~Quodlibet (LXV-LXIII)~

WordWulfStarred Page By WordWulf, 28th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

~ you never know what you’re gonna do when the shithouse goes up in flames ‘til the fire bites you on the ass ~ my knuckles hurt today ~ probably that arthritis thing ~ there’s a little baby girl about 1400 miles from here ~ couple o’ weeks & I’ll go there ~ she & her big brothers holding my finger ~ that’s the only medicine I need ~

~Real Time~

I bought a rifle and shotgun from a man who served in the Second World War infantry. He was watching reruns of recent bomb raids in the Middle East on the television in the garage. “They’ve come a long way since Viet Nam,” he said.

“No shit!” I replied, disgust evident in my voice.

He handed me the guns. “I mean the television coverage,” he explained. “We can see targets just before they’re hit just like we were there shooting at ‘em ourselves.”

“Glad you’re enjoying yourself,” I muttered. “Look, let’s wrap this up. I gotta get goin’.”

“My son’s smoking the crack,” he said when I handed him two hundred dollar bills. He hocked all my tools and threw the pawn tickets away so I can’t even buy them back.”

“Just tell the people at the pawn shop about it,” I suggested. “It’ll be a lot cheaper than trying to replace everything.”

I really needed to get going but the old man’s war was on commercial break and he was taking advantage of the opportunity to aggressively engage me in conversation. I was looking for a way out. He shook his head sadly. “He probably wouldn’t tell me where he hocked ‘em. It’ll be too late when he gets out anyway, I guess. He got into a fight with his girlfriend and beat her up. She’s in the hospital and he’s in jail.”

I winked at him. “Gotta love those kids.”

“Kid, hell!” he replied. “He’s a forty-one year old man. Don’t know why he didn’t take those guns but figured I’d better get ‘em out of here before he bails out of jail.”

He stepped across the garage, stood directly in front of the television. “Look at that! They’re taking us inside a tank. This feels like real time.” He looked at me soberly. “A man has to have some real time in his life, know what I mean?”

I have no idea what he meant. I wrapped the weapons in a blanket and set them carefully in the trunk of my car, took my leave before he caught a commercial. I liked that old guy and was afraid if he returned to the conversation about his crack-head son I’d be tempted to give him a hug and put one of his own bullets in his brain.

That was twenty years ago. I heard recently that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and given less than a year to live. The person who gave me that information complained that the old man was delusional and determined to beat the odds and live on. It was her opinion that someone ought to put him in touch with reality. “Hell,” I told her, “Let him have his drugs and wallow through chemo with hope. From the looks of things, there will always be plenty of real time to spend watching people bomb the living piss out of other people. He wishes he was there. So do I, on the other side.”

~LXV. Perfect Attendance~

The television is on
a man lies dead under a tree
summer children splash naked water
ignore the television war
two cops on brown horses
the children squeal and run away
black, brown, beautiful
come creeping back
perfect drops of water ride their skin
the horses recognize the dead man
they take him in a wide circle
the children don a somber masque
as the meat wagon scoops him up

~LXVI. Five Points~

Down there in Denver
they called these black streets
Five Points
‘cause there was
a convergence, a star
five points of them
a Jesus Saves neon night
soup kitchen and the after-hours joints
“Wha’ d’ya want; white boys, c’mere
lookin’ for some girls, little bit o’ action”
there were two hungry whores
my brother ‘n I fed ‘em restaurant food
and they sent us on home

~LXVII. Papa, C’mere~

This little boy takes my finger
“C’mere Papa c’mere”
it is a trick, a trance
as I sidestep through time
careful as my face cuts the glass
sometimes I forget to breathe
his father steps with me through life
reminds me by his being
of the time when I said
to all who would hear
“He calls me Daddy”
where have all the old folks gone
I hardly ever see anyone much
older than myself anymore
grandchildren are a time trip
a very gentle falling

~LXVIII. Grandson Song~

Twenty-five years
since I saw you
twenty-five years
on the face of your son
twenty-five years
since I saw you
twenty-five years
on the face of your son
when I was born
like an angel she called my name
I said, “Momma Momma
uh, tell me who I am”
“You’re a Manchild
you got to understand
you got the moon and the stars
in the palm o’ your hand”
her face lives behind my eyes

~Tom (WordWulf) Sterner~
~Situated Western/Saving Grace~
~We Smell Good~
~Howling Dog Press/Omega~
~Quodlibet (LXI-LIV)~


Children, Cops, Death, Epic Poetry, Five Points, Grandchildren, Horses, Howling Dog Press, Jesus Saves, Mask, Michael Annis, Philosophy, Quodlibet, Slice Of Life, Spirit, Television, Tom Wordwulf Sterner, War, Whores

Meet the author

author avatar WordWulf
I write novels, poetry, songs,nonsense & lies. Sometimes truth sneaks in when I ain't lookin'.

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