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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Brinksmen Fear the Nightstalkers [Today's News Poem, May 2, 2010]

Brinksmen Fear the Nightstalkers [Today's News Poem, May 2, 2010]

“A global nuclear conference that opens Monday is shaping up as a showdown between Iran and the United States, with each side jockeying for allies in the escalating dispute over the Islamic republic's nuclear program.”
– Mary Beth Sheridan and Colum Lynch, The Washington Post, Monday, May 3, 2010 edition; May 2, 2010

Yes, each of us makes his own way through the gutter
Evading the searchlight that scans through the night time:
We're stalking and weaving through hedges and gardens
Until we are caught by the beam—then we sputter
“This game is not fair.” Do we know it's to war prime
The boys of the city, whose fathers must harden
Their lambs into rams so the angels pass over
Their doors—to delay the last rest in the clover?

And later we jump off the buildings and fences
Each daring the others to jump ever higher.
Defeating the terror of gangs or pursuers—
We rattled ourselves to control our fear senses.
The brothers would mock my delays—I'm the crier.
We judged both the others, as pre-teen reviewers.

My best friend was Peter—he'd always outdo me
In drinking and smoking; in fucking—in winning.
A champ of a wrestler—the king of his high school
With motorbike charm and the guitar to match, he
Ignored me for years—I don't blame him for thinning
Our friendship back then, I was fat and a loud fool

Who dreamed in the daylight of searchlights in Berlin
Where dreamers of freedom were shot—they were fleeing.
While Peter discovered the pleasures of poppy,
I pleasured myself with my books as a shut-in.
His brother discovered the body—he's screaming,
And screaming I've heard since that day. I won't copy
The mode of his sorrow. I've learned to stop crying—
I've learned to be fearful: the brave ones die trying.

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