, the director and the director’s wife’s huge Golden retriever, Genghis--actually a mighty handsome animal--or needing to spill $4K on that Derma-brasion, Juanita inflicted on herself last year.

Juanita, as you already know, was the second favorite daughter and the second favorite twin of the family. She became the third favorite child in her three-child family upon the arrival of her slick baby brother Nico-- the Golden Child, who grew up to be a glib Merrill-Lynch stockbroker, office and residence, Beverly Hills 90112.  (Enter forcefully into the narrative, His Nibs himself, Sir Nicodemus of Hollywood, Juanita and Maria’s baby brother Nico. He speaks: “Excuse me, stockbroker my ***, as it says in a 11 point Rockwell Boldfont, right here on my gold-leaf embossed business card: Senior Large Capital Investment Counselor.”)

No, Juanita had a hard time just treading water in that Cleveland shark tank. And though she lacked nothing in the cuteness department, she had this one fatal flaw, namely, the gift of ***** and sass and a reflex to speak truth to power. Juanita: rejected by Rosalia as a threat to her hegemony as Boss of the Girl’s Club, was cast adrift on a tempestuous childhood cruel Montserrat sea, out there on the briny deep . . .  
                

                                      



High Seas: where many a tuna has a Sorry Charlie moment: “Star-Kist don’t want no tuna with good taste; Star-Kist wants a tuna that tastes good.”

Finally, Juanita is rescued, taken aboard the Good/Soul Aunt Peggy—that wayward bark Elisabeta Rodriguez, home-ported in Southside, Chicago, Illinois—the rescue at sea performed in classy, rather low-key manner; no Andrea Doria drama, but understated:

{Camera One, Helicopter above, zooms over turbulent ocean surface. Peggy, an oasis of calm, aboard the raft Kon Tiki with Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, floats by, whispering, “Going my way, Honey? Climb aboard. Have a homemade oatmeal cookie and a small glass tumbler of Jack Daniels.” Okay, no, that’s not fair. Sure Aunt Peggy drank, but never got round to offering you a drink until you were well into your 30s. Let’s just say she offered you a warm glass of milk, the mother’s milk deprived you by your mother, her sister Rosalia. Dear Aunt Peggy: a seasoned survivor herself, flawed by early childhood deafness and grotesque speech.  Yet, she had refused to settle for life in an asylum. She made a go at life.  She learned; she prospered; she flourished. And when the time came, she was there for you in the Coachella Desert, there for her feisty niece Juanita Ann.  Aunt Peggy: a loving spirit personified, became Juanita’s special confidant and counselor, her personal cheer squad of one. Juanita, of course, a former cheerleader herself--an early hint of greatness to be sure, a highlight, perhaps the highlight of her life, shown off every Halloween, still celebrated at American high schools each Fall. She is the Principal’s secretary at a huge suburban high school in Indio. Each Halloween, if the date falls on a school day, Juanita arrives for work wearing that scrupulously preserved, vintage 1966 cheerleader uniform, looking real foxy still, snug now in all the right places. Eternal Truth: Juanita has always and will always be good looking. Life with Juanita is perpetual “ooh la-la.”

So, I am on the couch that afternoon, reading more of Gramsci’s prison notebooks, specifically the philosophy he calls “Praxis.”  Completely out of the ******* blue, Juanita calls me on a RESTRICTED phone, as I said, Juanita, a torch I’ve kept burning for years, flaring up like a refinery flame--oil still very much in the present energy mix--hope springing eternal as they say, and instantly my mission in life is rekindling our lost love. Juanita’s conceived her mission prior to her phone call:  using me to keep her son from being whacked by the local Eme--the Mexican Mafia—that ethnic-pride social club that the RICO-squad-- using family tree socio-grams and other expensively-printed graphics, the one RICO keeps trying to convince us is some sort of organized crime conspiracy. The Mexican Mafia: like everything else practical and utilitarian in this world: THAT’S ITALIAN! And, if you are starting to sense a bit of ethnic chauvinism on, between & below the lines, you are barking up the right tree.
                                                           ­     
      
                                                            
(AUTHOR’S POST-SCRIPT EDIT: And, an ad for dog food right here? Not the best choice of sponsors, perhaps, at the moment. Juanita was far off from the ****** ***** that start looking not half-bad at 2:30 in the glazy morning, not anywhere near those beasts you find lingering in the airport bars you usually frequent near closing time on Saturday nights. No, I remind you that Juanita was all “ooh la-la.” In my next printing—and my Lord, there have been so many, haven’t there, Paulie “Eat-a-Bag-of-****” Muldoon? I will change out the Alpo ad, plugging in a spot for Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or Betty Crocker whipped cream, you know, something more apropos.)

Juanita, I really must hand it to you. You showed the greatest staying power, year after year as I moved further and further away from La Quinta, California. Juanita: you embraced what was good in me, ignored my flaws and strengthened me with your love for so many years. As far as you and Peggy, I guess it was a case of the “apple not falling far from the tree” one of many endearing Midwestern metaphors you taught me.  Peggy taught you, taught you to be kind and then you taught me. No matter what bizarre venue I pulled out of my ***, you showed above-average staying power, continued to visit me wherever I went, Casa Grande & Buckeye, Arizona, Appalachia, West Virginia, and even Italy, when I thought I’d try Europe again after so many years.  With each move, each time, Juanita renewed her commitment to the relationship. Meanwhile, I continued to test her, quantifying her dedication, undermining her sense of mission to disprove my worldview on the expendability of women. Surely, you know that one: the unreliability of women, women who disappear without saying goodbye. That old deeply etched conviction to never get attached to a woman, any woman, based on the empirical fact that women have been known to suddenly die, a fact seared into my still tender metal by the surprise death of my mother on 11 January 1962.

1962. It was already an insecure world, to wit:  The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita Khrushchev, in his time both Dr. No and Dr. Evil, namely the Premier whom we Baby Boomers saw as Boogey Man of All Time (Although Putin is showing potential, lately)—the Kennedy ****** (what else could you call it?). All these events scary, whether or not I got the chronology right . . . I remained on high alert for any threat to my delicate adolescent psyche.  My mother-Rosa Teresa Sekaquaptewa-died at 2 o’clock in the morning, screaming in agony while apologizing to my father for not having his dinner on the table when he walked in from work that prior afternoon. She’d already been in bed since noon, attended by two of my aunts--both my father’s sisters--who loved their Hopi sister-in-law, Rosa.  Also present was Lafcadio Smirnoff, M.D.--last of the house call medicine men--a dapper, mustachioed, swarthy gentleman, misdiagnosing her abdominal pain as a 24-hour virus, while she bled out internally for at least eight more hours, her whimpers alternated with screams, well into the wee hours of the morning.

I was upstairs in that dormer bedroom listening to her die. An hour later, Father Numb-nuts of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish teleported in, beaming directly into my bedroom from the parish rectory.  Father Seamus Numb-nuts, an illuminated Burning Bush . . . not quite the bush I ‘d conjured at other times, so many times alone with Gwen Wong, ******* Playmate of the Year, 1961, one of Hefner’s hot centerfolds. No, give me a ******* break, you momo! Whacking off is the last thing on a libidinous, adolescent guinea’s brain when his mama is being tortured and killed by God. Even Alexander Portnoy, Philip Roth’s early avatar would have drawn the wanking line at that unforgettable moment.

No, perhaps what I’d had in mind was The Burning Bush Golf Course where so much of Fletcher Kneble’s political mischief and government shenanigans got cooked up. You remember his books, some of the Cold War’s finest: Seven Days in May, Vanished, etc.

Or better yet, perhaps the greatest political slogan of the 20th century: “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” Thank you, Jesse. “Thank you, Reverend Jackson,” I slip into my Excellence in Broadcasting mode, my very own private Limbaugh. Announcing my on- air arrival is El Rushbo’s unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line bumper, courtesy of Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders band mate, guitarist Tony Butler: Dum, dum, dum-dum, Da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum. Single, “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders
Rush Limbaugh Song– YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=SScW9r0y3c4

I become Reverend Jackson. I emerge from the vapors, an obscure abyss of deep family pangs and disappointments, ever-diminishing public relevance and fade to black (no pun intended) and media oblivion. The only thing left is that line:  “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” You will always own that line, Jesse--true political genius (to wit: Rainbow Coalition) Jackson that you are, despite El Rush-Bo’s virulent anti-Black animus, his predilection to mock you, Al Sharpton, Corey Booker, Barack “Hussein” Obama, and any other professional ***** in America. Isn’t it time someone came right out and tagged Mr. Limbaugh as the Father Coughlin of our time.

Meanwhile back in The Bronx, enter another man of the cloth:  It’s Seamus Numb-nuts, making one of his many well-documented spectral visitations, his splendiferous miracles and wonders. How much longer will the Vatican ignore this humble Bronx priest, this epitome of Sainthood; this reverent man, lacking only the stigmata for a unanimous consent vote? Quote the Numb-nuts: “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” An old standard to be sure, but a lovely, all-purpose bromide for explaining why evil exists in our world. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed; I lost God at that moment, consequently shooting myself in the foot--metaphorically-speaking-condemning myself to an unshielded life, life OUT THE BUSHES!  I went forth into the world without God, without that handy divine crutch, that Andy Devine metaphor for when one’s legs grow weary: a puff of smoke, a reverb twang and a nasty frog croaking “Hi-ya, Kids. Hi-ya, Hi-ya. Hi-ya.”

   Andy's Gang - Pasta Fazooli vs. Froggy the Gremlin - YouTube
► 3:55► 3:55
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35odPm7b3w Aug 8, 2012 - Uploaded by jmgilsinger
Froggy the Gremlin -Tuba ... Andy Devine (Aug 24, 1952)

Life for me became lonely and purposeless. And probably explains my susceptibility to military discipline and a subsequent career in clandestine government service. In 1968--the very day I turned nineteen, September 25th of that year—that fateful day when I should have shot myself in the foot—literally not metaphorically--earning that coveted 4-F physical rejection, a draft deferment to be desired, that 4-F classification of unfitness for duty, a necessary loophole in U.S. conscript service law.  The Draft: last used during that great commonwealth Cold War purge, that culling out of the unwashed, uneducated children of immigrants, that cut-rate, discount, lower socio-economic ***** bank—the only bank where after you make a deposit, you lose interest, to wit: most Black, Hispanic and Poor White Trash parents.  We were cannon fodder, many of us got to be planted at Arlington and other holy American shrines, still wrapped in black or olive drab leak-proof body bags, doing our generational bit to strengthen the gene pool left behind. A debt, some would say, we owed the country and, given the sorry state of the global wicket, increasingly an obligation to the species. And if I had to predict an outcome, Fascism in America will arrive riding the white horse of the environmental, anti-nuclear Bolsheviks. One could argue that Communism has moved so far left on the political spectrum that it’s now the far right.  Concoct a legislative policy goal, accomplish it legally as the bill becomes Law, signed by the President, endorsed and blessed by The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

To wit: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough?” declared Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an Associate Supreme Court Justice at the time, buttressing a majority argument harnessing the power of U.S. law as a legal means of purifying the race.  When euthanasia failed to win over American hearts and mind, the Federal Government played the war card again and again. Vietnam: undeclared and therefore unconstitutional--except for that Gulf of Tonkin ******* resolution. Vietnam: a cost-plus eugenics project, if ever there was one, although responsive, of course, to the needs of the Military-Industrial Complex.  ******* Ike: he warned us against Fascism in America. As usual, we ignored the man in charge.

