Monday, December 9, 2013

Old Times

The scrapbook was drenched by the broken pipe.
Pretty Boy Floyd’s demise on the front page–
you get sent up you might as well take a bullet to the heart.
John Dillinger in Chicago (city some may never know),
his body cross-hatched from the machine gun.

And so the thirties left my father and mother’s memory.
I appeared somehow in the world of The Wizard of Oz,
the books not the movie (every Christmas I was given one
of that series from the pen of a fascist, I know now).

Then I went back to comics, Crime and Punishment,
when I’d not even heard the name Dostoevsky spoken
(and never would as long as I was a child living home;
then found the novel in a college library).

I sat on the roof of the neighbor guy’s tree house
reading Charles Biro’s update of Raskolnikov,
of John Dillinger gunned down leaving the movies,
Pretty Boy Floyd getting his in Oklahoma.

All that in the soaked scrapbook was thrown out
long after L. Frank Baum; before the great Russians.
In Siberia my holy whore raises me from the dead.

(30 November, 9 December 2013)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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