Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pick Up the Gun

Pick up the gun. Don't aim now. Holster it
And fondle the raised writing there, in black,
Exploring how it feels. Is there some slack,
So you can draw quickly enough, the fit
Slick, smooth, and handy? Do you have the wit
To wear it humbly? When you turn your back
Will you be listening, or will the crack
Of gunfire sound just as you're turning, hit?

You want what's in the movies. It's not here;
This is the real world, and a holstered gun
Gives you no shelter. Yes, it looks like fun,
But getting shot may leave your mind unclear,
Focused on mere survival, fed by fear.
The barrel glistens brightly in the sun.

Monday, August 01, 2016


Again, you're making those distorted claims
About which of us wrote that epithet:
You told them it was mine, but when we met
Last week you were reminding me that James
Contributed a few choice Russian names,
And you yourself — so, maybe you forget —
Suggested you weren't willing, on a bet,
To let things ride; they're going down in flames.

I know you added six or seven words
That punched up what we started. Now it mocks,
It sizzles, frazzles, sheds a tear, and shocks,
And something more was said about the birds,
The apple trees, the cows, the whey, the curds,
One spotted hog, and creeping under rocks.