Eugenics? Why didn’t the government just put all the retards on the stand, as John Frankenheimer did in Judgment at Nuremberg, a crafty Maximilian Schell humiliating a feeble-minded Montgomery Clift?  Why not, make everyone face a public tribunal, forcing all of us to testify in court, exposing our many substandard and borderline substandard cerebral deficits?  Why not force everyone to demonstrate just how ******* dumb we are, using some clever intelligence test, something l
SassyJ Mar 2016
Vietnam, you uncovered my soul
Gave me a song, a direction smog
Looked at the pandora box I held
Unstripped my flames up temples

A hologram of the graded existence
Seasoned in explosions of burnt haste
Decked on buses,ducked in valleys
Chilled bays, overly paddled kayaks

Such sweet taste of the Halong bay
Undreamt mist of the skies stared
Fishing squids and bellied jellyfish
The soil, the sound,an orotund playlist
Travels.... I miss you Vietnam..... you were hyperreal!
tabitha Jul 2018
always take your shoes off before you cross a threshold
              you've been carrying your dirt around with you
                leave it at the door
         
wear your face mask
wash your neck
ask for no sugar
hold yourself center                        
   
                                               this city's crazy, child

be grateful for the sun, and getting to be outside
       buildings do not satiate the wild within
         when the sun kisses your face, feel loved

don't drink the tap
try to keep your bones intact
keep your eyes open
wear a helmet

                                               this city's crazy, child

speak and laugh as loudly as you want
      set the bar high, so that growing up doesn't make you silent
        the world should know that you are here
          you're so beautiful

wash your dishes
sweep your floors
grant your own wishes
lock the door             

                                                thi­s city's crazy, child

 try not to breathe in the fumes
don't go to school for something you don't love! ....
                                                                                           or do
                                                                                           who am i to say
    but from what i can see,                                      
                you have patience for your elders, child
                              i wish they had patience for you
the entertainment world mourns, a comic genius passes on
the entertainment world mourns, a comic genius passes on
he'd make side splitting gags, now the laughter is muted
he'd make side splitting gags, now the laughter is muted
now the laughter is muted a comic genius passes on
the world mourns the side splitting entertainment

to the stage in the sky he's gone, Heaven will welcome him
to the stage in the sky he's gone, Heaven will welcome him
a few routines he'll do, for the crowd up there
a few routines he'll do, for the crowd up there
the stage up in Heaven will welcome him
he'll do a few routines for the crowd up there

Good Morning Vietnam, we'll always remember
Good Morning Vietnam, we'll always remember
that was Robin's finest hour, a rowdy voice over the air waves
that was Robin's finest hour, a rowdy voice over the air waves
we'll always remember a rowdy voice over the air waves
Good Morning Vietnam Robin's finest hour

we'll always remember, Good Morning Vietnam
a comic genius passes on, to the stage in the sky he's gone
a rowdy voice over the air waves, he'd make side splitting gags
Heaven will welcome him, a few routines he'll do
for the crowd up there , now the laughter is muted
the entertainment world mourns, that was Robin's finest hour
mannley collins Jul 2014
Is such a big and impossible to miss step for a scribbler
of poetry free poems to trip over.
A step that cannot be ignored, except consciously and conscientiously.
Such a person as a scribbler of poetry less poems would be a person who cannot tell the difference between truth and truthfulness.
A person whose sole raison d,etre in pretending to be a poet is their lifelong angst in being unable to escape from being under the control of  their mind and its operating system --the Conditioned Identity.
The Conditioned Identity,which is the facetious and morally dishonest "I am a poet" mask that is the consciously adopted Conditioned Identity--the operating system for the Mind.
In the great scheme of things becoming just another member of the human GroupMind--one who doesn't count--not even on the fingers of one hand-.
One,who,in the grand scheme of things,never has counted and never will count-call them countless.
Shadows that flicker and dim on the walls of the Prison of political, racial,national,familial and religious conformity
And these worthless scribblers of poetry less poems do have an all consuming conditioned habit  of consciously ignoring truthfulness and integrity and substituting pathetic sub-teen lower middle class emo whinging "truth"--about their "art" and "insight"and "vision"and their "truth"--always their worthless "truth".
Sitting and mourning the fulfilling love that always evades them and always will evade them--unless they let go of the conditioned identity and the Mind--consigning them to the dustbin of history--where they rightfully belong.
Angst ridden whingers all--in love with their image in the mirror of Minds oh so believable deception.
Scribbling about a conditional possessive love that would have been a valueless truth but never can be the essence of truthfulness.
A conditional possessive love that never was and never will be unconditional and non-possessive.
Whinging about nothing more than conditional love and a truthfulness that never can be for them--- as we see openly here and there and everywhere there are scribblers of poetry less "poetry" who use sites such as this to scribble their pretentious infantile nonsense.
Poverty of values and integrity,orphaned from the Isness of the Universe, children of worthless technological consumerism and followers of false oligarchic hopes.
With their greedy gobs open for any crumbs falling from the rich peoples tables,like baby chicks in the nest--feed me feed me they screech.
Colluding with like minded betrayers of truthfulness,groupminds of
limp wristed bombastic poseurs.
Deluding themselves by babbling media made inane celebrities
empty insights and twisted conclusions--purveyors of puerile pettiness.
Oligarchic media celebrities noted only for the illusions between their ears,and the beguiling way they collude with each other to delude themselves.
Ludare!
Oh how they love to play mind games
Lives spent colluding with these babbling worthless celebrities who know the price of everything and the value of nothing,
Pompous posturing pretentious pissants of aesthetic poverty.
Bound together into a worldwide consumers Groupmind,
persuaded by perverts of PR into believing in the Illusion of Wealth and Demockery that the Oligarchy sells.
To step over the truthfulness threshold is,indeed, to  leave behind their
security blankets of "truth and beauty and revealed knowledge"
and the concomitment meaningless verbiage about "veracity" and "existence".
Shallow and unrequited attempts to own another that the weak and unwanted call "love".
Stomping through the quagmire of conditional love
up to their necks in the **** of consumer garbage.
The Conditional love of possessing another and grasping at thin air
as they submerge slowly in the seas of righteous stupidity .
poets cling to their misconceptions religiously,
poets cling to their ignorance avidly,
poets cling to their proto-fascist politics squeamishly,
with each word and stanza that they write.
Pouring out such pleasant and elegant and flowery and "deep"
words and verses(rhyming or not) that,at their core,
have only one meaning and aim.
Which is!.
To divert and confuse their readers with the"shallow beauty"
of endless strings of meaningless associated but fine sounding words .
To create a groupmind for their poetry business products.
Admire me--buy my product--join my groupmind--eulogise me,
let me rip off your energy--I need your praise,I need your lifes energy
gimme your money honey!.
The Publishing Oligarchy will bestow rewards and honours,
medals and diplomas--critiques fit only to wipe your **** on.
Book sales and the summer Poetry festival circuit--reciting and signing scribbles of narcissism--casting lecherous eyes over dripping **** or stiff wobbling **** in the adoring crowd of sycophants.
The  Media will fawn and adulate and cast its sly net
to entangle your desires in ---infamy awaits.
Come admire me and my use of other poets stolen words,
my criminality in even daring to think the word "poet" has any value.
These are my words about my inexperience and unknowingness they scream possessively in jaundiced teeny remembrance.
Remembrance of mediocre middle class homes and attitudes
of ingrained ignorance and wilful imagined self victimisation.
Eating societies poisoned dishes--.
Serve me up a burger of roasted babies on toast
from Vietnam--live on Channel Whatever.
Or chargrilled peasants from Afghanistan
with breathless commentary from
our "reporter on the spot".
Or homeless mental wrecks from the streets
of any Amerikan or World city big or small,
trailing acerbic criticism from the immoral majority.
Or dead celebrity  consumer junkies in 5 star hotels
complete with PR handouts and **** licking "friends"
positioning themselves for increased sales.
Or the children of the Oligarchs with their "I" newspapers
and inbuilt fascist attitudes.
Who spend their shallow lives hoping for the kind
of meaningless and worthless Honours and Validation
from those that do not have honour or validity..
Or the not just lame but crippled duck presidents with their finely crafted speeches that say nothing but I am a beard wearing  failure,
looking forward to penning lies and calling it a frank memoir
while holding out my hands  for the Oligarchies pennies.
Can anyone tell me where to get a bucket of truthfulness?.
A glass of honesty?.
A tumbler full of veracity?.
A beaker of back breaking honest labour?.
Can anyone tell me where I can find
a peaceful man or woman,of any of the 5 colours.
Not those merely observing a Cease-Fire
while they rearm their weapons of the lies of beauty and truth.
Oligarchy allowed social commentary.
Is there just one decent truthful man or woman out there?.
Judging by the world Id say not.
No Id say not.
Not.
There Ive said it.

www.thefournobletruthsrevised.co.uk
brian mclaughlin Jul 2015
Vietnam

A terrible time for our country
The fear of what was called
the domino effect
Communism would be at our doorstep
if we did not stop the North Vietnamese

It was our own freedom
we were told that hung in the balance

We sent our young men
they fought
many died
others crippled and those who were fortunate enough
to simply make home
became the victims of a nation
that showed no support for the soldier

But the war was not about our freedom

It was about fear

Fear that traveled throughout our government
that we could be next

Of course history now shows
that was not the intent of the North
all they wanted was their country reunified

Our boys came home
the nation turned its back on them
many today still live in the streets
as do present day returnees from the middle east wars

It was the Vietnam veteran
who vowed
never to let another vet go unappreciated

The people have learned
but sadly
the government hasn't

The fear they have now
is the loss of profits
they continue to send
other peoples children
off to war that for these youg men
and now women
holds death and dismemberment
without giving those fortunate enough to return home
proper care and support

Today is so different from yesterday

Yesterday
the people spat upon the returning soldier

Today
it is the spittle of the government that they wear
Willard Wells Dec 2015
I was only 9 years old and I lived in North Vietnam where I was born. My family is Chinese, but work was in Vietnam so my father had moved us there long before I was born. I had 5 brothers and I was next to the youngest, but my younger brother got sick while we were hiding in the mountains to avoid the bombings. He did not go home with us and mother was very sad for a long time.

There was really nothing to do for entertainment. My day was made up of sleeping late in the morning and school in the afternoon. We only had about three classes, which was giving us a very basic education. I had many friends in school and good number of relatives.

