H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






Aggressor Nation


Having slept past noon following

a sleepless night, I walked

over to Gina's house, fed

& entertained her cats;

watched the Halls of Montezuma,

a very good movie starring

Richard Widmark as a high school

chemistry teacher turned

United States Marine Lieutenant

fighting in the South Pacific,

a moral man with a conscience

being tragically tested

under horrific circumstances.

While his platoon died around him,

& he desperately sought information

from stubborn samurai prisoners

without resorting to torture,

a load of laundry tumbled in the dryer.

I wasn't going to make the train

that would take me the fireworks

by the river behind City Hall.

When the fireflies emerged

I rode my bicycle to the supermarket.

Picked up a few food items

& something to help me sleep,

waited in a slow checkout line

as the women ahead of me

signed checks for their purchases.

Outside, an indigo evening

rumbled with distant bombs,

rockets launched from backyards

exploded above shingled roofs,

automatic weapons fire erupted

on street corners, a large grenade

blew up between two houses.

But here my neighbors are grilling hot dogs

with mariachi music, their children

on the sidewalks waving sparklers.

I do not like being alone

on the 4th of July, & I am not

strolling through the patriotic crowd

in the parking lot by the river

behind City Hall, solitary,

with a bag of zeppoles, smiling

at the big battle in the sky.



[Originally published in NHS 2008, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs08/Bob_Rixon.htm.]