Sep 11, 2013

The Man We Threw from the Sky

Though the memory doesn't feel like mine,
I must have been there, moving north north-west,
holding, up above the Perfume River
with Simon, Isaac, our Arab gunner,
Vince, called Pineapple because of his face,
the NVA who kept on smiling
who would not stop to save his own life,
and Peter who had stopped asking questions,
having seen what no one should live to see
after Hue, and down to one emotion.

And if you could have held your head just right
seen the paint falling from the recent world
the old paint, there all the time, coming through,
you'd see our ancient nightmare carnival
framed in the CH-47's door
the Bosch pentimento of Viet Nam:

Here's child-meretrix selling her same ass
there in the tents which are huge green mussels.

The cargo choppers become dead-eyed fish
held down by the green bags of what remained
and the bodies, Jesus, pieces of bodies
women and boys in pieces, hanging in trees.

The dragons blowing their orange fires
with those same six hundred year old ravens
afterwards, and always a crescent moon.

But Bosch was wrong about how a man falls
In his Descent of the Damned into Hell
not handed to the air like a new bride,
or set down into space like firewood,
but arms out forward, braced, and on his knees
like a child's doubtful Indian dive,
but holding, past fear, and on both knees.

A parody of some liveable fall
with the river a lifetime below him.

The rest was just as Bosch warned us it'd be
and I'm not offended at our likeness:
demon-apes, empty of everything else,

prehensile hands, demon-hands, 
just like mine.

1 comment:

Judy said...
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