My older cousin and I played together often, just spending time together. Over loudspeakers songs of the people were played to encourage hard work and loyalty to the Communist Party. Everything in the country still ran as it had under Uncle **. You never speak bad of Uncle ** or you might not make it until tomorrow.

Since we had so little entertainment we found our own. She and I would go up during the day and sometimes at night to listen to the workers in the factory sing praise of life, progress and Uncle **. Now I was very small, but crime was not a factor and so even with me being so young, my cousin and I were always off on an adventure.

A big event where I lived was a marriage. It was a beautiful event with the bride and groom dressed in wedding clothes. A long high necked dress for the women and the man in his best white dress shirt. I know this because when my cousin and I were out one night we saw a wedding party walking down the street. It was so beautiful and exciting that she and I joined at the end of the procession.

I expect our age helped as we were welcomed to the celebration. Eating candy, cookies and sticky rice, special treats for the wedding party, but a special treat for a poor little girl and her cousin. Both welcomed by the bride and groom.

My cousin and I did this twice that I recall and the songs still resonate within my head of a beautiful moment in time and a break from the bombs dropped almost daily from the sky.
A child of '70's Vietnam.  Stories told to me by my muse and love. This story mostly made me smile, but many bring pain to my heart of the suffering she lived and saw. But she has a very positive view to the time and I hope to share more.
Jon York Jul 2010
The pain
just doesn't go away,
seems we have to
deal with Charlie everyday.
So many triggers,
in our heads that make us
wonder if,
we would be better off dead.

We live from
day to day,
some hour to hour,
wondering what to say
to those who just can't
understand the pain
and sorrow that we feel,
as a combat Veteran.

We are a band of brothers
who stepped up, stood up proud,
and went to War
for a Country we loved,
only to return to a Country
full of hate and disrespect.

Vietnam Veterans
continue to take their own lives
daily, some 40 years later
because some are tired
of fighting the War in their heads,
and fighting for help,
from a Gov't
that doesn't seem to care.
We are tired of asking for respect,
because we stood up for your freedom.

We still wait for just
for one sincere "thank you",
or a true "wellcome home",
that we never got,
better late than  never for some,
just a little too late
for me and many others.

Some 58,000
gave their all, most
still in their youth but
old enough to die,
for a War that was just a big lie,
and all they got was
their name on a Wall.

Those of us who survived
still fight the triggers in our heads,
and try to help those brothers
who would rather be dead,
those fellow warriors
with so much pain
that they feel as if
they have nothing to gain.

Self respect takes away
some of that pain,
but we have to heal
from the inside first.

But for now
we heal at the Wall
and touch our brothers
and friends who gave it all,
those who dared to
stand tall
for your  freedom.             Jon York
Odysseus needs a job he calls pima community college art department chairperson sends her his resume she does not respond after a week he catches her on phone she says he lacks proper credentials laughs to himself his whole life never worked lucrative or reputable position gets job working at thrift store wacky group of coworkers customers store frequently smells like public latrine job expires after 7 weeks he gets better paying job working at record exchange Odysseus always loved music everyday he learns new artist or band his coworkers are at least half his age they pester him about being slow on keyboard he never learned to type neither he nor his generation could have foreseen future would revolve around keyboard he plods on register keys people smile politely kids he works with fly fast making many keyboard mistakes November 29 2001 george harrison dies of cancer he is 58 years old Odysseus recognizes he is from past world different era of contrasting standards ‘80’s behavior is totally unbefitting let alone ‘60’s beliefs it is 2002 and one badly chosen word is sure to send someone flying off the handle he watches his language carefully co-workers mostly born in 1980’s grew up in 1990’s they live indifferent to hopelessness he struggles to bear none of them believe in higher power music is their religion he wonders what their visions concerns for humanity are? they seem addicted to consumption as if it is end in itself he questions what is hidden at root of their absorption? loneliness? despair? apathy? absence of vision? where is their rage against social conversion current administration? he warns them about homeland security act privacy infringement increased government secrecy power they shrug their shoulders why aren’t they looking for answers? why don’t they dissent? do they care where world is going? he realizes they will have to learn for themselves few coworkers read literature or know painters philosophy their passions are video games marijuana “star wars” most of them are extremely bright more informed than he often Odysseus needs to ask questions they know answers to right off the bat he is like winsome uncle who puts up with their unremitting teasing “hey you old hippie punk rocker get you fiber in today? stools looking a little loose! peace out old man” in peculiar way he finds enough belonging he so desperately needs they tell him stories about their friends *** addictions eating disorders futile deaths he is bowled over by how young they are to know such stuff job includes health insurance which is something he has not had since Dad was alive having some cash flowing in he buys laptop computer with high-speed connection cell phone trades in toyota for truck opens crate of writings he abandoned in ‘80’s begins to rewrite story sits blurry eyed in front of computer screen his motivation has always been to tell truth as he knows it he wonders what ramifications his labor will bring positive or negative results? he guesses his story will sound like children’s fable in stark brutality of distant future october 2002 3 week ****** spree terrorizes maryland virginia  district of columbia 10 people killed 3 critically wounded police believe white van responsible october 24 man and 17-year-old boy arrested in blue chevy caprice juvenile is shooter assailants linked to string of random murders including unsolved shooting of man at golf course in tucson Odysseus mentions incident at work speaks of prevailing terror madness in america co-workers kid tell him he is crazy “did you see a white van parked outside the store Odys?” they seem desensitized to increasing national atmosphere of anger panic or perhaps they are overwhelmed by weight trauma of modern life lie after lie prevailing  havoc slaughter make for dull numbness in world they know suicide is compelling option december 22nd 2002 joe strummer dies from heart failure at age 50 Odysseus’s eyes wet he adored the clash everything they stood for loved joe strummer and mescaleros he plays “global a go-go” over and over listens sings along with first track “johnny appleseed” march 2003 president bush launches attack against iraq united states seems drunk with “shock and awe” zealous blind patriotism many people politicians countries around globe question unproven line of reasoning saddam hussein possesses “weapons of mass destruction” Odysseus gripes “not another **** vietnam” record company allows employees to check out take home used product Odysseus stopped watching movies in 1980’s he has lots of catching up to do particularly likes “natural born killers” “american history x” “american ******” “fight club” “way of the gun” “******” “king of new york” “basquiat” “frida” “*******” “before night falls” “quills” “requiem for a dream” “vanilla sky” “boys don’t cry” “being john malkovich” “adaptation” “kids” “lost in translation” “25th hour” “28 days later” “monster” “city of god” “gangs of new york” “**** bill” list goes on perfect circle becomes his favorite band followed by tool lacuna coil my morning jacket brian jonestown massacre flaming lips dredg drive-by truckers dropkick murphys flogging mollies nofx stereophonics eels weakerthans centro-matic califone godspeed you black emperor magnetic fields fiery furnaces dresden dolls smog granddaddy calexico howie gelb sufjan stevens warren haynes dax riggs john vanderslice alejandro escovedo sean paul elephant man bjork p. j. harvey ani difranco aimee mann cat power sophie b. hawkins kathleen edwards mia doi todd kimya dawson regina spektor carina round neko case fiona apple nina nastasia beth gibbons mirah rasputina dr. dre talib kweli immortal technique murs slug atmosphere trick daddy eazy-e tricky list goes on october 21 2003 elliott smith commits suicide stabbing 2 wounds into his chest Odysseus thinks about music when jimi hendrix stood up at woodstock deconstructing national anthem on guitar it took courage when punk emerged with ugly screechy sounds attempting to divorce itself from melodious harmonies of 1970s complacent crosby stills nash  the dead kennedys and *** pistol did not pander to conventional commercial success what they performed were desperate gutsy songs trying to reclaim music rock’n’roll is no longer about inventing instead it imitates its glorious past hip-hop and rap come nearest to risking rebellion but are caught in gangsterism infantile self-adulation no longer does music offer vision of what is or could be instead it conjures looping escapism from hopelessness of modern life he continues working at record shop for several years store contains every genre of music cinema he grows weary of retail sales weary of higher-ups constantly changing rules dictating what to do head manager is manipulative drama queen thrives on crisis once in private admits stealing from company Odysseus nods not knowing what to say head manager works Odysseus hard keeps him down atmosphere of conspiracy betrayal hang at start of each day assistant manager routinely taunts berates bullies teases regularly calls Odysseus “dumb-****” or “****-up” other times laughs after goading Odysseus to flinch eventually bully backs off and they become friends retail pushes Odysseus to brink of misanthropy corporation requires all employees to exercise overt courteousness while serving a public of disrespectful gang bangers demanding “show me black market brotha lynch mac dre why ya godda keep dat **** behind da counter? dat’s ****** up hey old man i ain’t got all day” it always amazes him when shoplifter is caught with product stuffed down his pants thief blatantly states “i didn’t do it i don’t know how that got there” thanksgiving through christmas to new years is most swarming stressful he feels like automaton greeting customer scanning product looking at screen to see if price agrees with product typing money amount counting money into drawer counting money out handing change to customer handing customer product receipt next customer cockroach capitalism packs of masses line up in endless stream of needs stupid remarks job also involves trade appraising condition value resale probability of cds dvds video games tapes vhs vinyl news of  iraq war gets dismal mounting civilian casualties suicide bombers hostages beheadings beginning of 2004 reports of torture ****** psychological abuse **** ****** ****** of prisoners at abu ghraib prison guantanamo bay white house cover-ups denials growing insurgency increasing u.s. body count other costs he thinks about men and women who are so much braver than him then comes re-election and lavish republican parties parades cheney rumsfeld tom delay and whole regime smirk portentously on tv none of it makes sense anymore “we the people of the united states” what does it mean? the dreams and aspirations of his generation have long since faded away he is citizen of forgotten past current world is barbaric place he barely recognizes there are real pirates with machetes rocket launchers on the seas big drug corporations hiding harmful findings kidnapped children abandoned children crooked politicians corruption at every level of society horrifying stories daily ******* priests slave markets extreme heinous cruelties abruptly everyone is acknowledging society is worsening life is not the same he does not understand people and certainly does not understand america or the world he remembers when all could be so good modern existence has turned everything into madness what happened to lessons of history? it is as if Odysseus fell asleep and when he woke everything is changed he is mistaken about what he thinks he knows feels pity for people america pity disgust sorrow he misses his dog
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
Over the course of my unavoidably finite life I have always looked for the best in people
I believe that every human being has a soul
I believe that deep down within all of us
Beneath our silver hearts and our metal lungs lie good intentions
We stray from these as time passes
Time, an irrelevant concept at the most
Has made us all fools
We agonize over the number of minutes we are wasting as our lives drag on
Throwing away seconds like used tissues
Throwing away people like used tissues
Throwing away our lives like used tissues

We wreck everything around us
Concern is a forgotten custom
We would do anything to forget
We are all very quick to judge

