In Springfield, Illinois – David Lohrey

Here’s my take on the Addams Family. I’ve read all I care to 
of conquering worms and emperors of ice cream, of ravens 
and screeching crows, of never more and nobodies, and the 
glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome. 
Laugh, she said, and the world laughs with you; grieve, she 
wrote, you are eligible for grievance pay and reparations.

Some say a poem should be motionless. Many write of the stars. 
I am determined not to write about red wagons. I don’t care for 
birds. I prefer blood and guts. We have got to get back to Revere. 
The kids tear down statues of Robert E. Lee, Booker T. Washington, 
and Lincoln. They demand to see the First Lady taking a shit. A little 
black man sings, I, too, am America; a mob stomps him to death. 

I even read of women who come and go with nothing special 
in mind. Come on. Been there, done that; had quite enough of this. 
Memory! My ass. T. S. Eliot may have been the shit but he was no
Oliver Wendell Holmes. We tear out each other’s hair and eat plaster 
off the walls because some who are born with dicks would prefer
to have cunts, but where are the poems about man’s foulest crime?

Some say blood and guts inspire the best poetry. If you can’t have
war, you can enjoy ER. The doctors look like happy butchers at work,
up to their elbows in guts, giggling away from last night’s cosmic fuck.
According to modern medicine, there is too much talk of the soul.
Ask yourself what sort of music Kabuki actors listen to as they apply
their make-up. 

Here’s a hint. They don’t listen to American pimps singing about slapping 
bitches. That’s best enjoyed at the Mall; along with today’s specials on Aisle 
Three. I’m heading over to Aisle Seven for a rifle and a box of ammo, thanks. 
The announcer says Illegals can pick up an ID on Aisle Six. A box of ammo 
is only $89.99 and they’ll throw in a Bowie knife. I’ll get a Booster in the Big 
Pharm Kiosk; that’ll be self-service. Returning customers get a discount. 

Deceased are free. We are cruder and coarser than Henry James, perhaps 
resembling, vaguely, James Fenimore Cooper. We are in retreat, fading fast.
Back, before the Harlem Renaissance, back, before the rise of the Jews, 
back before T. S. Eliot’s women came by, speaking of Renaissance art. 
We both lack sensibility and are lacking in sensibility. We shop Walmart’s 
posters of  rounded rumps and pert little breasts…on men.

I bought a picture of a pretty woman eating a banana. I don’t read. I don’t 
breed horses, and I don’t bake. I left my horses in Ithaca to die; my math
professor forgot to feed them.  While in Toyama, I was told by the Japanese
ski instructor that Americans remind him of East Germany, a nation of rats.
I told him I enjoyed helping my daughter with her homework. Tonight, she has 
an essay due on BDSM. Like Mommy, she likes to beat the shit out of Daddy.