We treat everything as disposable and recklessly dive into the unknown for the chance of excitement
But as an unavoidable result,
We wreck everything around us
There are men walking the streets with shoes tied to their backs whistling a tune about a man ******* ******* and getting money
This man doesn’t have a dime to his name and the last time he made love to a woman she screamed in disgust when she saw the disease he picked up from another man when he was 17 and ******
There are women waiting in the shadows of the alleys, waiting for their prey to come along and take them for a spin just for a Benjamin Franklin or two
This woman was taught that *** was a way to survive and that Benjamin Franklin could save anything, since that was all her dad sent her in the mail, as if that was an okay way to make up for leaving
There are teenage boys staring down at green leaves crumbled into nothing and white candied sugar that doesn’t taste so sweet
This Harvard bound boy just threw it all away because the pressure became just a bit too much and the only escape that was left was in the form of artificial highs that will destroy his brain until he’s as useless as a used tissue
There are teenage girls who are downing a bottle of coconut *** and getting on the road to go home so they can take their AP exam the following morning
This broken hearted girl who was just trying to forget her ex by swallowing the taste of Hawaii just killed another man in a head on collision
We wreck our lives for the pure possibility of enjoyment
We are all just looking for ways to forget and make up for all these lost moments that don’t even exist
A moment is never truly lost because it ceases to exists
Yet we forget this all in the thrill of it

Time is just a sugar coated limit on our lives that we fret over in order to worry about something
But maybe what we should be worrying about is the boy snorting coke in the bathroom
Not only should we be worried about his inhalation of the fast white lady,
But we should also be concerned over the circumstances surrounding him
He’s got scars on his wrists that he’s gained from war
Not Vietnam or Iraq but the war in his mind
But maybe we should be worrying about the girl selling herself on the street
She’s got eyes like fire but there’s burn marks slashed across her back from her “mother” shoving her onto the hot burning stove when her daddy left as a way to get out her anger
But maybe we should be worrying about the man with the shoes on his back
The disease that girl avoided will **** him in a matter of months and he hasn’t spoken to his mother in 10 years
She’s about to lose her only son to the ground because of some stupid party and some washed up drunk boy just looking for a good time without any concerns or protection
Or maybe we should worry about the teenage girl whose sitting in the jail cell drunk off her *** and being charged with vehicle manslaughter
Her ex is now lying under a white sheet, dead as can be, all because she was stupid enough to try to get amnesia from a bottle of forbidden poison

We would do anything to forget
We **** up our lives for the pure chance of amnesia
We all just want our innocence back
That teenage girl would love to forget how she lost her virginity to a boy who didn’t love her
But now she’s wearing black at a funeral staring at the face of a man she truly did love with her hands trapped in handcuffs behind her back
The man with the shoes would love to forget how he was once a straight-A student destined to be the next Steve Jobs
But all because of some frivolous party and the sleeping he did in his health class freshman year, he’s given up on the possibility of love and companionship and he’ll be rotting in the ground next to his father by the age of 34
The teenage boy would love to forget what it’s like to live with a beast in your mind with a red name tag stamped with the title ‘depression’
But instead he’s slashing his wrists in the bathroom as his blood splatters across the remaining ******* that lines the basin of the sink
The woman would love to forget the story of her accidental conception
But instead she hides in the alleys looking like a replica of her dad and just a little too much like the woman at the post office he got a bit too friendly with
We drown ourselves in the possibilities of falling into this idealistic dream world laced with melatonin and codeine as our brain collapses in on itself and our memories float away
This is the dream
Yet we cannot grasp it

We are all very quick to judge
We are all self-absorbed beings who form opinions on these four humans who are built of the same skin and bones as us
Yet we don’t take a second to look just a little bit deeper
The woman you considered a ******* whose been abused and beaten by a mother that’s not even her own?
She has a college degree and won three spelling bees when she was 12 years old
She can spell the word promiscuous faster than you can breathe out
She’s got flower crowns wilting in her closet that contain rotting lilies from her wedding bouquet
Her husband left her just like her dad did
The teenage boy, who you considered an emo, suicidal, washed up ******* addict?
He volunteers at the hospital and tries to help other kids suffering from the same disease that plagues his mind, even though he can’t help himself
He listens to only country music and sometimes when he picks his sister up from ballet recitals, they sing it together, extra loud with all the windows down
The man you judged as a homeless, lonely, STD-ridden loser?
He’s got thousands and thousands of dollars he pays to a nurse each week to take care of the mother he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years
He grew up on nothing, with only shoes on his back, and made himself into something
He made himself into a millionaire over a silly idea that resembled Facebook
And now he’s resorted back to his childhood ways in order to keep a woman healthy that kicked him out of the house when she found out he was bisexual
The girl who you considered some ******, blonde, drunk idiot who just killed her ex by pure accident?
She’s a natural brunette and she only dyed her hair because her ex told her it would make her pretty
Her self-esteem is so low it lies in the core of the earth, burning in hell, where she believes she’s going to end up because she lost her virginity before marriage
She’s got a purity ring resting in the threads of her carpet and a ****** wrapper in the trash laced with regret
She fell in love with somebody who treated her like she thought of herself, and she let him take the only part of her she had pride in because she believed he loved her

But now the woman with the flower crowns hiding in the alley has become a victim of **** because of some ******* who wasn’t carrying a Benjamin Franklin or a ******
But now the boy with a love for Luke Bryan is lying on the bathroom floor of some high school party in a pool of his own blood, slipping into oblivion
But now the man supporting his mother is in the hospital because of a disease in his genitals
But now the teenage girl is in prison for life

These are all just stories of imaginary people
Yet it all feels deathly real
Take us back to our youth
Take us to a land of the forgotten
JOJO C PINCA Nov 2017
“Uncle **” utang sa’yo ng Vietnam ang kanyang kalayaan,
Ikaw ang amang mapagpalaya na sa kanila ay gumabay.
Ikaw ang dakilang liwanag na sa kanila’y pumatnubay,
Kahit sa gitna ng laksang lumbay hindi mo sila pinabayaan.
Wala kang katulad sa buong Vietnam, ikaw ang bayaning tunay.

Sa ilalim ng iyong pamumuno walong taon ninyong nilabanan
Ang mga Pranses sa mga palayan, bundok at lansangan. At
Matapos ang walong taon ng nakakapagod na pakikibaka sa
Wakas ay napasuko ninyo ang mga kaaway.

Subalit di-naglaon lumitaw ang isang bagong kaaway,
Ang Estados Unidos na s’yang bagong halimaw na gustong
Humalili sa mga kolonyalistang Pranses. Lahat ng kalupitan
Sa inyo ay ipinadanas subalit sa udyok at impluwensya mo
Hindi kayo sumuko. Matapos ang labing-anim na taon ng
Madugong pakikipag-tuos natalo din ang dambuhalang kaaway.
Isa kang tunay na rebolusyunaryo na karapat-dapat na mamuno.

Subalit isa rin palang makata na sumusulat ng mga tula,
Mga tulang gumigising sa puso’t kaluluwa ng bayan.
Sumusulat ka ng mga tula habang nakahimpil sa gubat,
Habang pinapanood ang pag-aani ng palay at nung ikaw ay
Nabilanggo dun sa Tsina sa loob ng labing-apat na buwan.
Wala kang ibang kapiling kundi ang iyong mga tula.

Binasa ko kahapon ang mga tula mo, ramdam ko ang
Bawat mensahe nito. Alam ko na sa bawat paghalik ng pluma
Sa papel ay kasama nito ang kaluluwa mo at ang sigaw ng puso
Mo. Mga tulang rebolusyunaryo ang tema at dating.

Ang dahon at bulaklak ay tiyak na malalanta pero hindi ang iyong mga tula; mananatili itong buhay at naka-kintal sa puso ng Vietnam. Wala kana nga Uncle ** pero lalagi kang buhay sa puso ng mga kababayan mo at sa bawat puso ng makatang rebolusyunaryo na tulad mo.
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Sweeter* than* wait I am starting
to melt like a____?
             Royal Jam
  Scarlet Movie Oh!  I don't give a
              ****!!
The Milkman versus My Breadman
How can I decide I feel I am
going to faint

Such a quaint picnic was "Hot Epic"
       My biggest fan is my
              Mother
    Going public like a stand up comic

All stereotypes happiness
        is a warm bread

Any way you slice it love it
Even going out of our head
The war going on
Hello Vietnam
Be my *Grand Slam


Have difficulty with everything
Melting our hearts those
"Good Eat" the luckiest people
But it's us the ordinary people
No time to brag or boost
who believes
everything is extraordinary
take a bow

Feeling tired give me a bat and ball
My big hit  built me a buttercup bed

I love the sweet warm toast
With my butter spread that
dash of sea salt the most
What was truly said in
your opinion no one's fault
Justice For All so stop
feeling guilty

Or in the presence of someone, you
didn't love at all

End of the reign beginning of
Melted candle dripping softly
like I apple butter he texted me
His ears were full of wax

Moms and
their daughters play
dressed up Dads and sons
  kickball having a meltdown
Of timeless bills no bread lines
Kings and Queens love their crowns
Love those quilts of corals
Soft as butter what morals

It's time for Hellman's
mayonnaise sandwich
What a dilemma
Every morning she is eating
Cream of wheat like a blob
Of farina
Kansas City here she comes

She loves her buttered popcorn
Poppy seed bagel was
near her acorns
We used to be human now
  An Army of Robots
Keep your enemies closer
If you truly love her

Robin Hood of the thieves

She got Gingersnapped
Melted finger-mapped
Crusty Baguette's French lip
lemon creme
Those marionettes caused
a scene

Butterscotch candy sugar cookies  
cleaning up your
computer meet "Ms." Butterworth"
movie
The worst shes ever has seen

She is sitting in the country
southern style
the dining room
Doing banana splits boiling
egg yolks Mcdonalds pancake
with Old folks

And cartwheels Moms always
wearing her buttercream heels
More room buttercream paint
And so toxic she zooms

What a silly goose with hens
He is hiding his eyes like
a fugitive he was blind getting
melted by so many lovers
Buttery slippery hearts

Jumping like Jack Rabbits melting a
white picket fence no nonsense
This bread and butter hold me closer
Everyone is looking
like a stranger
Almost every morning new
improved bread love pusher
Fresh taste and another lover
Uptown girl left her catcher of
the rye bread on used up counter
Seeing too many piano players
of Billies, she was getting a
Bread hot fever

Take me to *
Panera Bread
Cyborgs the pig and whistle 
beer and nuts melted butter pretzels
The Alien like a damsel in distress
Like a heart of the shamrock
What a lucky piece Irish bread
The Queen red wine and
breadcrumbs
On her musical chair
Milk and honey not your
Unicorn Pony quick kick
then melt me in my sleep

Ancient rocks up her castle
Sipping her hot spell word
puzzle
Secrets of all tattle tales
In her coffee, he smiles with
French croissant like a sergeant
Bread melted her butter lips
The very first time she
ever saw his face
There were more excursions
but no excuses to
butter up my Prince
How our bread is buttered or so soft but sweet like out Mother and  her lovers' chef knife left her salted the stars upon them a temptation to move on soft heartedly
To be loved you feel squashed in between there is always a shining light we see them differently let's not cause such a scene
jake aller Mar 2019
World According to Cosmos Updates March 3, 2019

Note: I am taking a two week trip to Vietnam and will update my blog when I return with my reflections on my trip, updated publications etc.

Cosmic Dreams and Nightmares

I don't dream dreams.  I dream movies complete with action, music, food, smells everything.  In this one I had a vision of  a possible future. it was so vivid, almost as if I were watching the hearing take place.

Three stories

Dream Girl (true story)
General Zod (flash fiction
Sam Adams Vs. the Social Cleansing Board
Six Poems
Morphing Images from Hellish Nightmare
Endless Movie
Worlds within Worlds Lost in Hell
Rafting to Hell
Satanic Torture
Micro Stories

Don’t Go Jogging in the Middle of the Night
Don’t touch this button!
Don’t open the door
Don’t go to the theater tonight stay home with me
Don’t go to Dallas I have a bad feeling about the trip


Dream Girl
Cheating Death 100 Times
Guardian Angel
Medical Mystery
SLA Hit List

Dream Girl – A true Story – reprinted from Dreams and the Unexplainable
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Author Unknown

The dreams started when I was a senior at Berkeley High School in 1974. About a month before I graduated, I fell asleep in a physics class after lunch and had the first dream:

A beautiful Asian woman was standing next to me, talking in a strange language. She was stunning—the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was in her early twenties, with long black hair, and piercing black eyes. She had the look of royalty. She looked at me and then disappeared, beamed out of my dream like in Star Trek. I fell out of my chair screaming, “Who are you?” She did not answer.

About a month went by, and then I started having the dream repeatedly. Always the same pattern.

Early morning, she would stand next to me talking. I would ask who she was, and she would disappear. She was the most beautiful, alluring woman I had ever seen.

I was struck speechless every time I had the dream.

I had the dream every month during the eight years during which I went to college and served in the Peace Corps. In fact, when I joined the Peace Corps, I had to decide whether to go Korea or Thailand. The night before I had to submit my decision, I had the dream again and it made me sure that she was in Korea waiting for me.

After the Peace Corps, I still hadn’t met my dream woman. I got a job working for the U.S. Army as an instructor and stayed in Korea. I kept having the dream, until I had the very last one:
She was standing next to me, speaking to me in Korean, but I finally understood her. She said, “Don’t worry, we will be together soon.”

Why was that the last time I had the dream? Because the very next night, the girl in my dream got off the bus in front of me. She went on to the base with an acquaintance of mine, a fellow teacher, and they went to see a movie. I saw her and found the courage to speak with her.

We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet that weekend.

The next night, she was waiting for me as I entered the Army base to teach a class. She told me she was a college senior and she had something to tell me. I signed her on to the base and left her at the library to study while I taught, and then we went out for coffee after class. She told me she was madly in love with me, and that I was the man for her. I told her not to worry as I felt the same.

That weekend, we met Saturday and Sunday and hung out all day. On Sunday night, I proposed to her. It was only three days after we had met, but for me it felt like we had met eight years ago. I had been waiting all my life for her to walk out of my dreams and into my life, and here she was.

Her mother did not want her to marry a foreigner. One day, about a month after we met, she invited me to meet her parents. I brought a bottle of Jack Daniels for her father and drank the entire bottle with him. He approved of me, but her mother still had reservations. After a Buddhist priest told her my future wife and I were a perfect astrological combination, she agreed, and we planned our wedding.

The wedding was a media sensation in South Korea. My wife explained it to me years later. At the time, I was overwhelmed just by the fact that we were getting married and I didn’t fully understand how unusual this was. My wife was of the old royal clan, distant relatives to the former kings of Korea. In the clan’s history, only two people had ever married foreigners: my wife, and Rhee Syngman, who was the first President of South Korea. My father, who was a former Undersecretary of Labor, came out for the wedding, which fueled even more media interest. Our marriage defied the stereotypical Korean-foreign marriage where the women married some hapless GI just to escape poverty and immigrate to the U.S. We were the first foreign/Korean couple to get married at a Korean Army base. Over 1,000 people came to the wedding, and my father was interviewed on the morning news programs.

This all happened thirty-seven years ago, (45 years since the first dream) and I am still married to the girl in my dreams. Now in my dreams she watches over me when we are apart.

General Zod Conquers the World
SETI and the search for extraterrestrial life goes on overdrive when scientists report what appears to be radio and television broadcasts from a planet eight light years from earth, the same planet as the Vulcans came from in the Star Trek universe.  The programs show a world where dinosaur-like creatures are running the world and there appears to be a civil war.  Over the next six months, the world is transfixed watching the alien broadcasts which are translated in English via a supercomputer program.  In the broadcast, a nuclear war has occurred. The surviving party regains absolute control and announces the formation of the Galactic Empire.  General Zod is the First Emperor.  They have discovered Earth as well. The aliens launch a crash project to develop interstellar travel so they can come to earth and conquer the earth.

The revelations that there is an external threat to the planet causes the United Nations to get together with the help of the United States and Russia another space powers, they put together Space defense International organization and also invigorates efforts to make the UN a real Planetary government including finally conquering climate change.

But it was too late. General Zod’s son arrives to take over the earth. He makes a broadcast saying that they were liberating Earth in the name of the Galactic Empire and that resistance would be futile.

They land at the White House and when President Trump comes out to greet them,

General Zod cuts off his head, and then cuts off the heads of all the staffers as they come out White House. After an hour of unimaginable horrors, including mass rapes, blowing up the Pentagon and the CIA,  General Zod announces that he had taken over the world.

Life will continue as before as long as people behave and follow the rules they would be fine Resistance to the new empire will be met with instant death.  Life in the Empire is not a democracy. They would not tolerate Freedom of speech, and Freedom of Press, and Freedom of Assembly And the freedom to oppose the State. The state is everything.  As long as humans remember that they would be just fine. They took over the United States because it was the biggest country in the world. And that his forces will take over the rest of the world but in the next couple weeks. If people on earth accept the new order, their safety would be guaranteed. Companies would be taken over by Galactic Empire companies, and everybody would have to learn Galactic standard. Within one year older languages will be banned.

Sam Adams Vs. the Social Cleansing Board

the summons
Sam Adams was worried. He could not sleep. He got up at 4 am and wrote in his journal and tried to cope with the dread that was overwhelming him. He had received the summons yesterday that he was to report to the social cleansing board for a review on whether he would allow to continue to be on the automatic permit list or would be referred for final status determination. Sam was a retired Federal worker trying to live on dwindling savings.

Sam had Alzheimer’s and was rapidly depleting his life’s savings. Two years before he had been released from prison, one of millions of ex political prisoners. His crime? Authoring anti-government poems just before the beginning of the Christian States of America, right after the second civil war. Unfortunately for him and his millions of ex-prisoners, his side lost the war. He wanted to flee to the United Provinces and settle down in California but lacked money to move. And getting a job at his age, with Alzheimer’s and his political rating was proving difficult at best.

All of which added up to a 90 percent probability his last days were approaching.

Under the new rules imposed by the Christian republican party in the newly established Christian states, all citizens over the age of 18 were on the permitted list if they met all of the following criteria. He tried to think why he was being referred to the board. Perhaps it was because of the recent crackdown on social deviancy. Millions of homosexuals, transgenered people, atheists, drug users, alcoholics, and non-religious people had been rounded up and eliminated according to the rumors. Perhaps someone had fingered him as a possible deviant. He fit the stereotype, no children, known drug user, known alcohol user, suspect politically, atheist and now Alzheimer’s patient. And he was not racially pure having some black blood, some Asian blood and some Jewish blood. And he had married across the racial divide which was now illegal.

The story was that if you flipped and named names you would sometimes be spared for now, and if your info was correct, you could be rewarded. Of course, those whom you flipped were not too fortunate. That was probably the story or someone could have heard that he was an ex political prisoner, or simply that he had Alzheimer’s’.

He had no children. And he was a secret atheist and had been involved with the dissent movement and had spent five years as a political prisoner at the start of the Christian Revolution. He was determined to make a stand and denounce the whole rotten system before the board although that would probably seal his fate.

As an Alzheimer’s patient he could no longer work. His wife had died the year before while he was in prison after she had been deported to her native Korea. She left him some assets but he had little idea how to manage his finances and he was behind in his rent and had received an eviction notice which had probably triggered the visit by the social cleansing staff who recommend a final status determination. But it was just as likely he was on the list because someone flipped on him.

He also did not make it last time when they came for him at midnight. Always at midnight the story goes.

The soldiers came took him away from his wife and locked him up for two years. They deported his wife whom he heard had died shortly afterwards. He spend two years at hard labor in the dessert near Las Vegas and was released into Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was a different town now that the casinos had left town. All that was left were back office operations, and underground ***** and *** operations and underground casinos. It was a hot bed of political dissent and there was an underground railroad to California, which was not part of the Christian states. Sam had been preparing to leave which was a crime and perhaps that is why he was on the list.

The hearing would be at 10 am. He was meeting his lawyer at the hearing board but his lawyer was not too optimistic.
the Permit Criteria
The basic criteria for being on the permit list were:

For Males

Age 18 to age 70
White race
Married to a white woman with children
Must be either working, in school full time, serving in military duty, or working in prison if convicted of a crime.

Homelessness was not allowed. If unemployed and or homeless, would be referred to social cleansing department unless one had a relative who was willing to take care of your needs.

Since there were no pensions or social security anymore and no government provided health care, one must have sufficient assets through one’s work, or savings or through one’s relatives to provide for one ‘s needs. If not you would be sent to the social cleansing board for final status determination.

For Females

Same basic rules applied but if one were married, and had children one would be on the permitted list, if children are older, if spouse’s income is sufficient one would be on the list.
If single or divorced, and homeless one would also be subject to social cleansing unless one’s relatives would willing to sponsor you. Since there were no pensions or social security anymore and no government provided health care, one must have sufficient assets through one’s work, or savings or through one’s relatives to provide for one ‘s needs. If not you would be sent to the social cleansing board for final status determination.

For Aged People

Additional requirements for the age you were expected to take care of your basic needs through employment and savings and the help of relatives. If you were evicted for non-payment of rent, or judged to not have sufficient assets left to sustain your basic needs including medical care, you would be referred for final status determination.

For all people additional requirements applied.

****** deviancy, drug use, alcohol use, gambling, *** outside of marriage, homosexuality would result in immediate referral to the social cleansing board as all were banned conduct that could result in final termination.   Being a member of a prohibited religious class could also be grounds for referral as would a pattern of not attending Christian services. Finally, if one had been arrested for political crimes one would be marked forever.
<h2>Sam's Rating</h2>
One had a government social rating. Sam knew that his rating was a D meaning that the government would be watching him all the time, and it would be difficult to get a job. Only the A’s and B’s were guaranteed to be on the permit list.

To be a A you had be to a true believer, had to be white, had to attend church on a regular basis, and had to be employed naturally.

To be a B same thing but you could be a B if you were a minority, or had engaged in alcohol or drug use under the old rules.

C meant that there was something wrong with your background, you were an atheist, you were a minority etc.

D mean that you were a serious threat to the regime.

E meant that you would be terminated.

F met you were terminated as it met Failure to survive, and family members of F were also labeled F as they were usually terminated at the same time.

Being associated with banned political movements, including reading banned materials could also lead one to being referred to the social cleansing board as all were grounds for either termination or criminal prosecution if under the age of 70.

The board has three choices - granted temporary status extension, referral for termination, or referral to criminal prosecution.

The termination would be carried out quickly. There would be an optional funeral at your Church, then the execution through the method of your choice - firing squad, beheading, electric chair, or gas. The default was gas where you were put in a room with up to ten other people and put to sleep.

Afterwards your body would be cremated in an electricity generating plant with the ashes turned into fertilizer products. There were no burials allowed unless one was rich enough and connected enough to request a burial exception. Most people did not qualify.
the Hearing
The hearing started. The presiding Judge, Judge Miller was a stern face white man in his 70’s and a true believer. He was sent to Las Vegas to clean it up as Las Vegas was the wild west, a hot bed of dissent, illegal drug use, illegal prostitution and illegal casinos. It was also near several political prisons so many ex cons lived there.

The Judge was the chairman of the Nevada state committee that did not exist and was a senior official in the Federal committee that did not exist that brought together government, business and church leaders to coordinate government policies and that secretly ran the Christian States of America.

Probably a score of A thought Sam.

The judge announced that he had reviewed Sam’s file and was shocked that Sam had escaped final termination. He said that the previous board had erred in simply sending him to prison. He should have been eradicated as a social evil, as a cancer that needs to be removed from the pure body politics. Sam and his ilk sickened him. Sam was a free thinker, an atheist, a mix race mongrel, married to a non-white and was therefore guilty of crimes against the white race which was a crime. The Judge was determined to see justice done.

He asked Sam a series of questions. Sam’s answers sealed his fate.

Sam, what is your occupation?

None for now.

You realize that under the law you must be working, in service, in school or in prison?

I can’t find a job due to my age, my Alzheimer’s; and my political record.

That’s irrelevant. You are just a lousy atheist *******. You deserve no sympathy. And have none from me.

Are you white?

No, I am mixed race, part native, part Asian, part black.

I see you were married to a non-white and had no children. Good for you we would not want to see more mongrel children. Such children should be eliminated at birth in my opinion and will be starting next month when we begin enforcing the racial purity laws.

What was your crime? Let’s see reading prohibited writings, keeping a journal, publishing an anti-government blog, authoring anti-government poems and stories. You served two years at hard labor?

Yes

Do you still write?

Yes, everyday but I no longer publish on line.

Good. No one would want to read that trash anyway.

Do you go to church?

No

Do you believe in God?

No, I do not believe in an imaginary man in the sky.

One more anti-religious statement from you will result in an immediate ruling of termination.

Do you drink?

If I can find it yes

Do you gamble

Yes, when I can

Do you support the Christian Republican Party and the Christian States of America?

No, I do not.

Okay, I have enough for a ruling. Sam Adams, you are hereby sentence to termination. Tomorrow morning at 7 am you will be turned into electricity and fertilizer. Take him away.

Next please.

At midnight there was a knock at the door. A black man appeared and said he was a friend and he was being smuggled to California. Sam rejoiced and went with his new friend and reached SF in the morning, escaping death for the 23rd time in his life.

the End

Poetic Nightmares

Morphing Images from a Hellish Nightmare
Note: From a real nightmare End Note

I am in a room
Drinking at a party
And smoking ****

Watching people all around me

Change into hideous creatures
Monsters from the deepest depths of hell

Everyone in the room
Has been transformed except me

The Chief of them all
Wears a Trumpian mask

Complete with orange hair

Half human half pig

His deputy
Wears the face of Putin
But his body
Half human, half horse: if

The other creatures wear masks
Many of them wear
Green Pepe the alt-right
Symbolic frog masks

And have T-shirts
Bearing alt right slogans
And **** symbols

And as they prance about
They chant alt. Right slogans
And neo-**** chants

Jews will not Replace us

And the rest of these creatures
Are hideous ugly beasts
With only a vestige of humanity left

And these monsters are engaged
In all sorts of foul evil deeds
****** violence death

All around
And non-stop
violent drug-fueled ******

As these creatures
Half human half monsters
Half male, half female creatures

Snort coke, *******, speed
Smoke **** and drink ***** shots
Scotch, bourbon and beer

The Trumpian Pig leads the charge
Starts engaging in ****** with Putin
Who chases after people

Cutting off their heads with his sword
They turn on to their fellow creatures
****** and killing each other
and eating their fellow creatures

All night long

Then they attack me
Screaming

Jews will not replace us
And I wake up
Screaming

As the sun comes up
Just another nightmare


The Endless Movie

Watching the TV coverage
Of the great government shut down
Of 2018-2019

I am reminded of a movie
As I fall asleep
Listening to the TV

Blather on and on
About what it all means

Mr. Natural pops up
And screams

"It don’t mean s….

“Dude, the endless movie
Is about to begin”!

A middle-aged white man
Down on his proverbial luck
Just been fired

Replaced by a foreign worker
Or a robot

Or just fired
Because he was no longer
Deemed useful
To the masters of the universe

If he was lucky
He'd  be given a watch
And an IOU worthless pension

And the man wanders into a restaurant
Pulls out a gun

Eats his breakfast
After the official breakfast hour

Puts on a Pepe the green frog mask
Drops acid, Snorts speed
Drinks a shot of *****
And coffee smokes a joint

Snorts ******* for good measure
and smokes a cigarette

And walks outside
steals a bus at gun point
Filled with passengers

He tells them
They are hostages

And he puts on his vest
With the dead man switch
Next to the bomb

He announces
Via tweet

He is going to take the bus
To the proverbial *** of gold

Hidden deep in a cave
And when he got there

He would release the hostages
And disappear into the mine
And never be found again

And as the bus careens around the mountain
At 100 miles an hour
The dude sprouts out

Conspiracy after conspiracy theory
About Obama the Muslim communist

secret gay working with George Soros
the Jewish money people
in league with the shapeshifting lizards

and Mueller is one of them
they are all after him
because he knows the deal

And the passengers are transfixed
Half hoping, he would make it
Half hoping, he would be blown away

And as the bus careens out of control
With the wheels falling off

And the cliff looming ahead
You realize we are all doomed


Worlds Within Worlds Lost in Inner Space
A man woke up one day
Lost in inner space
Went so far down
The proverbial rabbit hole

That he did not know
Where he was
Nor what time it was
Nor when it was

As he stared out
At a bewildering world
A world lost in inner space
Deep down in his dreams

Filled with nightmarishly real
Monsters, demons and ghostly apparitions
He saw them and began running
Running running running

With the hell hounds behind him
Leading him to the edge
of the pits of hell itself

abandon all hope
ye who enter here
the sign read
above the entrance to the pit

and there was a devil standing there
armed with a clipboard
and a computer spreadsheet
Satan was the ultimate bureaucrat

Name barked the devil
Date of Birth ?
Date of Death?
Don’t know? That won’t do at all
Hmm

Car accident due to drunk driving
And you killed a child
Bad on you

But here in hell
The punishment fits the crime
And the devil laughed
Joined in by the hell hounds
And other nightmare creatures

A bell ran out
In the purple crystalline sky
And slowly the worlds receded
And he found himself alive

In his room
And vowed
That today
Was the day

He would quit drinking
Quit taking drugs
And quit chasing strange woman
And having wild libertine ***

He picked up the phone
It was Satan’s aid
Be careful what you vow
We are listening

If you fulfil your vows
You might find yourself
Escaping life in Hell
It is up to you to choose

And the man got dressed
Went to work
Thinking deep thoughts

And drove off a cliff
And back down the endless
Worlds within worlds

Satanic Torture

I find myself
In a dark room
Strapped to a bed

The light turns on
The large TV comes on

A smiling image
Of Satan fills the TV
He is dressed
In a conservative business suit

Looks like he came
Out of a corporate
board meeting

surrounded by demonic aides
who constantly shove papers
at him

He looks up from his lap top
And smiles
A deadly so insincere smile

His voice booms out

Welcome to Hell
My satanic slaves

I am Satan
Your new master

Each of you
Has been sentenced
To an eternity of torture

And the punishment
Must fit the crime

So, for you
Mr. Jake Cosmos Aller
Failed aspiring poet
And novelist

Your torture
Is to be strapped
To that bed

Unable to move
As you are filled
With the need
To **** and ****

But you cannot move
And your skin
Is crawling with bugs

And itchy
as Hell so to speak
and you are so sleepy

but you cannot sleep

the TV will play
endless repeats

Of some of the worst TV
and movie shows
ever produced

Starting with my favorite
A Series of Unfortunate Events

Featuring your favor annoying little girl
Carmetta! Singing for you forever
As you are the ultimate cake sniffer

Welcome to Hell


Rafting Towards Hell
I woke up
To find myself
Rafting down a river

I looked up
At the cliffs
Towering above
the roaring torrent

and see the dark demons
of my terrible nightmares
chasing the boat
firing flaming arrows

and I see werewolves
goblins, ghosts and monsters
running along the river bed
screaming obscenities

as they chase me
to my doom

and I see the waterfall ahead
and see my pending doom

as I rush over the edge
of reason



Micro Stories
53 word stories regarding unheeded warnings
Don’t Go Jogging in the Middle of the Night
It all started with a jog in the middle of the night. Despite my wife’s warning don’t go jogging in the middle of the night.  Broke me heal in a million pieces, 14 operations ensured, mutant MDR Staff almost killed me, almost lost the leg. . should have listened to her warning.

Don’t touch this button!
Don’t touch this button the former President said.  I said, what this button? And that led to the launching of nuclear weapons, going to defon three, and world war 3 with millions of people dead end of civilization moment. Should not have touched the red button.
Don’t open the door
When you find yourself running for your life chased by demons from hell and backed into a corner in a burning house filled with flames and are about to die in a million horrible ways you remembered that they warned you not to open door number three in this crazy reality TV show.
Don’t go to the theater tonight stay home with me
Mary Todd Lincoln had a vicious headache and was not in the mood to go out.  The President though ignored her wishes and told her that he had to go to the theater that night to show the world everything was okay now the war was ending.  Should have listened to her.
Don’t go to Dallas I have a bad feeling about the trip
Jackie was known for her moods and her premonitions. Something the President found both amusing an annoying. She told him that she a vision of death waiting for him in Dallas that day.  The President dismissed her foolishness as he put it and went to Dallas to meet his fate.
true love story.
In 1974 I had the first dream. While sleeping in a boring class, I saw a beautiful Asian woman standing at me speaking a foreign language. I fell out of chair yelling who are you?   I began having the same dream month after month for eight years.  One day I realized she was in Korea so I went there in the Peace Corps to meet her. In 1982 I had the last dream.  She said don’t worry we meet soon. That night she walked off a bus, out of the dream and into my life.  We’ve been married 37 years.
Cheating Death 22 Times
Also, a true story.
I have cheated death 22 times in my life.  I was born a preemie, almost died at birth, and had all the childhood illness at once.  In 1979 I came down with Typhoid  fever in Korea in the Peace Corps.  In 1991 almost got hit by a train. In 1996-1997 had 14 operations due to a mutant drug resistant staph infection, almost died several times.  In 1997 I had an acute stomach ailment that almost killed me, due to excessive antibiotic usage, if I had waited 30 minutes more would have been dead.  And had dengue in 2010.
Guardian Angel Saves My Life
Another true story
In 1990, I was teaching ESL in Korea.  My wife and I drove to the East Coast of Korea for a weekend away. She was in the US Army then.  As we drove towards Sorak mountain, I was filled with the need to get off the road right then. I had a premonition of doom, so did my wife. We got off to drive around another park returned a few minutes later and saw a 25 car pileup. We would have been dead if we had not listened to that inner voice telling us get off now.

Medical Mystery
Another true story
Back in 1996, when I was in the hospital fighting a mutant staph infection after a disastrous jogging accident that led to 14 operations, the internal medicine doctor said that there was something else going on. He finally discovered that I had a rare parasite, a tape worm of sorts that remained inert, its only becomes active if you take steroids then it blows up like a basketball killing you instantly. Six months later I had to take steroids due to frozen shoulder syndrome, and if I had not gotten rid of it, I would have died a medical mystery.

SLA Hit List
True story

Back in 1974 my father was a local politician in Berkeley, California who was on the SLA’***** list as “an enemy of the people, a fascist insect that needed to be killed”.  His crime?  As President of the community college district, he began requiring IDS for students and staff to combat campus crime at the local community colleges.  We had 24/7 police coverage for a while. One morning I saluted my father, “good morning fascist insect”.  My father, being of Germanic stock did not like the joke as jokes are alien to the German DNA.


the End
based on dreams and nightmares
A hippie hocked a louie on Sammy
when he landed in San Francisco.

Sammy didn't respond;
he just wanted to make
his connecting flight home.

Sammy wasn't proud about
some of things he did in the war;
so he figured he probably
deserved the garlands of disdain
an ungrateful nation bestows
upon itself in fits of self contempt.

Sammy shut down and tuned out,
soon his heart was as dead
as a tombstone until he visited
the monument.  

He would often recall the story
that as he approached the darkened
wall he could sense ghosts loosening
themselves from the black granite.   

Sammy swore that Jimmy Lynch
who went MIA on the final week of his tour
gave him a bear hug and told him
as long as the beer stays cold
and he don’t lose the church key,
everything's groovy and he’s
hanging tough until the rest
of the guys show up.

Jimmy pointed to the Lincoln Memorial
at one end of the mall and to the
Washington Monument at the other,
emphatically stating that our monument
was forever linked with the greatest Americans.

Yeah meeting up with Jimmy
helped Sammy to start shaken
off some real bad stuff.

Mazie knew her husband for a
month before they got married.
A week later Freddie was off to Vietnam.

Freddie was KIA during the Tet Offensive
and his repatriated remains are peacefully
at rest in the red clay of Georgia.

An always faithful Mazie
came to the monument
a few years after it was dedicated.  
She was struck by all the keepsakes
people left at the base of the wall;  
Zippos, baby pictures, a copy of
The Catcher in the Rye, a fifth
of Makers Mark, Pink Teddy Bears,
votive lights, a red 57 Chevy model,
a left handed catchers mitt, and
a pack of Lucky Strikes.

She palmed rosaries and
crucifixes that salved sore
running wounds and David’s
interlaced Star sounding a Shofar
pleading a case for peace.

Mazie is most moved by the names.  
Rows and rows of names. The scroll
begins in a modest manner and
as the wall climbs the names
of a country's vigilant sons and
daughters tower over her head.  
So much living history; spoken
in the unique accent of a country’s
diverse plethora of luminous tongues.

The stories written into the black granite
tell a tale from every state; claiming
the ears, heart and mind of every citizen. 
Each chiseled letter captures every bit
of sun and deep creeping shadow
inching across a great nation.

“I’m  71” says Mazie.  “When I look
upon the wall I see my 21 year old
Freddie as he looked on the finest
day of his life.  He will never look
any other way to me.”
  
“I didn't want to go to see it,” Franny said,
“a cold piece of stone won’t bring my son back.”

Franny did finally go...

When it rains the wall weeps.  
The wall wept all day,
the first time Franny went.

Many were rubbing
the impressions of
dearly departed names.

Franny too, kneels to the
presence of her son’s name.

With a mother's
grateful fingers,
she touches the wall's
damp surface; wiping
the drizzle from her
child's sodden face.

Kneeling before his semblance,
she rubs his etched edges
onto tiny bits of paper.

She sees him,
made manifest in the stone.
As if through a glass darkly,
a found son looks back,
onto the face of a caring mother.

Franny hangs onto the quiet
memory of his voice,
shimmering in the soft lilt
of a warm dark stone.

This deep core Vulcan gneiss,
at last emerged from the hardest stuff,
sculpts a perfect likeness of a tear stained nation.

The Harmonizing Four: Rock of Ages

In Honor of
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington DC

Oakland
Veterans Day
2013
Regen Williams Jul 2013
to be in love
is to love a man
who lived in the past

he is on the far right in
that photo of your grandfather and
his platoon from
the vietnam war

he is a stranger to you yet
he is strong
worldly
a hero

he is dead

but you are in love

to be in love
is to love a man you
have made up in your head
to be more to you
than they truly are
Ken Pepiton Apr 2019
the history and indoctrination of infantry

infant re
cruits

de rim u derimu, I count (old high irish)

gityeirishup, er shut yer leprechaun trap,

clap three times, spit wit the wind.

reason countable

you are trained to focus, aim,

miss, aim, miss, aim miss, come let's
cipher this thang out,
raison d'etre,
and all...
aims,
though misses all
count for nothing,
valenced by
one heartfelt hit t' knock the lie right.

old man re
crew recurrent reason to let this be re
al, always, already re
pulsing
pulsing
pulsing

aim, loose... spit wit'thwind...

---- war seen from after his jet died--
---- vicarious warriors can't match
---- the missing memories.

Prisoners enobled warriors endurent
indoctrined to prevail

"did I train well enough to do my job?"

Win the war. Right, that was your job,
all along.

What?...

no will to win a war without a reason
not willing to question
reason

authority doctrines in undated
rulebooks only lawyers
can read, that's a rule.

sacrifice and suffering un
common valor *** common
virtue

how do you win?

-- my guess, really

love my enemies. As good a way to die
as any I've tried.

-----
war stories on youtube. imagine that and
sure as hellen highwater was easy

I gotta call armchair-back o' the arm
bullshistory,
as I wipe a smeared memory

bullsss'it... RTOs don't walk point,
not back when you had
the radio, or said y'did,
nor did ye rereguard, when you
have the radio, Pr'ck 25
(like a cell phone
weighing 25 pounds, with a 5 mile range,
and no data. One to a team, as we

squellch squellch out) Nah, the guy's

lying, but it will hurt his kid's feelings,
if I say so,

or
he could believe his own hero myth,

I do.

---- nah, war stories are all we remember
ever after, happy as helen highwater was
to find you after fifty years
on facebook.
***
FTA, it don't mean nuthin'

it was so
silly, this is not the way it's supposed
to be, we

were the redcoats.
We were hanging Johnny Tremain Ngyuen,

wasting the last crawling,

man,

the first starlight scope flash
bright green white

FNG popped a flare.

--- when do we call ******* ---

For the price of a baseball cap, a fool
can claim honor other fools died for.

Silly little war. Eighteen thousand
eleven bravos of aver
age age
Twenty-two.

Ooh ooh, like Pappa Doc 22 voodoo
doopy doo doopy doo
Duvalier, Ton Ton M'coo

hey. okeh

we got you. You thought crazy,
now you can stop.

--- there was a war and nobody won.
--- safe. passed madness has passed on.
--- see what good you may imagine done.
--- work that out, without making enemies.

April Fool. Why has this day always been about me?
Ask yourself. There exist

degrees of foolishness, none fashionable beyond
twenty-two.

footnote: https://www.uswings.com/about-us-wings/vietnam-war-facts/
Who has a guess why facebook would refuse a link to this page. ***** about it.

Census Stats and “I Served in Vietnam” Wanabees
1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures).
During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served was: 9,492,958.
As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day. During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE VIETNAM VETS ARE NOT. This makes calculations of those alive, even in 2017, difficult to maintain.
April 1, I found me listening to oral histories on Vietnam and ,,, got a bit ... ******
Brent Kincaid Sep 2018
Nobody marching toward us
Their guns making us die.
No tanks are come clanking
No bombers in the sky.
But our Congress and generals
When oil or bases seem needed;
We appear armed and threatening
Peace and love talk not heeded.

No country has attacked us
With troops and lethal artillery.
But our leaders expect us to
Go open up their arteries
And **** their women and children
And laugh while they all die
And we are expected to do this
And never think to ask why.

It’s almost like big companies
Were sad when WW2 ended
So they started attacking countries
We really should have befriended.
We let Russia have free reign
To **** and ****** and steal
Almost as if their aggression
Wasn’t really true or even real.

We looked around and made them,
Those evil old warlike excuses,
That some country threatened freedom
And we pretended they weren’t ruses.
We attacked Korea and Vietnam
We were just supposed to observe
That they were yellow people there
And think they got what they deserved.

We didn’t stop there, as Reagan took
A duly elected leader and put him in jail.
If any country did that to our country
The conservatives would howl and rail.
Then the Bushes tried their best to take
Iraq to steal their oil and punish them
And created an era of stronger hatred
And anti-American outrage and mayhem.

No foreign country has attacked America;
So, the point bears repeating once again.
We need to stop acting like bullies here
And start acting like decent statesmen
And women who have the bigger picture;
The growth of peace in our battered world
So, other countries will not take their guns
And shoot our flag when it’s unfurled.
1970 Odysseus visits cousin Patsy in New York City she introduces him to her best friend Lauren’s older less attractive more reclusive sister Tanya Mulhaney extremely wealthy family father founded corporation manufactures pinball machines which years later develop to video games then casino empire he favors and spoils Tanya but dies suddenly her envious sisters and mother gang up on Tanya is pale skinny flat-chested copious brown bush Odysseus sits in bathtub with Tanya and he probes in a way they hits it off maybe no boy has ever touched her in that way her complexion is so fragile slightest fluster prompts pink blotches on her cheeks neck chest back he admires her book smarts he’s attracted to her refined strangeness he thinks her bush and flat-chest are **** she laughs shyly offers to take him around the world he accepts Odysseus tells his parents Mom goes crazy yells into telephone what are you a ******? you father and i work like fools to send you to the best schools so you can make something of yourself you’re going to throw everything away to be a ***? i tell you we’ll disown you you won’t have a home to come back to do you hear me? we’ll disown you! she sobs how can you just walk out after all we have done for you? you ******* kid! Odysseus takes leave of absence from art school he and Tanya take Iberia jet 12 hour flight with stopover in Iceland to Belgium Tanya sinks into one of her moods swallows several pills to help her rest sitting on other side of Odysseus is curly haired skinny talkative musician claims he has jammed with Miles Davis and other jazz greats Odysseus says yeah right and i’ve shown with Johns and Twombly where exactly are you heading in Europe? musician answers he is a scientologist on his way to visit L. Ron Hubbard in England Odysseus does not know what Dianetics are and wants explanation he asks many questions and musician talks for hours they enjoy each other’s rapport as jet descends in Brussels they exchange home addresses in the States 9 months later when Odysseus returns to America a friend notices scribbled address while skimming through his travel journals Odys! how did you get Chick Corea’s address? do you know him? do you realize how brilliant he is? he’s a keyboard virtuoso! Odysseus questions Chick Corea? who’s Chick Corea? he looks at journal page then says oh that guy i sat next to him on the jet to Europe so he really is a famous musician huh? wow!

in October 1970 Brussels is damp chilly Tanya wears hip-hugger jeans black turtle-neck top North Face shell she huddles her arms around her chest smokes cigarettes looks through hotel room window out into gray overcast sky speaks in defeatist voice i didn’t bring clothes for this weather she picks at her plate in hotel restaurant glumly vacillates later in bed after refusing *** decides they leave tomorrow fly to Canary Islands for several weeks to get tan before traveling through Morocco during winter months Canary Islands are laden with Swedish tourists including bikini clad young girls many not wearing tops Odysseus is thinking about how to swing some of that Swedish free love once Tanya gets drunk succumbs to Odysseus’s ****** overtures it is good  one day while returning to hotel from beach 2 Spanish police stop and question Tanya and Odysseus police order to see their passports then command them into squad car police bark in Spanish rifle through their daypacks point a finger Odysseus can smell alcohol on their breaths Tanya and Odysseus are terrified police drive off main road to remote location abandoned ruins no one is around police order them to step out police drive off laughing Tanya’s complexion is crimson she sobs they could have murdered us no one would know who we are or where to find us we’re lost where are we? Odysseus looks around replies don’t worry we’ll be all right i watched where the driver was going we’ll retrace their trail

they fly to Tangier travel south by train Tanya is irritable insisting Odysseus carry her backpack Casablanca is ***** 3 men peer from sunglasses act suspicious wear tattered trench coats Tanya and Odysseus snack at cafe which provides hookahs for smoking hashish Odysseus scores several grams Tanya laughs suggests they rent car drive south travel to sandy beaches of Diabet for 6 weeks in the morning she paces around French hotel room with cigarette in one hand ashtray in other like she is sultry 1940’s Hollywood actress she stays in room and devours Penguin Classics Tolstoy Stendhal Proust Huysmans Zola turns out Tanya is sexually frigid she buys Odysseus anything he wants but does not put out they take train Marrakech it is sun drenched with blue skies mountains in distance Odysseus wants to go out explore get ***** with the natives he visits Medina daily witnessing many bizarre scenes he does not understand a woman squatting over an egg a man with no legs dragging himself through marketplace holding up cigarette butts in his hand he meets a professor who is out of work because king of Morocco has closed the universities due to teachers’ strike professor explains woman squatting over egg is fortuneteller and man dragging himself has been offered crutches many times yet makes more money playing off pity of tourists cigarette butts are for sale the professor invites Odysseus to visit Berbers in mountains Odysseus persuades Tanya she reluctantly agrees the 3 travel by bus in first-class front row seats vehicle filled with lively families chickens pig bus driver has assistant who lugs people onto bus or shoves them out door at a midpoint bus stops in little town everyone exits bus then men women children urinate in street local venders sell trinkets snacks Odysseus buys nibbles shish-kabob that later professor informs is roasted cat and dog they reenter bus wait suddenly butchered lamb flank is flung onto Odysseus’s lap a man climbs aboard bus stairs then grabs large carcass and heedlessly walks to back seat Odysseus wipes blood and slime off his jeans Tanya demurely giggles bus climbs mountains arrives at small Berber village professor leads them along narrow winding street of shanty huts sheltering merchants open kitchens professor tastes from various steaming iron kettles finally decides on one they are directed to rickety roof where they sit wait a boy comes up with plastic bowl filled with water and small box of Tide following professor they wash their hands then minutes later proprietor brings up simmering *** of couscous serves it with scratched raw plastic bowls no eating utensils they eat with their fingers Tanya seems bothered declines to partake she withdraws into silence after meal she becomes irritable complains of headache says she needs to return to Marrakech she remains standoffish on bus all the way to French hotel

after Marrakech they take boat trip to Italy while onboard Odysseus meets Italian Count who has an eye for him Odysseus wears Jim Morrison beat-up leather jeans Bruce Lee t-shirt scraggly whiskers Count wears thin manicured beard tiny red Speedo swim trunks Tanya grins amused Count offers Odysseus and Tanya to be guests at his villa in Milan city flourishes with stylish clothes loud lively restaurants classical sculptures covered in car pollution following several weeks of aristocratic wining and dining amazing 11 course elegant soiree Odysseus botches compliance with Count’s desires they are asked to leave Tanya laughs hysterically they board train to Germany based on Tanya’s tour book they find historic hotel with wind rattling windows coin operated hot water bath in Munich Tanya stays in room Odysseus goes to dance club meets brown-hared pale skinned German girl neither speak the other’s language he pays for hourly rated room they play German girl in animated gesturing warns him as he is going down on her but he does not understand until several days later scratching beard finds ***** seeks A-200 lice treatment German version leather pants disposed Tanya knows but says nothing she buys Volkswagen they drive through Black Forest Tanya wants to visit King Ludwig’s castles Odysseus does the driving mostly they listen to the Who’s “Who’s Next” and Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” he follows Tanya’s instructions not knowing who King Ludwig was eventually he learns Ludwig was colorful character built extravagant Disney like castles and friends Richard Wagner Bavaria is cold gray brown deep forest green scenic Swiss Alps visible in southern view they drive from Neuschwanstein to Linderhof to Herrenchiemsee then Freiburg lodge in bed and breakfasts Tanya grows restless by all the driving decides to ditch car along road in northern France as Odysseus unscrews car license by road side several cars stop French people concerned they need help Tanya is anxious hoping for clean get away from abandoning vehicle they board train to Paris Tanya speaks a little French in spring of 1971 they are backpacking in search of hotel on Left Bank it rains all morning sky is overcast Tanya reads “Pride and Prejudice” Odysseus draws in sketchbook at sidewalk café sitting next to them are older Parisian couple man detects they are Americans he turns to them expresses in English his contempt why can’t you Americans learn from France’s lessons in Vietnam? Tanya and Odysseus don’t look up they feel like dumb ugly Americans within days they leave Paris

cross English Channel by boat they find temporary apartment in Earl’s Court in London it is overcast almost every day within a month they move to larger place in Chelsea with backyard with run down English garden Odysseus weeds garden plants tomatoes lettuce carrots radishes flowers Tanya stays in her room smokes reads at night they go out to ethnic restaurants one night they visit Indian restaurant a very proper English woman sitting at next table orders exotic fruit for dessert Odysseus asks waiter what kind of fruit waiter answers mango Odysseus has never seen or tasted mango English woman delicately eats the fruit with fork and knife Odysseus orders mango for dessert he attempts to imitate how English lady proceeded fruit slips around on plate finally out of frustration he picks it up in his hands bites into it he is aroused by how luscious mango is sniffing with nose scraping fruit’s skin with front teeth then ******* the seed Tanya makes a face suddenly the seed slides from his grasp shoots across table Tanya’s cheeks neck turn scarlet voice raises stop it Odys! you’re disgusting! are you intentionally trying to embarrass me? why are you doing this? he replies i’m not doing anything to you i’m enjoying the most delicious fruit i’ve ever tasted who cares what it looks like? later she laughs about incident offers to buy more mangos promises to take him shopping at Harrods tomorrow he goes along with their arrangement until it all seems like pretty background scenery to an empty intimacy missing all his friends back at art school he writes about his loneliness he feels trapped in Tanya’s web several times he sneaks English girls into his room when Tanya jealously confronts him he admits he has had enough and wants to go back to Hartford she suggests at the least they fly to Bermuda for several weeks to get tan before returning he declines on June 30 1971 Odysseus returns to Hartford and Tanya moves to San Francisco on July 3 Jim Morrison overdoses in Paris
Mike Essig Apr 2016
Twenty or twenty-one. All volunteers. Barely women.
Straight from school in a thousand small towns.
Straight into the mud and blood and madness.
We dragged our dying to their open arms.
Twelve hours shifts; often more. Wreckage of violence.
Round eyes. Smiles that healed. Hearts that broke.
Girls treating boys. Telling the necessary lies.
You're OK. You're fine. You're going home.
Valor danced in their faces. Lips that spoke hope.
Old now or dead. But forever young and alive
in the memories of 150,000 wounded soldiers
they saved and sent back to the world.
   ~mce
Mike Essig Apr 2015
Sadly,
you can take the boy
out of the jungle,
but you can
never
take the jungle
out of the boy.
- mce
Styles Oct 2014
You seeing me rapping will never happen
Before that I’ll start cappin
Walk off like nothing happened
Since I’ve mastered this art of war
I tend to take things too far
Don’t give a **** who you think you are
Your rap handle doesn’t exist anymore
My rhythms galore, your rhythms manure
Best left in a bag
On your steps
At your front door
Hottest your rap crap will ever get
I’m so polished this is a blemish not a scrimmage
I treat you little *******
Like a teacher’s pet
Up against a Vietnam war vet
Giving you your first shoots
Flipping the script
Double barrel twelve gauge extended clip
Special grip pressed against your lip
Having a hard time talking ****
A pistol whip left your tooth chipped
Fake rappers rapping hard
No street creed; they ain’t legit
This wack imitation ****
Got me *******
Don’t get me started
you rip offs should get lost at all cost
dealing with a real boss I can handle a loss
Testing me lyrically, you must be previously *******
Now you are dearly departed
I’m styling on you I’m wilding
Bloodline of Goliath  
So go ahead start a riot
With my mic on autopilot
You can get chewed like trident
Eating wack MC’s
essential part of my diet
this ain’t even a battle verse
it’s a gift and a curse
running its course
on my high horse

— The End —